EMQX Turns 10: Reflections on Tech, Trust, and MQTT Adoption

This year marks a significant milestone for EMQ. Ten years back, on December 17, 2012, EMQX was released as an open-source project on GitHub with this first commit.

First EMQX Commit to GitHub

First EMQX Commit to GitHub

EMQX was born in a cafe out of a personal enthusiasm for Erlang, MQTT, and open source. Today, EMQX has emerged as one of the most influential Erlang open-source projects for IoT users. It has more than 10K stars on GitHub and has been downloaded more than 20M times. EMQX has grown into the world's most scalable MQTT broker—at the core of mission-critical applications in IoT, IIoT, connected vehicles, and more. It boasts over 20,000 enterprise users and connects over 100M IoT devices worldwide.

Birthplace of EMQX

The Birthplace of EMQX

We're in a rapidly changing world. Over the last decade, open source has gradually dominated software development, enabled cloud computing to thrive, and gained greater acceptance in commercial organizations. In 2012, there were 2.8 million developers on GitHub, and companies mainly used open source to run their internet services. But today, more than 94 million developers are using GitHub, and more than 90% of companies use open source, which has completely changed how most businesses build applications. The term "IoT," once a concept discussed only in big tech companies, is now becoming a critical part of business digital transformation across verticals and the globe.

Ten years of EMQX development also marks ten years of MQTT and IoT messaging evolution. We witness the incredible growth of IoT adoption. MQTT is fast becoming the de-facto standard of IoT messaging due to its efficiency and scalability, making it ideal for many real-time applications as well. EMQX was created when the world didn't know much about MQTT brokers yet. From the outset, EMQX was the first MQTT broker fully compatible with MQTT3.1 and 3.1.1 specifications. EMQX has been in constant development since 2013. EMQX 3.0, the world's first MQTT 5.0 Server with complete specification support, was released in 2018. The release of EMQX 4.0 came in 2020, introduced the powerful, built-in SQL-based rule engine, reshaping how IoT data is extracted, filtered, enriched, and transformed from devices to the cloud and vice versa. Now, seeing the era of billions of IoT connections approaching, we have started to roll out the major 5.0 update, which officially arrived this summer. It came with disruptive high performance that connects 100M+ IoT devices in 1 cluster at 1ms latency, making it undoubtedly the world's most scalable open-source MQTT broker. EMQX 5.0 also introduces the world's first implementation of MQTT over QUIC, which guarantees reliable, bidirectional data transmission even in unreliable networks.

Test result of EMQX 100M concurrent MQTT connections

Results from our EMQX 100M concurrent MQTT connection testing

As an open-source project, EMQX would not be where it is today without the genuine support of users worldwide and the collective wisdom of a global community of contributors. Over the past few years, EMQX has connected 100M IoT devices around the globe and has over 30,000 active cluster deployments per month. Thousands of pull requests and tens of thousands of commits from a large number of global contributors are merged, and thousands of issues are opened and closed. We have incorporated a wide range of ideas and perspectives into our project, including many new features, enhancements, and fixed bugs. Ten years on, we are humbled by the outpouring of support and enthusiasm we have received from people worldwide.

EMQX star history

All these years, EMQX has thrived, from the open-source community and beyond. The story of EMQX is also the story of the IoT industry—of how it empowers all organizations and enterprises to achieve their missions. Seeing broad adoption of EMQX around the globe and emerging needs from the enterprise users deploying it at scale, in 2017, the EMQ company opened for business. Now, we offer commercial editions of EMQX, including EMQX Enterprise, the enterprise-level MQTT platform at scale, and EMQX Cloud, the fully managed MQTT messaging service. EMQX is trusted by over 400 customers in mission-critical applications for IoT, IIoT, connected vehicles, and more. Over 70 Fortune 500 companies like HPE, VMware, Verifone, SAIC Volkswagen, and Ericsson are using EMQX to build and grow their IoT applications with confidence and without barriers.

At EMQ, we work for love and dreams. Our passion for open-source and IoT has led us on an incredible journey over the past ten years. Looking back, we are proud of what we have accomplished and grateful to all the developers, users, customers, and supporters who have helped make EMQX what it is today. As EMQ looks to its future, we are committed to developing the next generation of MQTT and data infrastructure for the Internet of Things. We look forward to another ten years of collaboration, innovation, and serving the future of human society through world-class open-source software.

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