IBM MQ Managed File Transfer for z/OS agents and commands connect to either the agent, command or coordination queue managers for a Managed File Transfer topology. There has been a bit of confusion recently regarding the platforms that these queue managers can run on. In this blog post, we will look at this in more detail, and hopefully clear up the situation!

Agent queue managers

When using IBM MQ Managed File Transfer (MFT) for z/OS agents, the agent queue manager for the agents must be running on z/OS.

If:

  • The agent is running IBM MQ MFT for z/OS V9.1 or later
  • And the agent queue manager is licensed for either MQ Advanced or Advanced VUE

then the agent can connect to the queue manager using the CLIENT transport.

Figure 1: MFT V9.1 agents on z/OS can connect to a queue manager using the CLIENT transport, assuming the queue manager is licensed for MQ Advanced or Advanced VUE.

However, if:

  • The agent is running IBM MQ MFT for z/OS V9.0.0 or earlier.
  • Or the agent is running IBM MQ MFT for z/OS V9.1 or later, and the agent queue manager is licensed for Managed File Transfer.

then the agent must connect to the queue manager using the BINDINGS transport.

Figure 2: MFT V9.0 agents on z/OS, and V9.1 agents that have an agent queue manager licensed for MFT, must connect using the BINDINGS transport.

Coordination queue managers

The coordination queue manager for an MFT topology acts as a central hub for information about that topology. It stores information about the status of the various agents in the topology, and all of the managed transfers that those agents are involved in.

The coordination queue manager for an MFT topology that includes z/OS agents can run on any platform, including z/OS.

Agents publish status information to the SYSTEM.FTE topic on the coordination queue manager at regular intervals. However, they only ever connect to their agent queue manager. When they publish status information, the messages are routed through the MQ network, via the agent queue manager, to the coordination queue manager. This means that there must be a path through the MQ network from the agent queue manager on z/OS to the coordination queue manager.

Figure 3: MFT agents running on z/OS can be part of an MFT topology where the coordination queue manager is running on a distributed platform.
In addition to this, seven MFT commands will connect directly to the coordination queue manager. These commands are:

  • fteCreateTemplate
  • fteDeleteTemplates
  • fteListAgents
  • fteListMonitors
  • fteListScheduledTransfers
  • fteListTemplates
  • fteShowAgentDetails

In order to run these commands on a z/OS system, the coordination.properties file for the MFT installation where the commands are run from must contain information about how to connect to the queue manager.

Figure 4: Certain commands, such as fteListAgents, connect directly to the coordination queue manager for an MFT topology.

Command queue managers

The command queue manager acts as a gateway into an MFT topology. It is connected to the agent queue managers via sender and receiver channels. When one of the following commands is run:

  • fteCancelTransfer
  • fteCreateMonitor
  • fteCreateTransfer
  • fteDeleteMonitor
  • fteDeleteScheduledTransfer
  • ftePingAgent
  • fteStopAgent

they will connect directly to the command queue manager, and send a message to the specified agent. This message is routed through the MQ network to the agent queue manager, where it is picked up by the agent and processed.

The command queue manager for an MFT topology can run on any platform. This means that it is possible to run commands on z/OS that connect to a command queue manager on a distributed platform. In order to do this, the command.properties file for the MFT installation on the mainframe must contain information about how to connect to the command queue manager.

Figure 5: Commands, such as ftePingAgent, connect to the command queue manager for an MFT topology. It is possible to run these commands on z/OS and have them connect to a command queue manager running on a distributed platform such as Linux.

As always, I hope this helps! If you have any questions, feel free to ask and I’ll be happy to answer them.

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