A Tale of Two Open Source Chat Servers
RocketChat and MatterMost are both open source team chat apps available for organizations to deploy in their own private cloud environment. Although both applications are open source, RocketChat has no distinction between a “free” and “paid” version, where MatterMost does. Mattermost has a Team Edition released under the MIT License which is free, and an Enterprise Edition with paid features that cost $20-80/user per year, more than Slack’s hosted plans.
RocketChat is fully free software, MatterMost is a freemium product with an open source Team Edition.
If you are an enterprise wanting to get the most feature-complete solution, without paying per-user licensing fees, we recommend RocketChat over MatterMost. Many of the paid features in Mattermost Enterprise Edition are already built into RocketChat at no cost, including LDAP/AP and SAML support for single sign on, and multi-factor authentication. For the longest time, MatterMost Team Edition has even been missing basic features such as the ability to set permissions, and prevent users without “admin” privileges from renaming or deleting private rooms. The open source edition of MatterMost also doesn’t support running multiple application servers (clustering), limiting its ability to scale to organizations with thousands of users, or be set up in a high-availability configuration.
MatterMost and RocketChat have different technology stacks.
RocketChat is the best choice for large community chat servers.
If you plan to have a large number of users on your chat server however, MatterMost can get prohibitively expensive – so expensive that you may rather use a SaaS such as Slack or Microsoft Teams instead. However, if self-hosting your chat application is important for reasons such as privacy & security, RocketChat will be your best bet.
Community chat rooms where companies invite customers to engage directly with marketing/community managers, or even management & technical employees, are becoming increasingly popular. These rooms often boast over five digits in registered users and require a significant amount of moderation, making RocketChat the most practical choice. Many organizations, including VC backed “unicorns” and Fortune 500 companies try to get away with using Slack’s free edition for these community chats, but that has its downsides. When you can only search the 10,000 most recent messages with Slack’s free edition, your company loses insight into valuable feedback & knowledge that your most enthusiastic customer advocates share over time.
Overcoming technical challenges of setting up RocketChat is possible.
RocketChat can be a little bit intimidating to set up on your own, but most of the issues can be easily overcome with some technical know-how. Our infrastructure team can set up & configure RocketChat from start-to-finish, including importing existing chats from Slack or HipChat. We can recommend the best cloud providers to use for RocketChat, and design an architecture that is suitable for the number of users & features you wish to use. Security is also a huge aspect of what we do, ensuring your communications are encrypted end-to-end, and that your RocketChat server is secure.
We are experts in configuring RocketChat, including planning high availability setups with NGINX or HAProxy load balancer serving up multiple RocketChat instances, tied to a MongoDB replica set. The storage used by RocketChat for file uploads can also be mapped to an object storage service, such as Amazon S3 or Google Cloud Storage for infinite scalability.
Our RocketChat stack uses the latest Docker technology for ease of deployment and updates. Running databases with persistent storage inside MongoDB containers across Docker Swarms is what we do. We are confident that we can deliver hundreds to thousands of dollars in savings per year to the typical organization needing a robust chat server.
Contact us today for a free consultation on setting up RocketChat for your internal teams, or as a community chat server for your open source project or user groups. Either way, we look forward to partnering with you to increase your team’s productivity or build a community. The number of users & chats you can retain with RocketChat is only limited by your infrastructure’s capacity, which can easily be scaled over time. Ditch the arbitrary price tiers once and for all!