IBM MQ Review

It cuts out a lot of programming that has to be done for transforming data into the format that we need it to be.

Valuable Features

It's fairly easy to set up and configure. It's very effective as far as what we need to do with the type of processing that we're trying to get done, message-based processing. It is easily replicate-able. We have tons of servers that actually handle different queues; it's very helpful with that.

Improvements to My Organization

In conjunction with some other products we use, such as IIB, it does a lot of the transformation. It cuts out a lot of programming that has to be done for transforming data from our carrier customers into the format that we need it to be. That's really one of the big benefits.

Room for Improvement

There is room for improvement with the price. It's actually not really one of the high-priced items, but everything's relative.

I'm not really sure that there's a lot that we could really think of that we would need above and beyond where we are today, and the way we use it.

What would be nice is some kind of a built-in monitor. That would be something that'd be really helpful; some kind of a performance-type monitor. I know there is one, but it should be built-in. It should be automatic.

Or, a particular queue manager; that would be really helpful, I think.

Stability Issues

It's extremely stable. We very seldom have any issue with it. We have it clustered between z/OS and zLinux. We've never had any serious problem with it.

Scalability Issues

It is easily scalable; very scalable. We can scale both internally in a virtual machine – the size of a queue or a number of queues – and it's also across multiple virtual machines. We use it both ways to scale up.

On z/OS, queue managers are very easy for us to generate and build new ones if we need to or multiple queues on the same queue managers; it’s a very effective tool.

Customer Service and Technical Support

We have occasionally used technical support for MQ, if we really run into an issue. That has worked out pretty well. As a matter of fact, most of the time, for any kind of an issue, we've usually had it resolved within a day. That's the way we want it.

Previous Solutions

The decision to invest in MQ was made prior to my starting at the company I'm at. I can't take claim for that. I was at another site, and we weren't using MQ at that other site.

Initial Setup

I'm a director and me and my team were involved in the initial set up of MQ. It was very straight forward. We had people that were familiar with it. Some of the people that I worked with, or that worked for me, really had a good background, so it went very quickly, and it was very straight forward.

Other Advice

One of the things that we've been asked about is using open-source message queuing alternatives. One of the things we've always fallen back on is that we like the IBM support; we like the release. We don't want to have to worry as much about the levels of software; IBM already takes care of that. It integrates with the other products that we're using. All of those things kind of play together, especially in our case; we're a very big WebSphere Application Server, and as I’ve mentioned, a very big IIB server as well. It's really important that they all work and play together.

I’ve had really very little trouble with it. It's very effective. I don't think on either side, z/OS or zLinux, we've really had any trouble with it to speak of. Sometimes when we do some of the clustering things, we've run into questions or we run into things.

In general, it's been very, very solid.

The most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor to work with is that they're established; that we're not going to be concerned with, "They're here today, and gone tomorrow."

Probably one of the bigger criteria, nowadays, is the ability to support the software. We know we're going to run into trouble. We know we're going to have problems. We know we're going to have questions. We want to make sure that we have a vendor that can support us at that point.

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