IBM MQ Review

Integration with a specific vendor product and stability are valuable.


What is most valuable?

Integration with my vendor product is the most valuable feature. The vendor strongly prefers MQ. We had a lot of configuration issues when we tried other products. The second-most valuable feature is the stability.

How has it helped my organization?

The reliability is a benefit. We rely on it to operate our business. The fact that it's stable enables us to run our business.

What needs improvement?

With the tooling around being able to see what's in the queue, we found third-party products to be friendlier than the out-of-the-box products, as far as, "Let me see what the content is of the object that's on the queue." I want to actually be able to see what's on the queue, and the tools we were given from IBM or from the representatives were terrible. I guess that would be the thing I’d like to see. I've got the third-party products that I use now and it’s at the operating-system level, but that would be the suggestion.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. We’ve had outages and downtime but, out of about 9,000 servers, we'll have a couple go down a month. Overall, that's pretty good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability hasn't been a problem. We have a highly distributed environment. We run it across a large server farm. Each server has its own instance. I don't try to scale it vertically, so I don't have a vertical problem with it, and it scales fine across.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very disappointing. They didn't respond. Then, we nagged them a lot. We basically got, "That's why you should just upgrade to the latest version of IBM. That's a known problem with the stack. You should just upgrade. Why are you still so far behind?"

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We had some trouble when we tried to get the vendor product working with the open-source products; that didn't go well. We tried HornetQ, maybe ActiveMQ. (It was eight years ago.) We liked it better than the embedded WebSphere MQ one; better than the one inside the app server.

The vendor had a dependency that their product worked better with IBM MQ. Also, we have an extensive relationship with IBM, so that made the decision straightforward. If you're having trouble with the alternatives, just go with the existing vendor.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was complex because of what we were trying to do, as far as the distribution of a number of clones. With the IBM team, there was more internal drama and relationships – more personal problems – than there were technology problems.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We considered other solutions. It was, "Do we really have to?" with this vendor, or could we look at other things? So, we tried other things, and then came back full circle. We picked MQ because we struggled with the other ones. There's a lot of money on the table, so we actually looked at it, we did try it.

Reliability is the most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor to work with.

What other advice do I have?

Look at which features you really need.

It works fine. It does what it's supposed to do. As far as being the best product in the universe, it's a plumbing product; it doesn't have a huge range of functionality; it has a very specific functionality. But it's reliable, so it's a good product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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