Red Hat AMQ Review

Scalable to a point, but the product is not stable and technical support needs to be improved


What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for message queuing.

We have been having a great deal of trouble with this solution. However, I have to point out that I do not really trust our infrastructure, as I have just discovered that it is worthless. This leaves us with the question as to which degree these problems are AMQ's or our own.

What needs improvement?

There are several areas in this solution that need improvement, including clustering multi-nodes and message ordering. There should be better support for having messages be ordered per bucket.

Technical support for this solution needs improvement. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for between a year and two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is completely unstable. We lose messages.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not yet had to scale this solution because we don't have a lot of messages. My impression is that it is average in terms of scalability. Limited, to a certain point.

This is a backend product so there are no users, but we have approximately twenty applications that we let it work with.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support for this solution is below average. They didn't really solve the problem and it took a lot of time. For six months, we were going back and forth. Their response was not something like "Oh, you have that burning problem? We will send you some consultants who are going to solve that for you, with you." It was more like, "Yeah, you open a ticket. You get a reply." Then, the reply isn't really saying much and it's a big back and forth.

A couple of months later that have something that could be a fix, that kind of stuff. Ultimately, they did not help us out a lot. That said, I think that many of the problems were really very strange to them because our infrastructure has network issues. This may have been the reason that they could not give us a straight answer.

When you deploy a product somewhere in an environment, on hardware, and your hardware is not functioning properly, then you might experience the weirdest kinds of bugs that people just aren't familiar with. I can imagine that people sitting remotely were scratching their heads when they saw our problem, and couldn't get them reproduced. I don't want to be too harsh on them, but if I didn't know that I had infrastructure problems, I would rate technical support quite below average.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

Prior to this solution, we used HornetQ. It is no longer supported, which is why we switched to this solution.

How was the initial setup?

I did not perform the initial setup of this solution, but from my understanding it is average.

With the trouble that we have been having with this product, we have reinstalled many configurations of it and we're still experiencing issues. We did multiple reinstalls, had bugs, tried to do other configurations, etc.

One person is enough for deployment and maintenance.

What about the implementation team?

We deployed this solution with our in-house team, and we requested assistance as well.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I was not here when this solution was chosen, but I can say that the person who selected this option was gone two months later. I think it must have been a very average evaluation. It may have been chosen because it's supported by Red Hat, and I'm working at a Red Hat-minded company. Everything is Red Hat. It was an obvious choice for many reasons.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to anybody who is implementing this solution is to make sure that you get the clustering configuration right and that it actually works, and beware of message ordering problems. Simply, for us, there were a lot of features that did not work properly because of the clustering configuration.

Unfortunately, that was not mentioned in the manual, or anywhere else, so we had to find out that certain things simply don't work when you go and cluster and when you scale it out.

If I knew for sure that the technology didn't work and that was the cause of our problems then I would rate this product a three out of ten, but I know there are also other factors involved, so I can't really say that it's the technology.

I would rate this solution a four out of ten.

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