IBM MQ Review

A reliable and scalable solution that comes with advanced features and good support

What is our primary use case?

We are all using the file transfer or MQ FTP feature. We are also it for distributed queuing and clustering.

What is most valuable?

Currently, we are not using many advanced features. We are only using point-to-point MQ. I have previously used features like context-based authentication, SSL authentication, and high availability. These are good and pretty cool features. They make your business reliable.

For critical business needs, everyone uses only IBM MQ. It is the first choice because of its reliability. There is a one-send-and-one-delivery feature. It also has a no-message-loss feature, and because of that, only IBM MQ is used in banking or financial sectors.

What needs improvement?

It would be an advantage if they can include streaming in IBM MQ, similar to Kafka. Kafka is used mainly for streaming purposes. This feature is clearly lacking in IBM MQ. If they add this feature to IBM MQ, it will have an edge over other products.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with IBM MQ for the last 14 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

IBM MQ is a very stable product. You also get very good support from IBM, but we rarely have to go back to IBM for support.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It has good scalability. We are using point-to-point or distributed MQ, so we are not that much worried about scalability. If we need scalability, we can use MQ clustering for a high workload. We can configure it for resiliency and high availability by using the multi-instance queue managers. If one of the nodes goes down, it will automatically failover to the other node. It also provides some advanced high availability features on top of the multi-instance queue manager.

How are customer service and technical support?

You get very good support from IBM. If you are facing any issues that are tricky or there is any code issue where FDC files are being generated and you're not sure what is happening, you can open a case with them. They will help you with that. They are very efficient.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very simple. The installation doesn't take more than 15 or 20 minutes.

What about the implementation team?

I have installed it myself. I'm also doing maintenance, patching, upgrades, and migrations. We have a team of 11 administrators who are working on IBM MQ. They use it on a daily basis.

The upgrade process is simple. I refer to IBM Information Center. As a part of the preparation, I go through all the steps that they have given. I correlate the information with the infrastructure that we have. According to the current infrastructure, we document the requirements, and after that, we do the upgrade. We couldn't do in-place migration or upgrade, so we had to do parallelization. We took a new server, installed the new version, created a new queue manager, and migrated all the services.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is a licensed product. As compared to an open-source solution, such as RabbitMQ, it is obviously costly. If you're using IBM Message Broker, which is a licensed product, IBM MQ is included in the same license. You don't have to pay separately for IBM MQ. The license cost of IBM MQ is lesser than IBM Message Broker.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have been asked to do a PoC for one of our use cases, and we used RabbitMQ for that. They wanted to assess RabbitMQ in comparison to IBM MQ.

Obviously, IBM MQ has more advantages when compared with RabbitMQ. The main reason for doing this PoC was that RabbitMQ is an open-source product. Cost-wise, it looks effective, but from a technical point of view as well as from the point of view of scalability and features, IBM MQ is very enriched.

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely recommend this solution, but it also depends on your needs and business case. I have been using IBM MQ for the last 14 years. I am very much used to it, and I like it. I have used other products too, such as RabbitMQ and Kafka, but not that much. 

I would rate IBM MQ an eight out of ten.

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**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Learn what your peers think about IBM MQ. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: June 2021.
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