Posts Tagged ‘IBM System z’

Not too much of a good thing: MQ V9.0.3

June 6, 2017

After a gap of a few months I blogged earlier today about deploying MQ Queue Managers in a DMZ so it might seem a bit much to be blogging again so soon. However I will try to keep it short and snappy so you find these entries like a Japanese meal – small portions, but so many courses! And of course, delicious.

japanese meal

So it wasn’t long ago – just March – when I blogged about MQ V9.0.2 on MQ and MQ Advanced on distributed platforms and MQ V9.0.2 on the MQ Appliance. Remember that IBM is delivering MQ V9 as a continuous delivery release. This means that we deliver smallish amounts of hopefully easily consumable and usable function. And these functions, on the whole, will build incrementally to deliver eventually a substantial piece of new function.


One of these ongoing deliverables, that has been building over the last few releases is the growing REST API for administration of MQ. New capabilities in this release include read and update of the queue manager configuration, plus querying of the status.


Also, on top of the enhancements made to MQ Managed File Transfer, available with MQ Advanced or MQ Appliance, delivered in MQ V9.0.0, V9.0.1 and V9.0.2, there are even more usability enhancements in this release, focusing on problem determination when there may have been an issue in the completion of a file transfer. This is in addition to the license changes made recently that makes this far more attractive for deploying MQ MFT Agents widely through the business.


And for the MQ Appliance there was an update to allow an easier transition for some configurations to move to use the end to end encryption provided by MQ AMS when some MQ Clients may not support it, by doing the encryption on the MQ Appliance rather than the MQ Client side.


There are now announcement letters for MQ V9.0.3 and MQ Appliance V9.0.3 updates published but perhaps some of the most interesting updates of the MQ V9.0.3 releases was on the z/OS offering. There is already an announcement  letter about this – but this update specifically targeted the MQ Advanced for z/OS Value Unit Edition offering with a set of unique extensions for this delivered as a connector pack on top of the core MQ Advanced for z/OS VUE offering.

This connector pack included a Bridge to Blockchain, allowing MQ Advanced for z/OS VUE to query information on the Blockchain. Also there are changes to the licensing and deployment model of MQ Managed File Transfer components on z/OS. And support for MQ Advanced for z/OS VUE to publish information to the IBM Cloud Product Insights service.


There are some additional details on our development blog on MQ V9.0.3 here.


So that was a quick run through of the updates in IBM MQ V9.0.3. All you need now is some green tea to wash it down.

japan green tea


When dinosaurs ruled the earth? They still do.

October 16, 2013



One of the odd things about having worked in IBM for 24 years now is that there are people I work with at IBM who hadn’t been born when I started working in IBM Hursley. And when I started I was given a desk with a 3270 mainframe terminal on it which weirded me out somewhat. At University, studying Computer Science I had been used to using Unix machines with large graphical displays. And the closest I had come to a mainframe was the department Vax, and various other mini computers connected to the UK academic JANET network around the country which we were happy to hack into in order to play MUD and MIST in Essex and Aberystwyth. I had assumed that mainframes were dead. And pretty much so did everyone else out in the world.

Funny thing was they didn’t die. They evolved. Just like dinosaurs did. Mainframes back in the 80s and early 90s were different beasts to those we see today – completely different technology – but still the same goal. Very high performance. Very high throughput. Very high reliability. Which, by an odd coincidence, is the same set of characteristics that businesses need for their core business systems. These aren’t systems that the regular public have much to do with, even though they interact with them every day. When checking their bank account, withdrawing money, booking a holiday, interacting with a large business in any way, you are driving work on a mainframe. You never see it, because it just works. Any failure you see would typically be on the front-end. If there was a failure on your ATM, it is likely a Windows (or similar) error screen you see, not a mainframe error message. These machines are invisible, ever present, running and running like the Duracell bunny. Running the world? I think they might just be. And it appears I am not alone in thinking that.

If you have applications on a mainframe, running your business world, then these applications won’t run in splendid isolation. They need to connect to the rest of your business, sharing data, completing orders, adding new customers. And ideal for these workloads, and any new workloads is WebSphere MQ. We have a specific offering for running on IBM System z mainframes – WebSphere MQ for z/OS – which is built to exploit many of the key features in our leading mainframes. It handles a million messages per second. It uses the Coupling Facility and Shared Queues to help you to avoid ever losing messages. And of course it has tremendous robustness and security, ideal for ensuring your business can keep doing what it needs to do. Day-in, day-out.

And October 15th 2013 we announced a new way to buy this offering – WebSphere MQ for z/OS Value Unit Edition. This offers the exact same product as the existing WebSphere MQ for z/OS, but is available to buy as a ‘One Time Charge’ transaction, rather than being charged per monthly usage as the existing WebSphere MQ for z/OS product is. So now there is a choice of how to buy this leading messaging solution for z/OS – a monthly license charge, or buy it upfront for your new workloads, deployed on new logical partitions (called zNALC). The dinosaurs just got a little more agile, a little faster. I guess they are evolving into birds.