By: Amy McCormick, IBM MQ Principal Offering Manager
IBM MQ version 9.2.3 helps customers accelerate digital transformation by supercharging the value of existing data, enabling ‘native high availability’ and simplifying hybrid multicloud management.
Enterprise messaging is designed to simplify and accelerate the integration of applications and data. IBM MQ facilitates the exchange of information within and across hybrid cloud, multicloud, microservices and serverless applications. By connecting virtually everything — from a simple pair of applications to the most complex business environments — IBM MQ helps organizations improve business responsiveness, control costs, reduce risk and gain near real-time insight from mission-critical data.
BNY Mellon use IBM MQ to ensure that highly sensitive, transactional data is delivered every time. “Financial institutions use MQ heavily, it’s very good at what it does.” – Paul Hatcher, Head of Enterprise Messaging, The Bank of New York Mellon. Watch the video here.
New features in IBM MQ version 9.2.3
IBM MQ version 9.2.3 is the latest continuous delivery release (available July 22, 2021) and provides the following key new features:
Customers can now optionally choose to siphon a copy of messages to an MQ streaming queue as they flow between applications or other endpoints — without interrupting the main flow of data and without needing to make any architectural changes. This means your mission-critical applications continue to run uninterrupted, with IBM MQ’s market-leading assured delivery, while you gain more value from existing business data. There are four core use cases for streaming queues:
- AI/machine learning: Data is the fuel that powers artificial intelligence (AI). Use MQ streaming queues to provide data to AI systems to gain insights, predict future outcomes, and transform business decision-making.
- Kafka producer: Provide a copy of messages to a Kafka streaming platform for real-time processing and analysis.
- Replay: Send streaming queue messages to a data lake where they are ready to be replayed if business IT systems are destroyed by disaster or otherwise rendered inoperable.
- Real-world test data: Engineering teams can reduce risk. They can use a copy of your real-world data to predict how planned architecture changes (e.g., adding a new application) will impact the existing system.
Native high availability
Native high availability (Native HA) reduces complexity and ensures all business data is available in the event of a data center outage or another failure. It does this by bringing data resiliency and high availability right into the very heart of the MQ runtime — the queue manager. With existing MQ high availability options — such as multi-instance queue managers or using system-controlled HA — this is something we’ve traditionally depended on external mechanisms to help with, even when those are provided within MQ. Native HA is simpler and more efficient as it removes the cost and complexity of external dependencies.
Native HA is designed around efficient and secure replication of data for redundancy, integrated with quorum-controlled fail-over for safe and fast recovery from failures. Critically, this provides the same data integrity and consistency that you’d expect from MQ, with full protection for every recoverable operation and message, ensuring none are duplicated or lost. And all this without needing any changes to your applications or restricting their behavior. You can read more about how Native HA works here.
MQ Console remote queue manager support
Customers can view and manage their entire MQ estate from a single graphical user interface, regardless of whether MQ is deployed in private or public clouds, on mainframe or on IBM MQ Appliance. While businesses aspire to relocate all computing assets to a public cloud, in many cases, some applications and services remain on-premise. Hybrid cloud — and particularly hybrid multicloud — helps a business achieve its technical and business objectives more effectively and cost-efficiently than public cloud or private cloud alone. In fact, according to one recent study, companies derive up to 2.5x the value from hybrid cloud than from a single-cloud, single-vendor approach. Enterprise messaging provides a way for applications to pass data conversationally, while removing the rigid point-to-point connectivity that cripples the ability to move workloads freely between public and private clouds.
With several deployment options, including a certified container for Red Hat OpenShift, businesses can choose the optimal cloud computing environment for their workloads and know that business data, wherever it’s coming from or going to, will get there with IBM MQ. And with remote queue manager support, customers running IBM MQ software can manage all their MQ deployments from a single place, dramatically simplifying administration. Please note that MQ Appliance does not ship with this feature; however, customers with other form factors can view MQ Appliance queue managers from the MQ Console. You can read more about the MQ Console remote queue manager support here.
More updates and improvements
Each Continuous Delivery release usually contains several small updates or incremental improvements to make IBM MQ easier to work with (keeping your engineering teams happy!) or to make MQ more useful in a world where technology needs are always evolving:
- Uniform cluster enhancements in version 9.2.3 enable clients to automate the rebalancing of workloads from Liberty JEE applications. Uniform clusters are a specific pattern of an MQ cluster that provides a highly available and horizontally scaled collection of queue managers. These queue managers are configured almost identically, enabling an application to interact with them as a single group. MQ takes on the overhead of ensuring application instances are spread evenly across the queue managers.
- Replicated Data Queue Manager improvements in 9.2.3 are made to help customers ensure they have loaded the correct kernel module and to improve diagnostics.
- Dead-Letter Queues (DLQ) store messages that cannot be delivered. These are later retrieved and processed or removed by a DLQ (runmqdlq) handler. In 9.2.3, the DLQ handler can now connect to a queue manager that is running remotely, including an MQ Appliance or cloud environment. This simplifies the task of processing messages across the MQ estate that cannot be delivered to their correct destination.
- Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP) additional channel attributes are added to enable interoperability through this open standard application layer protocol between systems, regardless of vendor or platform.
And finally, IBM MQ 9.2.3 includes updates to the usability of the MQ Console and security updates for password encryption. IBM MQ takes the security of your business data seriously and you can find out more about security here.