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The MQ Appliance provides the same core functionality as the MQ software product in a simplified ‘plug it in and go’ hardware form factor. You can run multiple queue managers on a single appliance, and in general, experienced MQ administrators or developers should feel at home – you’ll just find more of the boring ‘set up’ and management work has been done for you. It also provides some neat appliance specific features, in particular the built in High Availability support allows you to take a pair of appliances and mirror all persistent message data between them. If you’re new to MQ, the appliance is a great place to start, since once again any installation and management hurdles are instantly cleared, letting you get straight to the interesting bit – getting your applications up and running and taking advantage of all that enterprise class asynchronous messaging can offer. All messaging APIs (including JMS and MQLight) are used in exactly the same way as on any software MQ platform, so, for example, you can develop on your workstation using the (free) MQ Advanced for Developers edition and then deploy to the MQ Appliance. Just bear in mind that as the appliance is a securely locked down system, all applications will need to connect in MQ client mode (there is no ‘local bindings’ concept with the appliance).
For application developers:
- Exactly the same development APIs and tooling as MQ on Distributed (with a few minor differences, generally to make the appliance simpler to use)
- Almost all MQ Advanced functionality in the box (includes AMS for end to end and at rest encryption, and File transfer support)
- Client only – applications always connect via TCP, no user code runs on the appliance
- Includes AMQP channel / MQLight API support for lightweight rapid application development and deployment
- Simple built-in HA with rapid failover, no message loss, and potentially no application code changes required
- Vastly simplified maintenance – one shot, secure firmware upgrades
- Only IBM firmware ever runs on the system – no exits, no resource hungry application code!
- Powerful system management and monitoring APIs (REST, SNMP)
- Dashboard UI, with enhanced resource monitoring
- See ‘Sample Code’ in the useful links section below for example management scripts in GitHub
The MQ Appliance is also:
- Based on IBM’s years of experience with (and some firmware components from) DataPower hardware appliances
- High performance, with much less variability (locked down system with no application code, and you’re working with the exact same hardware IBM generates our performance reports, MPA1 and MPA2, on)
- Supported by the same great support team and processes, with the added assurance of the same hardware / a completely ‘IBM owned’ stack