IBM MQ Review

Easy to manage, it's the most robust product I've worked with

What is our primary use case?

In our company, it's the main hub for our whole CRM solution. MQ manages things through the Broker.

What is most valuable?

I like the whole idea. But the first things are its simplicity and its robustness. Compared to any other product, it's the most robust I've worked with. And it's extremely easy to manage.

What needs improvement?

The worst part is the monitoring or admin, especially in the ACE or Broker. There is always a problem of transparency. In MQ you can observe any process and you know exactly what's going on behind the scenes, but with the ACE or Broker, it's a problem monitoring the HTTP inputs. It's like a black box.

The reason that I'm emphasizing monitoring is that I used to work for the company that produced the administration and monitoring tools for IBM. There was a lot of competition and a lot of confusion in the market. When I moved to this company I actually used my previous experience and wrote my own tools. I am not much of a C# programmer, so I was struggling a bit. I know the concepts, but I was missing some straightforward support from IBM. They were selling it as a part of Tivoli, but you needed to implement the whole Tivoli infrastructure. If you had some other monitoring provider it was a bit of a pain. That is my concern here.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been certified as an MQ specialist since 1997 so I have about 23 years' experience in this field. I've been using it since version 2.0. Currently, I'm in production support and supporting version 9, mainly.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's stable. I'm working for a FT 500 company, a global company employing about 60,000 people, and we've been using this product ever since I joined the company in 2003. We haven't had a single major performance issue or crash.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's scalable. We have gradually increased our usage over time.

How are customer service and technical support?

I am satisfied with the support from IBM. To be honest, I used to be an IBM trainer for this product, so I know people there. The only issue I have is that if the product goes out of service, it's difficult to get PMR (Problem Management Report) for it. In production, a lot of businesses tend to stick with the older versions.

How was the initial setup?

I've been doing it for over 20 years, so it's straightforward to me. Beginners might struggle with the initial settings, like user rights and the basic stuff, but setting up MQ is fine.

What other advice do I have?

Before joining this company I was mainly consulting for various companies in Germany, and I noticed the core problem was always that in projects where MQ was implemented, they were targeting too low on the management food chain. You need that to go as high as possible because it changes the whole paradigm, your ways of thinking. A lot of the implementations were bad because they were partially patching some problems at the bottom level. The whole strategy was never oriented to messaging. My suggestion would be to be aware of that. Go global from the start. Don't address things partially.

There is a team of four people who supervise all MQ activities here.

I would rate IBM MQ at 10 out of 10, but ACE or Broker are between eight and nine, because of the lack of transparency.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

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