Enterprise Service Bus Vs Hub-and-Spoke

The nature of the ESB is distributed; ESB is more scalable than the hub-and-spoke architecture. With ESB the ability to deploy separate integration services, scaling up and scaling out becomes easier.
An ESB is based on open standards. EAI/hub-and-spoke solutions are generally based on proprietary standards.

Advantages of the ESB architecture over the hub-and-spoke architecture are:

Hub and Spoke

  • Centralized architecture.
  • Central point for availing services like transformation, routing and transaction management.
  • HUB (message broker) is a monolithic piece of software.
  • Capabilities of the HUB cannot be used as pluggable components in another HUB.
  • Services provided by the HUB and the interfacing between these services is not standard based and is usually propriety standards driven, leading to a risk of vendor locking.
  • The hub, being a monolithic piece of software can be used only in a ‘all or nothing’ mode.
  • Complicated operations, such as package sorting and accounting, can be carried out at the hub, rather than at every node.
  • Spokes are simple, and new ones can be created easily.
  • Scheduling is convenient for them since there are few routes, with frequent service.

Enterprise Service Bus(ESB)

  • Distributed and more scalable architecture.
  • Central point for availing services like transformation, routing and transaction management.
  • ESB provided services are themselves distributed in the sense that different components come and play their role in providing the infrastructure services promised by the ESB.
  • Specific capabilities of an ESB can be plugged into other ESBs to allow the user to get the benefit of mix and match of services.
  • Services provided by ESB, deployment and installation of these services and interfacing between these services is standard based.
  • ESB user can choose which services need to installed and used which services they want to leave per instance of the ESB.
  • Faster and cheaper accommodation of existing systems.
  • Increased flexibility; easier to change as requirements change.
  • Standards-based.
  • Scales from point solutions to enterprise-wide deployment (distributed bus).
  • Predefined ready-for-use service types.
  • More configuration rather than integration coding.
  • No central rules engine, no central broker.


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