By: Amy McCormick, IBM MQ Principal Offering Manager
Enterprise messaging from IBM is designed to simplify and accelerate the integration of diverse applications and business data across multiple platforms.
By connecting virtually everything — from a simple pair of applications to the most complex business environments — enterprise messaging from IBM helps organizations improve business responsiveness, control costs, reduce risk and gain near real-time insight from mobile, Internet of Things (IoT) and sensor data.
What is IBM MQ?
IBM MQ is IBM’s leading enterprise-grade messaging middleware, relied upon by thousands of clients worldwide for their mission-critical applications, including financial institutions like the Bank of New York Mellon, healthcare organizations like University Medical Center Freiberg, retailers like 1-800-flowers, government agencies and more.
It is a must-have for organizations that require transactionality and flexible routing and where once-and-only-once message delivery between applications is critical. It uses message queues to facilitate the exchange of information and offers a single messaging solution for cloud, mobile, IoT and on-premises environments.
For clients who prize stability and robustness, IBM MQ is available as Long Term Service Releases, which are made available every couple of years. The latest is version 9.2, which you can find out more about here. For clients who want to be more agile, perhaps due to the adoption of containers, the Continuous Delivery releases from IBM MQ provide a stream of new capabilities to ensure they are at the cutting edge of messaging technology.
Enhancements in version 9.2.2
The latest Continuous Delivery release from IBM MQ — version 9.2.2 — is available as of the March 25, 2021, and includes the following enhancements:
- New ‘Native HA‘:Native HA provides integrated three-way data replication with quorum for individual queue managers. It ensures that your data is replicated in two secondary locations; if a failure occurs, a copy of your business data is available so that processing can continue immediately, uninterrupted and with the right data. The added benefit of quorum in Native HA ensures that a split-brain scenario cannot occur — any active queue managers agree which queue manager should be processing at any one time so you will never have a situation where the same data is being processed in parallel, leading to duplicate data in applications. This release of the Native HA capability is available for technical-preview purposes only and is not supported for either production or non-production uses. A fully supported version will be made available in a future release.
- Additional HA improvements: For Replicated Data Queue Manager users, MQ version 9.2.2 provides improved means of problem determination and recovery.
- Reduced TCO for MQ Advanced clients: New ordering options for non-production workloads are available that enable clients to deploy MQ Advanced at a reduced cost in development and test environments.
- Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP): Additional capabilities for the open standard Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP) are introduced to enable interoperability between systems, regardless of vendor or platform.
- Managed File Transfer (MFT): MFT is a more reliable and efficient means for secure data and file transfer, outpacing and outperforming applications like file transfer protocol (FTP), hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP), secure file transfer protocol (SFTP) and other methods. MQ version 9.2.2 delivers improved usability for MFT users and assets that are provided to enable users to deploy MFT in containers in Red Hat OpenShift and Docker environments.
- Enhanced security: MQ Advanced Message Security now has increased protection for C client passwords.
Deployment and integration options
Different deployment options provide flexibility for our clients — a managed cloud service to get you up and running quickly without the headaches of infrastructure, software that can be deployed to both public and private clouds and production-ready container images with built-in options for High Availability and operators to simplify administration and management. MQ is also offered on a pre-configured dedicated messaging appliance and on IBM Z. All of these deployment options are interoperable, enabling you to craft the right solution for your business.
Additionally, for clients looking for a complete set of integration capabilities to complement their messaging solution, IBM Cloud Pak® for Integration provides MQ alongside capabilities like API management, event streaming and application integration as a single offering. Clients can use different combinations of capabilities together as needed through a common experience to improve workflows and significantly reduce the time and cost of integration.