Should I read the new IBM Redbook on the MQ Appliance?

Should I read the new IBM Redbook on the MQ Appliance?

By Christine Medley

Neil Casey, a senior consultant from Syntegrity Solutions, has just spent a month in the US with two IBM colleagues, Andy Emmett and Rufus Russell, working on a Redbook residency. The IBM Redbook Integrating the IBM MQ Appliance into your existing MQ Infrastructure is scheduled for publication later this year and “presents underlying concepts and practical advice for integrating the MQ Appliance M2000 into an existing IBM MQ infrastructure.” (1)

As I chatted to Neil about his residency, I was really able to feel his passion for this subject. As this was his second IBM Redbook residency (2), he knew how to get the best book possible in the time provided. So on arrival he jumped right into writing on the second day, working on sections of the book which didn’t require a physical appliance. He was able to start on some of the planning and administration sections due to his extensive experience with MQ and the IBM DataPower appliances. However, without the physical appliances on-site, the plan to complete the initial draft of the book by the end of week 3 was way off schedule. “In the end, some of the chapters didn’t get finished until several weeks after the Residency ended, and the reviews were done remotely. Once we had the appliance, it was full tilt building the environment and recording everything (screen shots, scripts and so forth) to be included in the chapters. Then we put the chapters together as we implemented the different components.”

So let’s figure out the best audience for the new IBM Redbook on the MQ appliance.

Who is the target audience for this publication?

This book is mainly targeted at clients/organisations who already have MQ or who would like to integrate the MQ appliance into their IT systems.

What value does it provide to those clients/organisations?

This book’s key value to the reader is it gives you a “specialist in your pocket”. It is aimed at the MQ administrator, who used to be a tiny part of a whole big ecosystem of administrators who used to be required to get an MQ Queue Manager up and running. With this book, and the MQ appliance, the MQ administrator can basically do everything themselves without the huge interdependencies between remote teams. Gone are the issues with figuring out where a solution went wrong, the problem diagnosis time is minuscule. Gone are the issues of waiting for other teams to respond, there is only one guy.

What is the one main gotcha or benefit you learned whilst doing this residency?

The HA on the MQ appliance is amazing. The old model of shared resources, an active/passive node and a clustered file system is obsolete with the appliance. What used to take you hundreds of man hours to get set up and going, will now take you less than a day (given you have all your resources at hand!). Plus finding the problem is so much faster! Save time, save money.

If you’d like to see more about the HA on the MQ appliance, there are some videos about configuring the HA here.

In summary, if you have MQ in your organisation, or you are considering buying the new MQ appliance for your IT infrastructure, this Redbook provides a great starting point. Plus, if you want extra support, Neil is always available to help transition your team to the MQ appliance.


(2) Neil’s other IBM Redbook residency was in 2012 when he was a co-author of “Secure Messaging Scenarios with WebSphere MQ

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A bit more about Neil Casey; Neil went to RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology), now called RMIT University, and once known as “the working men’s college“. He studied Computer Science there part time whilst working full time at the State Bank of Victoria. He knew from a very early stage in his life that IT was his passion. It clicked straight away with him as he loved the immediate response and reward IT provided. To this day, he still feels “infinitely blessed that people pay him to do what he loves”.

Christine Medley is the Consulting Product Manager at Syntegrity Solutions, a specialist IT consultancy that focuses on digital innovation enablement. She has over 10 years experience in the IT industry and has consulted on enterprise integration and connectivity including top-tier banks and major retail companies.

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