Red Hat AMQ Review

Scales well and is very stable, with great technical support on offer

What is our primary use case?

Specifically, the system performs long-running queries. We needed to find a mechanism for messaging, and that was AMQ. Underneath all of this technology, it's a combination of Apache Kafka and ActiveMQ, which are two different mechanisms of messaging that could be used for different use cases whenever it's needed.

AMQ is a combination of two products, Apache Kafka and ActiveMQ, and designed into a new product that basically gives users the opportunity to work with both of them on one product.

What is most valuable?

This combination of two products, Apache Kafka and ActiveMQ, offers two ways of dealing with messaging. It's wonderful due to the fact that sometimes it's much preferable to use Kafka and sometimes it's Active MQ. We can use both of them in our arsenal.

The initial setup is straightforward. 

The solution is designed to scale well.

We've found the stability to be very good.

Technical support has been excellent overall.

What needs improvement?

AMQ is not offered as a separate offering anymore. It comes only as a part of the Red Hat Integration package. Therefore, if you would like to purchase a specific product, you can't do that. You need to go with a larger package, which is sometimes not desirable. In our case, we actually upgraded this to the bigger package from Red Hat, so this works in our favor.

For how long have I used the solution?

We started using it with one of our projects. That's the only project we've used it on. Officially, we purchased it last summer. It would be a year at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is very reliable. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It has very good scalability, the products underneath are scalable by themselves, they're inherently scalable. Each instance is on top of the containers, which gives additional scalability as well.

How are customer service and technical support?

So far technical support has been great. We were doing the setup of MQ and I would say we're pretty heavy users of Red Hat technologies in general. Their technical support is pretty responsive and the account management is great as well. I'm pretty impressed. We're quite satisfied.

How was the initial setup?

From a setup perspective, it was pretty straightforward. It was not too complex. We're using the installation on top of the OCP containers, OpenShift containers, and together with support from Red Hat, it was pretty simple.

I wasn't too involved in the actual deployment and therefore can't speak to how long it took to implement. However, my understanding is that it is pretty quick to set up. 

After the initial setup, we haven't needed any maintenance. I can't say how much it might require. The one thing that I do know, is that Red Hat is providing the templates of the containers. There is a way of upgrading with the upgrade for AMQ and other products. They provide samples. If along the way, you need to adjust the solution, it's possible to do so.

What about the implementation team?

We did have assistance from Red Hat directly. However, we didn't use any outside integrators or consultants. 

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

For AMQ itself, when we purchased it last year, it was last year that it was offered as a separate product. Right now, technically, what we bought is not available anymore. It's not relevant anymore. Therefore, the price that we paid for our subscription is not relevant to a person looking to purchase tomorrow. 

I can't recall how much we paid. However, we choose the Red Hat Integration package, the subscription, due to its affordability and the fact that it offers the functionality we require. For a commercial product, it is quite competitive.

What other advice do I have?

We are just customers and end-users. We don't have a business relationship with Red Hat.

We are using one of the most recent versions, as in addition, we purchased from Red Hat what's called Red Hat Integration, which includes the licenses for AMQ's latest version. I assume it would be the latest version.

Since the solution is no longer separated out, I would advise a company considering the solution to look into the whole package. The package consists of the other products as well, that might not be of use, or will not be needed. A company will need to be aware of this part. 

I'd also advise companies to be aware of how resources are allocated. An organization must understand how resources are allocated, from the technical point of view. They need to understand what is covered under the subscription. Technical support can help discuss it with them if they have questions. 

Overall, I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten.

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