RabbitMQ vs IronMQ

RabbitMQ vs IronMQ (What is RabbitMQ)



A messaging queue is like a line at the grocery store for computer processes, ensuring they take turns properly, and helping the whole system run smoothly and handle more work. As a developer, it makes it easier for you to build and manage complex programs by ensuring different parts can communicate smoothly and handle large amounts of work. Let's delve deeper into messaging queues as we compare RabbitMQ vs IronMQ, two of the best MQs available in the market.

Overview of RabbitMQ vs IronMQ:

  • Language: RabbitMQ is equipped with a large client library to ensure maximum language compatibility. It supports top languages like Java, Python, Ruby, .NET, PHP, Rust, Crystal, C and C++, iOS and Android, and Haskell. IronMQ is language-agnostic and supports all major languages.
  • Performance & Speed: When it comes to RabbitMQ vs IronMQ in terms of performance, each has its own strengths but IronMQ has a more modern infrastructure, is 10x faster, and offers many more desirable features.
  • Scalability: Both RabbitMQ and IronMQ boast that their message queuing services are highly scalable. Despite this, many user reviews note the difficulty in scaling RabbitMQ to an enterprise-level making IronMQ the top choice for large organizations or those who use high data loads.
  • Price: RabbitMQ is open-source and IronMQ is a paid monthly service that has several plans available according to the level of usage. Those who want to explore IronMQ before committing can access a free trial.
  • Reviews: RabbitMQ is rated 4.0 out of 5 stars, while IronMQ is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars. The difference in ratings is minimal but IronMQ fares better in terms of overall user experience.

In an ever-demanding business landscape, data-driven organizations require multiple IT systems to process workflows. Message queue software enables the communication between these systems, allowing the smooth processing and storage of requests, alerts, replies, and other messages.

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RabbitMQ vs IronMQ: Features and Benefits

IronMQ and RabbitMQ have a lot in common, but there are some major differences:

  • RabbitMQ is an open-source message broker that is designed to service the needs of both small and large businesses. It allows for deployment both on premises and in the cloud while supporting high-scale and high-availability needs. Likewise, RabbitMQ is supported on a plethora of operating systems and has a wide library to ensure compatibility with many languages.
  • IronMQ is a cloud-agnostic message queuing service that has a plan for everyone from hobbyists to enterprise-level establishments. The lightning speed service is reliable and streamlines the process of communication between components and services to eliminate the need for developers to build out and maintain communication servers on their own.

When comparing all messaging queuing services, RabbitMQ and IronMQ are perhaps the most similar when pitting competitors against one another. Both of the services support a huge range of languages and operating systems and are developer-friendly. Additionally, both message queuing services support features like one-time delivery, first-in-first-out, high performance, publish/subscribe, reporting and analytics and have a user-friendly dashboard. Both also offer authentication, however, IronMQ uses token and RabbitMQ uses SASL. When it comes to message transports, IronMQ uses HTTPS while RabbitMQ opts for a socket-based AMQP.

With IronMQ, however, additional features like backup, unlimited queues, push queues, webhook support, multi-cloud, elastic, redundant/failover are included as a standard. IronMQ also has the added benefit of lightning speed, highly scalable cloud infrastructure, and REST-based API to ensure maximum levels of both flexibility and configuration.

RabbitMQ vs IronMQ: Pricing

  • RabbitMQ is an open-source system which means that it is free to use.
  • IronMQ, on the otherhand, is a paid service that requires a monthly fee. The fee varies as there are several plans available. The plans are determined based on the level of use and serve everyone from hobbyists to enterprises. Those who are interested but unsure can access a free trial before making a commitment. Additionally, they can receive a steep discount by opting to pay for the service on an annual basis versus monthly.

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user reviews

RabbitMQ vs IronMQ: Reviews

Looking at reviews and ratings written by real users of the two message queuing services, both RabbitMQ and IronMQ stand above average in the 4-star range.

RabbitMQ stands at 4.0 out of 5. Positive reviews of RabbitMQ first and foremost focus on the free, open-source nature followed by easy installation, reliability, and configuration options. Negative ones instead note that the service is outdated, not easily incorporated into enterprise systems, and offers no observability in terms of what messages are stored in the queue.

  • One reviewer, who works in organization management for a nonprofit, says:

    "Rabbit MQ is easy to customize. It really helps us sort through messages for our summer camp program and prioritize which ones need to be answered first. I also love that it doesn't slow our systems down. It has made our processes for day camp easier."

    The reviewer says that it's hard to integrate RabbitMQ into other software he already uses:

    "We also have tried to install some of the plugins, and they alter the functionality of the software. The software has great potential if little bugs within the plugins could be fixed."

Iron.MQ ranks as 4.5 out of 5 stars. Users report speed, scalability, customer support, and all-around flexibility as positive traits. When it comes to less-than-ideal reviews, the biggest complaints revolved around the developer-focused layout being difficult for beginners to navigate as well as the need to pay a monthly subscription fee.

  • One reviewer, who works for a small company, says:"We run a pretty lean startup and need to offload as much development operations as possible. We looked at AWS, of course, and discovered IronMQ to be the right balance of functionality, ease-of-use, and cost. The Worker and MessageQueue products are particularly top-notch."



At first glance, when investigating RabbitMQ vs IronMQ, it seems as if the only difference between the two is that one is a free service, and the other is paid. Delving deeper, however, it becomes clear that IronMQ offers highly desirable features that are worth the money for those who are heavy users of message queuing.

From back up and lightning speed operations to being easier to scale and offering superior customer support, IronMQ is ideal for businesses who want to save time and eliminate unnecessary hassle. RabbitMQ, however, is a solid contender although best for hobbyists or small-scale freelancers who can get by with a more generic message queuing service.

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About Korak Bhaduri

Korak Bhaduri, Director of Operations at Iron.io, has been on a continuous journey exploring the nuances of serverless solutions. With varied experiences from startups to research and a foundation in management and engineering, Korak brings a thoughtful and balanced perspective to the Iron.io blog.

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