Thus, there was no requirement to provide a comprehensive set of monitoring and management tools since a lot of this functionality would fall under the control of the big-data management platform (Ambari, Cloudera Manager, etc.).  This is generally a good idea as redundant functionality is not required.  But as you move to more use cases the message broker needs to be able to provide enough detailed monitoring functionality to be able to do basic troubleshooting on system wide problems. Confluent Control Center and other 3rd party tools have been used to try and fill this gap.

Solace has a suite of management tools to aid in operationalizing Solace message brokers, from Solace Cloud, SolAdmin, Solace PubSub+ Manager and Solace Enterprise Stats. These tools are written by Solace specifically to enhance operations and visualization of the Solace Event Mesh.

Apache Kafka also has a history of not being backward compatible, but this is improving.  For example, Apache Kafka 1.0.0 and Apache Kafka 2.0 introduced a new wireline format. To provide pre-0.11 backward compatibility with latest Apache Kafka 2.0.0, you need to run the 2.0.0 broker in previous wireline formats. This means that the new features and functionality are not exposed. The upgrade procedure is explained here.  This is complicated and would not fit into orchestrated environments like Kubernetes rolling upgrades. This is not what larger enterprises want.  They want to run the latest broker and expose the new features to the customers that want them, while allowing the producers and consumers that do not require the new features to continue to use previous APIs without disruption.  Solace message brokers can be upgraded to the next major release and expose new features while supporting existing clients and APIs.

Another operational difficulty is inter-cluster data transfer. Apache Kafka brokers have no way to distribute data outside the cluster and need an additional application to read from one cluster and write to another while preserving topic/partition integrity. This means you need to have another set of applications that needs to be managed and made highly available.  Also, both clusters need to be running the same versions for the MirrorMaker to work.  Next you need the exact same topic/partition layout on both sides or message publish order could be lost.  Finally, it is not recommended to produce and consume from clusters that you are replicating. It is recommended to add a replication layer of clusters into your network – again preserving your topic/partition layout across all clusters.


Below is a summary comparison of monitoring and management features between Solace and Apache Kafka. The color-coded rankings are as follows:

yes  Fully supported by the broker natively

kinda  Requires 3rd party tooling to achieve this task, or partially supported

no  Not supported

Feature - Configuration ManagementApache KafkaSolace
Remote programmatic interface
Command line interface
Config file driven
Scripted command line
Roles based management accounts
LDAP mgmt account integration
Kerberos mgmt account integration
Internal mgmt account database
Config Replication across cluster
Dynamic Configuration broker behavior without reboot

Feature - MonitoringApache KafkaSolace
Programmatic access to statistics
Programmatic interface to event for alerts
Per Client TCP/IP statistics
Per Client Message rate statistics
Per Client Byte rate statistics
Per Client Connect/Disconnect timestamp logging
Client Disconnect reason logging
Rollup of VPN and Router Statistics for instantaneous and average message rates
Rollup of VPN and Router Statistics for instantaneous and average byte rates
Rollup of VPN and Router Statistics
Per queue Stats
Per Topic Stats
Broker CPU Stats
Broker Memory Stats
Broker Disk Utilization Stats

Feature - UpgradesApache KafkaSolace
In service upgrade, does not require entire cluster down
Mixed release within a cluster
Mixed release across WAN
Broker/Router support for previous version


Both Solace and Apache Kafka provide a standard programmatic interface to monitor their systems, Solace provides a deeper view into the behavior of the overall messaging system.  Solace upgrades have been a simpler task with minimal service disruption whereas Apache Kafka often requires application recode as their heavy APIs evolved. Building anything other than a trivial network architecture with Apache Kafka causes a proliferation of Apache Kafka and supporting devices.