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IBM moves on messaging middleware management front

In this interview with SearchSOA, IBM integration vice president Kathy McGroddy Goetz talks middleware management and SOA.

Growing complexity in application integration and software infrastructure is changing the middleware management space. Message queuing (MQ) product vendors notice a growing need to manage and monitor message queuing, while industry insiders note two clear trends in MQ management: simplicity and security.

Kathy GoetzKathy McGroddy Goetz, VP of business development and information management, IBM

SearchSOA.com recently discussed the current state of middleware management with Kathy McGroddy Goetz. Goetz is vice president of business development and information management at IBM; formerly, she served as vice president of connectivity and integration product management for IBM's WebSphere MQ messaging family. Here, she speaks about the newest developments in messaging middleware management at IBM -- and shares insight into common issues in the space, such as scalability and security.

It seems there is a growing need to manage and monitor messaging middleware and services.

Absolutely. It's interesting, because we've almost grown up with SOA and the early evangelists around SOA and SOA governance. The governance aspect, on the one hand, is sort of a dirty word. People are afraid of it because it sounds like a bad thing coming from above. But it's so critically important in this day with everything—with barriers being knocked down and trying to manage within and beyond the enterprise.

You really want to be able to create dashboards and manage and monitor who's accessing your services and what they're doing with them, and whether you can monetize that. It's becoming more and more critical, in my opinion. I think you'll see a convergence in terms of governance becoming a more important capability across runtimes and then also expanding to [include] services beyond the enterprise itself. 

Message queuing is a long-standing middleware method. What is new there for IBM?

Our WebSphere MQ Telemetry product, we put it out there as an open standard and we're trying to get it out there and make it pervasive and ubiquitous. It's really interesting to see how people are using it and taking advantage and again the number of things that people are trying to connect to.

Specifically, with WebSphere MQ, we have had a lot of additional scale and performance enhancements, very strong throughput enhancements on a variety of platforms, both for persistent and non-persistent messaging. Those are very strong performance improvements because, again, you need to be able to scale as you go forward. In addition to that, as I said, with the Telemetry protocol we've enabled our queue managers now to be able to connect with more than 100,000 MQ Telemetry endpoints. You need to be able to really scale these things.

We have the [File Transfer Edition, or FTE] which is a component for WebSphere MQ and it really helps with manage file transfer, for example, between point-of-sale and headquarters, so you can kind of push and pull file data between various sources and destinations and do a lot of it in parallel.

We also have the advanced message security capabilities. We have customers that use that, for example, for core banking applications because, again, you've got all this data flying around out there and you want to make sure that it's properly secured.

I think [messaging middleware] is a very exciting area and it's becoming so much more relevant. SOA  [is] even more important in this world of exploding endpoints and what I sometimes call "hyper-connectivity."  I think it's a great opportunity for enhancements and expansions in this space in terms of adding capabilities to continue to grow.

Does your Cast Iron cloud product give people easier ways to deal with application integration complexity?

We do a lot of work in terms of trying to develop fast, easy and simple connectivity-leveraging capabilities like Cast Iron. It's got a library of what we call "chips and connectors" that provide easy templates to connect things that are commonly used.

For example, [there is] hybrid cloud connectivity, where you're taking an application running on premise—like maybe SAP—and you want to connect it into SalesForce.com. You ask: ‘How can I do that in a very rapid fashion without having to write custom code?’

The more enablement like this that we can provide customers, I think the faster we can help them connect.

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