Posts Tagged ‘IBM PureApplication System’

MQ in the Cloud – Your messaging ‘silver lining’

May 16, 2016

MQ clouds puttenham

As the senior product manager for a product like IBM MQ, I don’t just spend my day writing blogs – but frequently get questions from both colleagues and our many customers. And recently, one of the most common questions I get is whether MQ runs in the cloud.

The answer is “Yes” – that was easy wasn’t it.

However maybe there is some more information to share, to help describe the journey to cloud and to exploit the benefits provided by IBM MQ at every step, whether you are looking for enterprise grade business critical messaging in your private cloud infrastructure, in a public cloud (hosted or not) or a hybrid cloud spanning the combination of these.

 

Mostly the cloud environment that IBM customers I have been talking to are thinking about is best described as “Hybrid”. Almost all of our customers are starting to explore some aspects of the benefits of cloud – and what it means to them. But deployment, especially of business critical applications, is likely to happen in stages. Today many customers run virtually all application workload on-premise, but typically this will be in virtual machine environments. There is a shift to deploy selected workload in the cloud. Perhaps this might start with engagement or marketing applications, but these applications and the associated workload doesn’t run in isolation on the cloud but in conjunction with the rest of the enterprise running on-premise, or connecting to partners in the wider business ecosystem. Then as businesses shift some of their critical back office applications to cloud deployment options, the hybrid nature of infrastructure will increase.

Fundamental to the success of this change is the availability of reliable and secure connectivity to allow the safe and scalable exchange of information between applications independent of whether they are running together in the cloud, on-premise or any other combination.

How does IBM MQ work in this type of deployment? Well, as has been proven for more than 20 years, IBM MQ provides a way to exchange data in the form of messages between applications, systems and services and to do so reliably, securely, rapidly and simply. Messages are moved through MQ Queue Managers that can be deployed locally to the application – wherever that application may be, or remote from the application but accessed by MQ Clients bound to the application.

In pretty much any type of hybrid environment, MQ continues to be a critically useful middleware tool. Either the application running in the cloud environment can make use of the MQ Client to connect to a MQ Queue Manager running elsewhere (such as on-premise) or the MQ Queue Manager can itself be deployed in the cloud environment along with the application. And you might use your own tools to deploy MQ, or you could use tools such as Chef to deploy MQ. Other options for deployment include a MQ plug-in for IBM UrbanCode Deploy.

MQ offers support for running on IBM SoftLayer, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and OpenStack cloud. It leverages a Bring Your Own Software License to make it simple for customers to choose where to deploy the IBM MQ license entitlements they may already have. For deployments of IBM MQ on SoftLayer you might choose to use the MQ Advanced pattern designed for IBM PureSystems which can run on the SoftLayer environment.

In addition to this deployment style, IBM recently confirmed MQ is supported to run in Docker environments which further extends where MQ might be deployed to meet customer needs, such as hosted PaaS environments like IBM Bluemix.

Docker_(container_engine)_logo

So basically for every cloud environment, or virtualised environment, or container, your business can continue to take advantage of the benefits of IBM MQ – whether by running MQ Queue Managers in the cloud environment, or continuing to run them on-premise (perhaps as the physical MQ Appliance), or in any hybrid combination.

So what are you waiting for? For MQ on cloud – the answer is yes.

*UPDATED to add link to the AWS example – see above*

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A few notes on WebSphere MQ and Clouds

June 27, 2013

A bit of a different blog post from me – not directly about a new announcement but more a few notes on WebSphere MQ and deploying on private clouds and virtual machines.

Living in the UK where WebSphere MQ is developed, we are well accustomed to clouds, and rain. Wind too. Basically any weather that might ruin your plans to sit out and enjoy yourself, maybe have some friends round, and fire up the BBQ. However for pretty much everyone in IT, clouds now have a different meaning. One that many believe means the future of IT.  And if the future is coming, or indeed already here, how does WebSphere MQ help to connect applications and systems in clouds, just as it does for existing on-premise systems?

To explain this more, let’s narrow down what we are looking at, as the term cloud has a lot of different meanings for IT infrastructure. For now, let’s focus on the way many businesses are looking to make the most out of their existing infrastructure, as virtualized environments, or private on-premise clouds. Here there are substantial savings to be made if systems can be provisioned and made available more quickly with the right configuration, either for development, system test, or even for production. After all, these businesses have already invested in hardware, and it will not just frustrating to have it sat idle, but costly.

And it is not just frustrating and costly to have hardware sat idle, but doubly so to have invested in software such as WebSphere MQ, and to not have it readily available when you have an urgent need for a new system ready to go. And in these days of ever more pressing deadlines, alongside ever more capable software, you don’t want to have to install and then configure what might be multiple settings in the software to meet the specific needs of your deployment.

What you need is effectively a push button rapid deployment of your software – in this case WebSphere MQ, onto your waiting systems, to meet the dynamic needs of your business. With WebSphere MQ you can get just that – however you want it.

For example you might have seen the value in IBM PureApplication System which provides a flexible scalable system designed for transactional workload. We have a specific version of MQ – WebSphere MQ Hypervisor Edition, which is optimized for deployment into the virtualized platform offered by IBM PureApplication System.

WebSphere MQ Hypervisor Edition V7.5 is a packaged offering with the choice of either AIX or Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server as the operating system, which is deployed at the same time as WebSphere MQ itself – providing a repeatable deployment pattern for MQ to lay down as a clean image. What’s nice about this is that you can deploy the image, configure it how you want, and then recapture the same image. So that now, when you subsequently deploy it, you have got a tailored image to match your exact requirements, all deployed on a fresh Virtual Machine in around 5 minutes.

Note that you aren’t restricted to just capturing WebSphere MQ by itself. If you have license entitlement to WebSphere MQ Managed File Transfer Edition, WebSphere MQ Advanced Message Security or WebSphere MQ Telemetry, these can also be deployed, configured and recaptured for subsequent deployment. In this way, your virtualized environment can be configured and deployed ready for you to bring up a development, test or production instance at a moment’s notice. There is no faster way to get the complete messaging infrastructure you need when you need it.

Some of the benefits of taking the WebSphere MQ Hypervisor Edition as the offering to deploy into private clouds and virtualized environments are that you get the integration with the IBM Workload Deployer appliance or the IBM PureApplication System hardware. So if you are choosing either, or both of these, then using WebSphere MQ Hypervisor Edition in conjunction with them is great, both from an integrated deployment point of view and also from the license management that they provide. You then have an easy way to configure and capture tested WebSphere MQ configurations to meet your deployment needs at every stage of your application lifecycle.

However if you simply want to manage and deploy your own virtualized environments then you can do this by creating your own scripts to deploy the WebSphere MQ environment of your needs. Clearly this will require more skills and expertise than making use of the WebSphere MQ Hypervisor Editions, but for some virtualized deployment environments, this would be normal practice – aligning with the typical MQ administrator behaviour over many years.