Introducing RabbitMQ for Kubernetes

July 16, 2019 Dormain Drewitz

Today Pivotal Software announces an alpha of a commercial Kubernetes-based offering for RabbitMQ, available soon. This is part of a broader announcement about a set of Kubernetes-based products built upon our expertise in application- and developer-centric platforms. Pivotal RabbitMQ for Kubernetes will use the operator pattern and automate deployment and ongoing, day 2 operations of RabbitMQ. Developers will get a self-service and configurability experience with RabbitMQ for Kubernetes. 

Kubernetes is becoming an increasingly ubiquitous part of cloud infrastructure because it brings an API-centric approach. It offers straightforward horizontal scaling and self-healing containers. Cloud engineers around the world are adopting Kubernetes to build platforms for their developers. Those platforms need to support the familiar tooling, cloud-native patterns, and stateful workloads that developers will use. RabbitMQ is one of those key workloads for cloud engineers to support on Kubernetes.

This post will cover why Pivotal is building RabbitMQ for Kubernetes, what it is, and how to learn more.


Why Are We Doing This

The world runs on RabbitMQ. With tens of thousands of users, RabbitMQ is one of the most popular open source message brokers. From T-Mobile to Runtastic, RabbitMQ is used worldwide at small startups and large enterprises. It supports every major programming language, multiple protocols, and runs on every major platform. RabbitMQ’s ubiquity matters because it means that when we solve something for RabbitMQ, it helps a lot of people. 

RabbitMQ supports the cloud-native patterns that enterprises are adopting. Distributed computing architectures depend on a reliable messaging layer. This includes microservices, serverless, and event-driven architectures. These patterns help developers focus on smaller bits of code, which makes it easier to deploy updates more frequently. Combined with an automated path to production and platform for automating scaling, availability, and security, these architectures support faster software release cycles. RabbitMQ isn’t the only option for these cloud-native patterns, but it’s a popular option. Developers choose RabbitMQ because it supports many languages, protocols, routing logic, and guaranteed delivery. It’s a mature and stable option with over 10 years of engineering inheritance. 

Pivotal drives RabbitMQ innovation. Pivotal is the primary steward for RabbitMQ, and offers commercial support for open source RabbitMQ. Pivotal employs most of the core committers.  That team has deep expertise in the underlying AMQP protocol, client libraries, and plug-ins. 

Pivotal has helped make the RabbitMQ experience for developers and platform engineers better. Recent improvements include RabbitMQ monitoring, availability, and scaling. Many of these improvements are made directly into core RabbitMQ releases. RabbitMQ 3.8 is currently in beta and features key monitoring enhancements and the introduction of quorum queues.

Regardless of where applications are running, RabbitMQ users have the best experience when they follow best practice patterns for deployment and operation. Pivotal introduced RabbitMQ for Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF) to further enhance the developer and operator experience. Platform engineers can easily set up RabbitMQ in the PCF marketplace for their developers. With RabbitMQ for PCF, developers get self-service access to RabbitMQ clusters on-demand.  With RabbitMQ for Kubernetes, we're bringing this experience beyond the PCF-centric market. 


What Are We Building

If you’re building a platform for your developers on Kubernetes, you should have RabbitMQ available on that platform. It’s ubiquitously popular and supports cloud-native patterns. You *could* just keep running RabbitMQ on bare metal, but then you wouldn’t inherit any of the benefits of Kubernetes. For RabbitMQ, Kubernetes offers greater resource efficiency than running on virtual machines. The alpha of RabbitMQ for Kubernetes will be available on the Pivotal Container ServiceⓇ (PKS). PKS enables small teams of operators to manage many Kubernetes clusters at scale.

RabbitMQ for Kubernetes will simplify the operational experience to make RabbitMQ available on a Kubernetes-based platform. It takes advantage of the Kubernetes operator pattern, acting as an operator which deploys a RabbitMQ instance. It will come with popular RabbitMQ plugins enabled by default. This will include the management GUI, shovel, federation, and PrometheusⓇ for monitoring. RabbitMQ for Kubernetes will support local container registries such as HarborⓇ. Local container registries are a common enterprise requirement for security reasons.

RabbitMQ for Kubernetes will also simplify the developer experience for self-service access to a RabbitMQ cluster. For developers using the Pivotal Application ServiceⓇ (PAS), RabbitMQ for Kubernetes will be available through the PCF service marketplace the same way other data management, monitoring, and other software is provisioned today. For developers using PKS or running software elsewhere, the cloud engineers will still have ways to offer the RabbitMQ for Kubernetes as a self-service option.


Next Steps

An alpha of RabbitMQ for Kubernetes will be available soon. If you are interested in being invited to try the alpha, please let us know. In the meantime, here are some important steps you can take to get ready:



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Pivotal, Pivotal Container Service, PKS, Pivotal Application Service and PAS are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Pivotal Software, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries..Kubernetes, Prometheus and Harbor are either registered trademarks or trademarks of The Linux Foundation in the United States and/or other countries. 

About the Author

Dormain Drewitz

Dormain leads Product Marketing and Content Strategy for VMware Tanzu. Before VMware she was Senior Director of Pivotal Platform Ecosystem, including RabbitMQ, and Customer Marketing. Previously, she was Director of Product Marketing for Mobile and Pivotal Data Suite. Prior to Pivotal, she was Director of Platform Marketing at Riverbed Technology. Prior to Riverbed, she spent over 5 years as a technology investment analyst, closely following enterprise infrastructure software companies and industry trends. Dormain holds a B. A. in History from the University of California at Los Angeles.

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