When it comes to hosting an MQTT broker/server you have three main options:
- Use you Own Locally Installed Server
- Use a Cloud Based Sever or Virtual Server
- Use a Shared Server Application
Own Server Locally Installed
You can install an MQTT broker on your own server hardware.
There are many brokers/servers to choose from and most are free and open source.
Each of these brokers will have their own requirements e.g Mosca is Node.js based and so requires node.js to be installed.
|Mosquitto||Lightweight open source broker written in C. Probably the most popular MQTT broker. Website|
|Mosca||Mosca is Node.js based and so requires node.js to be installed.See GitHub
It can also be installed as a node in node-red.
It is not very feature rich when compared to mosquitto.
|Written in Erlang is Open Source and described as massively scalable. EMQ Implements both MQTT V3.1 and V3.1.1 protocol specifications, and supports MQTT-SN, CoAP, WebSocket, STOMP . See Github|
|Python Test Broker||Python test brokers including MQTT v5 https://github.com/eclipse/paho.mqtt.testing/tree/master/interoperability|
|VerneMQ||Written in Erlang and supporting clustering.
Note: Comprehensive comparison list on wiki
The problem with this arrangement is that you are responsible for the installation, and maintenance of the hardware and software.
This is likely to be the main choice for local MQTT applications.
Mosquitto vs Mosca for Learning and Testing
If you are just getting started with MQTT and you are also using node-red then you might want to use the mosca broker.
Mosca is a very simple broker and ideal for small home network deployments and for learning MQTT.
It is installed as a node-red node and then added to a flow.
Mosca does support websockets but not SSL. It also supports basic username/password authentication.
Note: Many of the cloud based MQTT service providers also use these brokers.
These are available from many providers and are currently mainly used for website hosting.
However they can be used for hosting any web application, and will be a popular choice for hosting Node.js and MQTT.
With this type of hosting you aren’t responsible for the hardware, but software install and management is your responsibility.
Online or cloud based MQTT servers/brokers are likely to be used for connecting different physical geographic locations together.
Google, Amazon, Microsoft, IBM and many others provide cloud based hosting.
Managed MQTT Servers/Brokers- Cloud Hosting
This is similar to cloud servers except you are limited to hosting a single application- MQTT.
This is the way present day websites are hosted.
This form of hosting is preferred for small organisations as the software install and maintenance is done by the hosting company.
Just as with standard web hosting there are likely to be a wide range of options available for MQTT hosting
Because the market is still very new there are very few dedicated commercial MQTT hosting providers.
Here are the ones I am currently aware of.
flespi is a new online broker offering free MQTT broker service and support MQTT v5. Currently there doesn’t appear to be a paid option.
myqtthub.com offers MQTT services and REST API support. It has lots of plans, including a free option, and also offers online message storage.
Online Test Brokers
These brokers are used for testing MQTT but a view offer commercial packages.
Online Cloud Base MQTT Brokers/Servers
|Broker Type||Broker Address and Port||Websocket Support||SSL support|
Encrypted port 8081
|Yes 8883 With Client certificate 8884|
80 and 443 (SSL)
Moving MQTT Providers
Because MQTT brokers don’t really store messages long term (unlike email) moving providers should be relatively easy.
Related Articles and resources:
- How to Install The Mosquitto MQTT Broker on Windows
- How to Install The Mosquitto MQTT Broker on Linux and AWS
- MQTT and Websockets Notes
- Install Mosca Broker on Node-Red
- Mosquitto SSL Configuration -MQTT TLS Security
- MQTT for Beginners