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Consul vs Eureka vs Zookeeper: What are the differences?


Consul, Eureka, and ZooKeeper are popular service registries and discovery tools used in distributed systems. These tools provide a way for services to register themselves and discover other services within a network. While they share similar functionalities, there are key differences between them.

  1. Service Discovery Strategy: Consul and Eureka primarily adopt a client-side service discovery strategy. In this approach, clients are responsible for querying the service registry and are aware of the available services and their locations. On the other hand, ZooKeeper follows a server-side service discovery strategy. It relies on a central server, where clients register themselves, and other clients query the server to discover services. This difference in service discovery strategy affects the architecture and complexity of the system.

  2. Consistency Model: Consul and ZooKeeper provide a strongly consistent model, meaning that every client will see the same set of services at any given point in time. On the other hand, Eureka provides an eventually consistent model, where there might be a delay between the registration of a service and its visibility to all clients. This difference in consistency models impacts the reliability and latency of service discovery.

  3. Support for Multiple Data Centers: Consul and ZooKeeper are designed to support multi-data center setups out of the box. They provide mechanisms for synchronizing data across data centers, ensuring fault tolerance and reducing latency. Eureka, on the other hand, lacks native support for multi-data center setups. While it is possible to configure Eureka for multi-data center deployments, it requires additional customizations and is not as seamless as Consul and ZooKeeper.

  4. Health Checking: Consul and Eureka have built-in health checking mechanisms to monitor the availability and health of services. These tools can periodically ping services and update their status in the registry accordingly. ZooKeeper, on the other hand, lacks built-in health checking. In ZooKeeper, health checking needs to be implemented by the client applications themselves.

  5. Configuration Management: Consul provides a built-in key-value store for configuration management. It allows services to dynamically retrieve and update configurations from the store. Eureka and ZooKeeper, on the other hand, do not have built-in support for configuration management. Third-party tools or custom implementations need to be used in conjunction with Eureka and ZooKeeper for configuration management.

  6. Maturity and Community Support: Consul and ZooKeeper have been around for a longer time, have larger user communities, and are battle-tested in various production environments. Eureka, while widely used in Netflix and Spring Cloud ecosystems, has a relatively smaller user community and may have fewer resources available for support and troubleshooting.

In summary, the key differences between Consul, Eureka, and ZooKeeper lie in their service discovery strategy, consistency model, multi-data center support, health checking, configuration management, and maturity/community support.

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Pros of Consul
Pros of Eureka
Pros of Zookeeper
  • 61
    Great service discovery infrastructure
  • 35
    Health checking
  • 29
    Distributed key-value store
  • 26
  • 23
  • 12
  • 10
    Token-based acls
  • 6
    Gossip clustering
  • 5
    Dns server
  • 4
    Not Java
  • 1
    Docker integration
  • 1
  • 21
    Easy setup and integration with spring-cloud
  • 9
    Web ui
  • 8
  • 8
    Health checking
  • 7
    Circuit breaker
  • 6
    Netflix battle tested components
  • 6
    Service discovery
  • 4
    Open Source
  • 11
    High performance ,easy to generate node specific config
  • 8
  • 8
    Kafka support
  • 5
    Spring Boot Support
  • 3
    Supports extensive distributed IPC
  • 2
  • 2
    Used in ClickHouse
  • 2
    Supports DC/OS
  • 1
    Used in Hadoop
  • 1
    Embeddable In Java Service

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What is Consul?

Consul is a tool for service discovery and configuration. Consul is distributed, highly available, and extremely scalable.

What is Eureka?

Eureka is a REST (Representational State Transfer) based service that is primarily used in the AWS cloud for locating services for the purpose of load balancing and failover of middle-tier servers.

What is Zookeeper?

A centralized service for maintaining configuration information, naming, providing distributed synchronization, and providing group services. All of these kinds of services are used in some form or another by distributed applications.

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Amazon S3KafkaZookeeper+5
May 6 2020 at 6:34AM


What are some alternatives to Consul, Eureka, and Zookeeper?
etcd is a distributed key value store that provides a reliable way to store data across a cluster of machines. It’s open-source and available on GitHub. etcd gracefully handles master elections during network partitions and will tolerate machine failure, including the master.
SkyDNS is a distributed service for announcement and discovery of services. It leverages Raft for high-availability and consensus, and utilizes DNS queries to discover available services. This is done by leveraging SRV records in DNS, with special meaning given to subdomains, priorities and weights (more info here:
Map services to arbitrary URLs in a single, declarative YAML file. Configure routes with CORS support, circuit breakers, timeouts, and more. Replace your Kubernetes ingress controller. Route gRPC, WebSockets, or HTTP.
Kubernetes is an open source orchestration system for Docker containers. It handles scheduling onto nodes in a compute cluster and actively manages workloads to ensure that their state matches the users declared intentions.
Redis is an open source (BSD licensed), in-memory data structure store, used as a database, cache, and message broker. Redis provides data structures such as strings, hashes, lists, sets, sorted sets with range queries, bitmaps, hyperloglogs, geospatial indexes, and streams.
See all alternatives