Virtual Hosts


RabbitMQ is multi-tenant system: connections, exchanges, queues, bindings, user permissions, policies and some other things belong to virtual hosts, logical groups of entities. If you are familiar with virtual hosts in Apache or server blocks in Nginx,the idea is similar. There is, however, one important difference: virtual hosts in Apache are defined in the configuration file; that's not the case with RabbitMQ: virtual hosts are created using rabbitmqctl or HTTP API instead.

Logical and Physical Separation

Virtual hosts provide logical grouping and separation of resources. Separation of physical resources is not a goal of virtual hosts and should be considered an implementation detail.

Virtual Hosts and Client Connections

A virtual host has a name. When an AMQP 0-9-1 client connects to RabbitMQ, it specifies a vhost name to connect to. If authentication succeeds and the username provided was granted permissions to the vhost, connection is established.

Connections to a vhost can only operate on exchanges, queues, bindings, and so on in that vhost. "Interconnection" of e.g. a queue and an exchange in different vhosts is only possible when an application connects to two vhosts at the same time. For example, an application can consume from one vhost then republishes into the other. This scenario can involve vhosts in different clusters or the same cluster (or a single node). RabbitMQ Shovel plugin is one example of such application.

Virtual Hosts and STOMP

Like AMQP 0-9-1, STOMP includes the concept of virtual hosts. See the STOMP guide for details.

Virtual Hosts and MQTT

Unlike AMQP 0-9-1 and STOMP, MQTT doesn't have the concept of virtual hosts. MQTT connections use a single RabbitMQ host by default. There are MQTT-specific convention and features that make it possible for clients to connect to a specific vhosts without any client library modifications. See the MQTT guide for details.