It's the EAI for connecting all our services like transport systems, replenishment systems, and order entry systems to our supply chain warehouse systems.
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Lead Architect at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
It's a very strong integration platform but it's developed as more of an on-premise solution
Pros and Cons
- "The most valuable feature is that it's a very strong integration platform but it is quite a monolithic solution. It's got everything."
- "It's hard to put in a nutshell, but it's sort of developed as more of an on-premise solution. It hasn't moved much away from that."
What is our primary use case?
What is most valuable?
The most valuable feature is that it's a very strong integration platform and it is quite a monolithic solution. It's got everything.
At the moment we're trying to be a little bit more nimble in terms of how we deliver things for the business. We need to look at using some of the cloud-first as we have invested quite heavily in Azure. So we want to move away from all our legacy data centers and at the right time, we will move into the cloud as much as possible.
What needs improvement?
It's hard to put in a nutshell, but it's sort of developed as more of an on-premise solution. It hasn't moved much away from that. But we want to use the auto-scaling and scalability of some of the cloud services. It has developed a fair bit in terms of even the database of the board and stuff like that. Over the next three to five years, we want to move totally into the Azure.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have been using IBM MQ for fifteen years in total.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It's very stable.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It's the old way, old school scaler, where you need to add calls and you need to add memory, you need to add compute power, and you need to add storage capacity. You need to have bigger CPUs and more and more cores.
That's the old way of doing it. So you need to think about hardware. You need to think about memory, you need to think about storage capacity, you need to think about different switches, network switches, and whatnot. Scalability hasn't been a problem. It's just the sort of older generation of doing scaling so we want to be able to scale in the cloud.
The process for the scaling could be a little bit simplified.
How are customer service and technical support?
IBM handles technical support. They are good.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We did a selection and instead of going with some of the others, like TIBCO and whatnot, we went with IBM MQ.
How was the initial setup?
We've set it up in several ways. I had it for a year. Each original implementation was with Accenture and we've had several crews come in to manage the services. There are different SIs that come in like Tech Mahindra and HCL. Over 15 years we've had a lot of independents come in and support.
We're just building on top of the existing platform now. But we've made a strategic decision to move away from this on-premise infrastructure, the data centers if possible.
We've got 4,000 employees, it's quite a sizeable business that we take on vendors to come in. We're not an IT shop. Different managed services from different vendors.
We don't consider users for the platform. It's more about what transactions. So I think it ranges from two and a half million to 10 million messages a day.
What other advice do I have?
My advice would be to rethink the cloud strategy. Make sure to have certain components that you can put into the cloud. Think about cloud-first properly so that it scales automatically. It knows how to work with some of the container services that are out there so that it scales better. It has some cloud components that are good but you still have quite a strong on-prem infrastructure to support it.
It's quite a complete solution. They have modules and stuff that they acquire and may add on as features and modules, additional modules, which is a very complete solution. It's been expensive to keep going the way we're going. And the turnaround is a bit slow, slower than we want. The business is changing quite rapidly, being in retail so we need to pivot quite quickly. And so that's why we're looking at seriously moving towards the cloud where we can simplify some of our processes and actually even our maintenance in it and the way we operate.
I would rate IBM MQ a seven out of ten.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?
If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.