Observability, AIOps, APM, and i2M: The Partner Ecosystem for IBM MQ Enterprises
Complex enterprises have an integration infrastructure (i2) layer that connects technologies and applications across cloud, data center, virtualized systems, mainframe, edge computing, etc.
Integration Infrastructure Management (i2M) is the “management” of the i2 layer and includes:
- Configuration and security management
- Monitoring and fault management
- Alerting and automation
- Performance optimization
The i2 layer includes a core middleware application (such as IBM MQ) along with many other “integration” technologies, such as MFT (managed file transfer), IoT, REST APIs, DataPower Gateway, and other messaging technologies (i.e., Kafka, TIBCO EMS, IBM ACE, IBM Integration Bus (IIB) and more).
Innovation (and company growth through mergers and acquisitions) have resulted in the total cost of i2 being in the region of 25-40% of the total IT spending. For most enterprises, integration has become the largest single line-item of the budget and i2 is now the heart of an ever-growing IT stack.
When the goal is monitoring or extracting intelligence from many parts of an enterprise, there is no shortage of popular tools grouped into categories like APM (Application Performance Monitoring), AIOps, and even Observability (for DevOps and SRE crowds).
The Integration Infrastructure (i2) has unique elements that are foreign to the APM, AIOps, and Observability tools featured in the coveted analyst quadrants and bullseye charts. Not the least of which are messaging middleware applications, with their message queues enabling the complex communication necessary to run an enterprise.
The number of i2M solution vendors is much smaller when you’re looking at managing a mixture of the many i2 technologies in a unified, performance-focused way, and the tools which come with core i2 applications like IBM MQ and Apache Kafka fall short.
At the intersection of i2M, Observability, AIOps, and APM solutions for complex enterprises are IBM and Nastel Technologies. Committed to Integration Infrastructure Management for decades and a player in AIOps and APM for diverse IT eco-systems, they are now powering i2M (and more) at seven of the ten largest global banks.
The key moving forward is how well your i2M tool/s works with your other analytics and management tools. Can they meet your i2M needs and address “intelligence” gaps and blind spots from your existing APM, Observability, and AIOps vendors? Can they seamlessly augment your current analytics and management toolset?
For example, Nastel puts a premium on partnering with other vendors to fill all i2M and i2M data-related gaps. Observability, APM, and AIOps solutions were all built with log files and Cloud infrastructures in mind. The i2 layer and its message and other integration-related data were not part of the data feeds. That creates an information gap that hinders these solutions from delivering what was fully expected by enterprises.
When planning for 2022 and beyond, keep the integration infrastructure layer in mind, including the tools to best manage your messaging middleware and other i2. Also, keep in mind whether your APM, Observability, and AIOps solutions are only partially doing their job today and need to be infused with data from your integration layer. Your organization has invested heavily in integration for years and that investment needs to be expertly managed and provide an ROI in the form of real-time analytics, insights, and speed-to-market.