Posts Tagged ‘WebSphere MQ V7.5’

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. 

A new era for WebSphere MQ – WebSphere MQ V7.5

April 24, 2012

It is not everyday that we announce a new release of WebSphere MQ. In fact past history has shown we typically bring them out every 2-3 years. So given we brought out an substantial new release – WebSphere MQ V7.1 in 4Q 2011, we clearly wouldn’t normally expect another release to be announced so soon – and certainly not today. But that is what we are very pleased to be doing.

Today sees the announcement of WebSphere MQ V7.5. But this is a different type of release. After all we did so many functional and performance improvements in V7.1, you wouldn’t expect to see more of the same. So we are doing something very different with this release.

WebSphere MQ V7.5 changes the way we are delivering not just the WebSphere MQ product, but the other related MQ offerings – WebSphere MQ File Transfer Edition and WebSphere MQ Advanced Message Security. What this release does is it takes all those products, and together with WebSphere MQ Telemetry, it packages them together in a single offering – available through a single selectable install process. All the capabilities of the WebSphere MQ family are now delivered to every customer, making it easier to be aware of their capabilities, and to install them once entitlements have been purchased.

One of the changes that as made in WebSphere MQ V7.1 was to include the WebSphere MQ Telemetry capability as a chargeable component within the package – therefore ensuring that all customers had the function available if they wanted saw a need for it. Then all they would need to do is buy the additional entitlement for the chargeable component, and start building a solution to take advantage of it.

We have now taken the same approach with the WebSphere MQ File Transfer Edition and WebSphere MQ Advanced Message Security products. These are being included in the WebSphere MQ V7.5 package as chargeable components. This means the price for WebSphere MQ itself is unchanged, but it increases the availability of these additional functions which are now simpler to add. Further to this we are now changing the name of WebSphere MQ File Transfer Edition to WebSphere MQ Manafed File Transfer as we think this makes the function it performs much clearer – and instead of the two components being the Client and Server, they are now called Agent and Service.

There are some licensing changes as a part of this announcement, and these affect not just the WebSphere MQ V7.5 release but the previous releases – V7.0.1 and V7.1. One key change is to remove the charge for using the WebSphere MQ Extended Transactional Client. This client is used when you need the client/server connection to be performed as a transactional unit of work, taking advantage of a client side Transaction Manager. Unless the client side transaction manager was WebSphere Application Server, this client was previously charged as if it was a WebSphere MQ Server – from the date of this announcement there is no longer any charge to use this client – making it cheaper to connect up your application server farms to your WebSphere MQ environment for critical business information.

The second licensing change affects the WebSphere MQ Telemetry Client. Previously these clients have been charged on a per client connection to the server. So when a solution that used Telemetry clients was deployed – say connecting utility meters which would connect maybe once a day, a client would purchase entitlement for the maximum number of client connections that would connect to a MQ Server at any one time. It could be hard to predict this number of connections, and as deployment sizes increased, this additional charge could grow quite large. This pricing metric has now changed so that an additional flat charge is made for any MQ Server to which Telemetry clients will be connected, removing the cost per client and simply adding a very small cost on to each Server that will host these connections. This applies not just to WebSphere MQ V7.5 but also for WebSphere MQ V7.0.1 and WebSphere MQ V7.1. There is no change in the pricing or licensing for the WebSphere MQ Advanced Telemetry client.

We believe that these changes will bring in a new era of use of WebSphere MQ, allowing users to leverage more of their existing investment in WebSphere MQ through Managed File Transfer, Telemetry and also through end-to-end message encryption using WebSphere MQ Advanced Message Security. Previously these products were available with separate installers and could seem to be separate from WebSphere MQ itself – a particular problem on the distributed platforms – unlike the z/OS platform which has always been excellent at ensuring that products look and feel the same on that platform. Therefore with this release available for the distributed platforms, IBM has brought together all of its WebSphere MQ family offerings and increased their availability for customers, allowing all of us to move forward into this new era.

Just one more thing – if you are still using WebSphere MQ V7.0.1 or WebSphere MQ V7.1 – and you don’t plan to migrate for a while, you can of course start to use the existing function of the WebSphere MQ File Transfer Edition or WebSphere MQ Advanced Message Security products – as the separate products will remain in market – but bear in mind all future functional enhancements will be aimed at the new integrated offerings shipped within WebSphere MQ V7.5

If you are coming to Impact, you will no doubt hear a lot more about it, or ask me!