I’m delighted to announce that the new release of IBM IoT MessageSight – v5 is Generally Available!

Read the formal announcement.

What is IoT MessageSight?

IoT MessageSight at it’s simplest is a fully featured MQTT server.¬† It’s designed from the ground up to be high performance and high scale – supporting hundreds of thousands of connections from a single instance and millions of messages per second.

We use IoT MessageSight technology within our IBM Watson IoT Platform service in IBM Cloud to provide our MQTT connectivity.

Where can I deploy it?

It’s software and available as Linux RPMs to install on CentOS or Red Hat Enterprise Linux.¬† It comes with a docker file to help you quickly construct docker containers if you want to deploy with docker.¬† You can deploy on premise or in the cloud – Amazon, Microsoft Azure and IBM Cloud deployments are all supported.

What’s new?

New MQTT standards support with MQTT v5

The MQTT standards folks have been working on improving MQTT for some time – looking at how to make it more efficient and easy to use without sacrificing the features that have made it so popular.

IoT MessageSight fully supports MQTT v5 as well as the previous v3.1.1 and v3 standards.

There are loads of new features in MQTT v5, some of the highlights:

  • Save bytes on the wire with topic alias
  • Faster problem determination with better error handling
  • Shared subscriptions standardised for scalability
  • New request/response construct
  • Route without payload inspection with Message Properties

There’s more detail about this in the specification itself, the IoT MessageSight knowledge centre and in the formal announcement letter.

As well as MQTT v5, we’ve been working on some other great new features:

MQTT Bridge

The MQTT Bridge is a great new feature.¬† It’s separately deployable, and as the name suggests allows you to bridge from MessageSight to another MQTT server.¬† As a result you can build a hierarchy of MessageSight servers, or create a hybrid model with a MessageSight server on premise connecting to Watson IoT Platform in the cloud.

It’s much more flexible than a simple bridge, allowing you to consolidate topics together and filter.¬† The bridge is stateless and as a result scales effortlessly by adding more instances.

  • Route messages to MQTT servers including other instances of IoT MesageSight and IBM Watson IoT Platform in the cloud
  • Consolidate topics together
  • Filter
  • Build hierarchies of IoT MessageSight instances

Bridge to Kafka and IBM Event Streams

Like the MQTT bridge, this is a separately deployable and scalable component designed to bridge the IoT MessageSight MQTT server to a Kafka instance.  That could be your own deployment of Kafka, IBM Event Streams either on ICP or in IBM Cloud.

MessageSight and Kafka are a powerful combination – MessageSight giving you the scalability to address hundreds of thousands of clients individually with their own topics and Kafka giving you persistent scalable buffering.

Performance optimisations

As always we’re looking to maximise performance with IoT MessageSight – we’ve made lots of internal tweaks to improve message rates, and also added some options to allow you to improve performance further:

  • Optimize performance for high, medium and low predicted loads
  • Expire unused sessions to save memory

Get started now!

The free for-developers edition will be available here on or shortly after Dec 14th.


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