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Published April 26, 2022

What is IBM MQ Monitoring?

What is IBM MQ Monitoring?

In order to answer this question, it is best to first explain what is IBM MQ and the benefits that it can bring to a business. IBM MQ (Messaging and Queuing) is a messaging system that enables applications running on different computers to communicate quickly with each other in real-time. This is achieved by exchanging messages using queues, and processed as and when computing resources and internet bandwidth allow. IBM MQ has been designed to provide high availability and reliability and can be used in a variety of different environments, including cloud computing.

IBM MQ is used by many of the top companies in the world, including 96 of the top 100 banks globally and 85% of the Fortune 100.  It is utilized by 75% of Fortune 500 companies globally and has been developed and refined over time by IBM which has spent the last 25 years investing in and improving the underlying system until we have reached the point we are at today.

IBM is the market leader in this sector, with the sheer reliability of MQ being the major selling point for businesses. No messages are lost or duplicated, even when there is network volatility or downtime. This means, for example, that if a message is sent to make a bank transfer from one account to another but there is a service interruption, the message will be safely and securely held in the message queue and will only be sent when the problem has been resolved, rather than multiple duplicate messages being sent.

If not for MQ, this might otherwise have caused multiple bank transfer messages to have been sent and caused tremendous difficulty that banks and their customers then had to unpick and resolve. This would potentially be catastrophic when you take into consideration the substantial volume of banking transactions processed each day.

What is IBM MQ Monitoring?

Monitoring of the message queuing infrastructure is required to ensure that the message traffic is flowing as anticipated and desired. Integration infrastructure monitoring is a very important aspect of most modern eCommerce, and doing this effectively can ensure the smooth running of all critical systems across a cloud-based, on-premise, or hybrid environment. Effective monitoring of message queues allows for the early diagnosis of potential problems before they come to fruition and for efficient deployment of IT development teams and resources.

Figuring out when to increase computing resources to allow a message queue to be processed more quickly and when to employ different tactics such as removing a blockage to the system can be aided greatly by high-quality MQ monitoring systems.

Being able to look at the message queue in real-time and monitor the movement of messages, drilling down into logs to examine any error messages, and figure out where problems are arising is a key part of ensuring that businesses are running smoothly and without incident. This is ever more important as outages and downtime can cost businesses a lot of money. Being ahead of the curve and seeing problems coming down the tracks can save huge amounts of money and resources being thrown at a problem.

Various Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), Application Performance Management (APM) and Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations (AIOps) solutions in the marketplace claim to be able to provide this, typically using the metrics that IBM provides as standard with IBM MQ.

How can Nastel Technologies help?

At Nastel we have developed the industry-leading MQ monitoring tools such as Navigator, Autopilot, and XRay. These allow for monitoring that goes far deeper than the out-of-the-box solutions generally offered and allows an all-at-once overview of the entire messaging system including not just IBM MQ but any connected middleware, applications, and infrastructure.

The Messaging and Queuing monitoring offered by these solutions allow for custom rules to be put in place which will trigger when certain events take place. For example, if the message queue exceeded the desired maximum number of messages then an alert could be sent to the IT team in order to figure out where the bottleneck is happening.

There can be pre-defined solutions to certain problems, for example, if it seems that there is a connectivity issue and this is causing messages to back up in the message queue, it is possible that the size of the queue can be increased automatically to take this into account and store the extra messages until such a time as connectivity is restored and the messages can continue to send and exit the queue.

If the problem lies in a different area, however, another solution may be required and this is why the alerting systems embedded in our software are so important, ensuring that those who need to know about the problem learn of it in a timely manner and can take the necessary steps manually to resolve the issue if needed.

The quality of the drill-down tools provided by Nastel Navigator, Autopilot, and Xray means that the root cause of the issue is easy to identify. This can sometimes be a bad initial message that is holding up the entire message queue, and moving the message or deleting it can be enough to allow the queue to start moving again.

The benefits of a simplified interface with an emphasis on low-code and rules-based solutions mean that management can maintain a high level of understanding across the board and can plan accordingly for the future.

The tools provided by Nastel for MQ monitoring will allow your business to make the most of the possibilities offered by this technology and to benefit from the flexibility and power of IBM MQ while having the security and safety of knowing that you have all of the tools at hand to quickly and easily analyze, examine and resolve any problems that may arise.