Posts Tagged ‘WebSphere MQ AMS’

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. 

Bringing it all together – WebSphere MQ Advanced

October 9, 2012

The last 12 months have been very busy for WebSphere MQ. First, in November 2011 there was a great new functional release with WebSphere MQ V7.1, bringing improvements to performance, security, install and more on all platforms including z/OS. Then we brought out a major shift in how we packaged and delivered the whole WebSphere MQ family with WebSphere MQ V7.5 in June 2012. And now we follow up both of those with the announcement of WebSphere MQ Advanced V7.5 and WebSphere MQ Advanced for z/OS V7.1

So what are these new offerings, how do they build on the other recent releases, and why are they important and of benefit for our clients – they many thousands of MQ users?

First, a quick restatement of the reason for using WebSphere MQ – IT infrastructure becomes ever more complex as it is more inter-connected. More applications, more systems, more services. All looking to exchange information rapidly, simply, reliably, securely. And the truth is that no matter how robust you make your infrastructure, failures inevitably occur, which means your applications that move and exchange data need to cater for all types of potential failure. This introduces complexity, potential errors and vastly increases the time and cost to both implement and maintain each and every application. 

So WebSphere MQ exists on virtually every commercial IT platform to allow developers to focus their applications on the business logic, and to leave the handling of the data movement to WebSphere MQ, where failures can be managed and handled without logic in the applications. 

WebSphere MQ was able to be extended to add additional value, generally for fairly general use-cases, such as managed file transfer using MQ as a transport, and for end-to-end encryption, and also extending the MQ infrastructure to more lightweight, infrequently connected devices.

In WebSphere MQ V7.5 we changed how we made all this MQ content available, by shipping all of it within the core WebSphere MQ package. All content was separately installable and separately entitled, but it was all available to all WebSphere MQ users as a part of the package, and hence a core part of the whole MQ value proposition. This was how IBM would be delivering WMQ content from now on – as a whole package. And customers could easily trial any of the features in the offering to see if they were of interest to their business. 

But it was then clear that part of the value of the WebSphere MQ V7.5 package could be progressed further, by making it even simpler for customers to move up to use all of the WebSphere MQ capabilities, by enabling customers to buy and install all of the capabilities more easily. So we are today – October 9th 2012 – announcing WebSphere MQ Advanced V7.5, which will be available on October 12th 2012. This part provides entitlement to WebSphere MQ V7.5, and also WebSphere MQ Managed File Transfer Service, as well as WebSphere MQ Advanced Message Security. If you buy 1000PVUs of WebSphere MQ Advanced you get entitlement to 1000 PVUs of each of those 3 offerings. Customers who buy any entitlement to WebSphere MQ Advanced also get unlimited entitlement to deploy WebSphere MQ Telemetry, allowing the standard WMQ Telemetry clients to connect to any of their WMQ Servers. 

The addition of WebSphere MQ Advanced to the licensing options available to customers (none of the existing licenses are being removed) will make it easier for customers to buy and deploy all the WebSphere MQ capabilities they need, without worrying about whether they are actually entitled to deploy them.

Buying and deploying WebSphere MQ Advanced will also encourage more developers to take advantage of the use-cases around WebSphere MQ Managed File Transfer, WebSphere MQ Advanced Message Security and WebSphere MQ Telemetry, which will allow WebSphere MQ users to get more benefit from their existing WebSphere MQ investment and help that network drive those benefits more deeply into their business. 

An important aspect of this announcement is that we have not just announced WebSphere MQ Advanced V7.5 for distributed platforms but also WebSphere MQ Advanced for z/OS V7.1. When we announced WebSphere MQ V7.5, it was just for distributed platforms as it made substantial changes and fixes to the specific install procedures on the distributed platforms which weren’t an issue on the z/OS platform. However with WebSphere MQ Advanced we wanted to deliver on z/OS something as similar as possible to the plan for the distributed platforms. As on the distributed platforms the z/OS versions of WMQ Advanced Message Security and WMQ File Transfer Edition depend on WebSphere MQ being available. However unlike the distributed platforms where multiple WMQ servers may be deployed on multiple different physical machines, on z/OS you would tend to see WebSphere MQ deployed on a z/OS partition with numerous other applications. As such the best way to provide the aggregated and integrated value of the wider WebSphere MQ family on z/OS is to combine both WebSphere MQ Advanced Message Security and WebSphere MQ File Transfer Edition in a single package, where WebSphere MQ for z/OS is a pre-req, but otherwise customers buying this new offering will gain entitlement to both WebSphere MQ Advanced Message Security and WebSphere MQ File Transfer Edition. 

We believe both of these announcements will help our customers better understand the wide set of WebSphere MQ capabilities and find it easy to gain entitlement to all the functions they need. Customers can of course continue to buy and use the separate WebSphere MQ parts already available, and buy WebSphere MQ Advanced as they see the need.

One last item before I finish this blog update. There was a recent item on the MQDev Community Blog about how you can use the MQTT protocol in a Hybrid android mobile app developed using IBM Worklight Studio. This is a great example of the exciting ways in which both the MQTT protocol, and also WebSphere MQ Advanced can be used going forward. 

Now what shall we do next with WebSphere MQ? Watch this space!