4 Key Benefits from Using Self-Service for IBM MQ – Part 2 of 3

4 Key Benefits from Using Self-Service for IBM MQ - Part 2 of 3[This is Part 2 of a 3 part series. Catch-up with part 1, here.]

Drivers for MQ Self-Service

In Part I, we discussed the extensive interest in MQ Self-Service.  This interest is due to a number of factors, including:  the shrinking size of middleware staff, growing workloads and increasing application complexity.

At the same time application complexity rises, the demand for MQ access grows accordingly.  The number of  application developers,  IT support and operations personnel needing access to MQ is increasing and they all come to the middleware group to get help.

There are a variety of use cases that are common within most enterprises. Understanding the typical business requirements to reduce support costs and stakeholder necessities for increased visibility, message browsing and the taking of actions is essential in providing   an effective self-service system.

Typical Requirements for MQ Self-Service  

  • Visibility Anywhere: View queue status and depth, channel usage via web
  • Testing: Examine queues, channels, queue managers, and subscriptions
  • Forensics: Browse and manipulate application messages
  • Action: Act on application specific messages (move, copy, edit, route, replay, create)

Crafting an Effective Self-Service Solution

How do you go about crafting an effective self-service solution for IBM MQ?  Many organizations use IBM’s MQ Explorer. After all, why not? It comes out of the box with the product so that is certainly an option. The product has all the characteristics that you need to manage and view in the MQ environment; however, it can be challenging to use for problem diagnosis.  Some of the requirements when using MQ Explorer do not meet the objectives that we identified:

MQ Explorer is lacking:

  • Simplicity: You need to install an Eclipse client and set the appropriate security level to give access. This may end up exposing the complexity of MQ requiring tool users to have a solid understanding of MQ or they will be lost. There will be difficulties to enable non-specialists to complete their tasks.
  • Scalability: Trying to roll out the MQ Explorer to hundreds or thousands of users is challenging for most organizations as it is a manual task.
  • Security & Audit: You end up giving people more capability that you want to give them. Users can potentially see and do more than what is needed. This can be dangerous.

The Better Approach to Self Service

First, start off with a self-service monitoring dashboard which provides stakeholders a business view of MQ:

  • Activity
  • Availability
  • Performance

Teams acquire an end-to-end view of application flows through all the moving parts that make up a workflow.

Next, provide users with real-time application visibility for instant awareness of performance problems. Standard web-enabled dashboards do not typically supply this.  Users will have the capabilities to understand what is happening within MQ as they need it to understand their situation. Problem resolution time shrinks, too.  When a problem occurs, instead of calling up the middleware team to say something like “I think MQ is broken,” the user can now describe the issue that they are experiencing and place it into a business context for rapid remediation.

Then, provide deep-dive visibility. Many users do not have this insight into how MQ impacts application performance & behavior.  This approach to MQ self-service is very empowering for the user as it enables them to better understand how middleware behaves.  Stakeholders get the opportunity to participate actively and proactively diagnose situations where issues might occur. In return, this helps the team prevent situations from reoccurring.  Once deep visibility is provided for stakeholders, productivity improves.

Finally, we come to taking action. When talking about self-service, we are not merely considering how users view objects.  We are also covering how users take action to improve the situation.  Make it simple for users to understand the necessary procedures that are available to them. Help them choose the right action to perform, through effective communication in a format that is brief, easy to understand and one that enables a quick user response.

To learn more, read Part 3 of this 3 part series, “4 Key Benefits from using Self-Service for IBM MQ” and learn how users can take actions when provided with a graphical historical view on middleware performance. Find out what the key most important metrics are, how to interpret the metrics and when to invoke actions.

For more information on how you can improve productivity, increase speed of delivery to customers and reduce costs, watch the TechTalk Boost Productivity using Self-Service for IBM MQ!

Making a Happy Marriage of WebSphere & TIBCO Infrastructures (Part 6 of 6)

AutoPilot InsightMaking a Happy Marriage of WebSphere & TIBCO Infrastructures (Part 6 of 6)

(The conclusion of a six-part blog series that describes how a team of IT pros and managers at one of the world’s largest global banks accommodated a bank acquisition and mastered a complex messaging environment.)

I’ve talked about some particulars associated with one large financial institution, MegaBank. But what can people expect from AutoPilot in general with respect to performance and scalability issues? Let’s examine some topics… Continue reading

Making a Happy Marriage of WebSphere & TIBCO Infrastructures (Part 4 of 6)

TIBCO RV and EMS Metrics

TIBCO Metrics

(Fourth of a six-part blog series that describes how a team of IT pros and managers at one of the world’s largest global banks accommodated a bank acquisition and mastered a complex messaging environment.)

A major driver of MegaBank’s decision to standardize on Nastel AutoPilot was its ability to monitor all of its middleware systems. With AutoPilot’s TIBCO EMS plug-in, the IT team could easily monitor TIBCO EMS servers and components including: queues, topics, consumers, producers from a single, consolidated vantage point.

 

Continue reading

Making a Happy Marriage of WebSphere & TIBCO Infrastructures (Part 3 of 6)

(Third of a six-part blog series that describes how a team of IT pros and managers at one middleware monitoring of WebSphere MQ, TIBCO and more along with CEPof the world’s largest global banks accommodated a bank acquisition and mastered a complex messaging environment.)

Bringing Light to the Dark Side…

Nastel’s AutoPilot was already effectively monitoring MegaBank’s WebSphere MQ and homegrown MOM systems. However, while the bank trusted TIBCO, the IT team wanted to integrate TIBCO messaging products into an umbrella monitoring framework. Continue reading

Making a Happy Marriage of WebSphere & TIBCO Infrastructures (Part 2)

middleware(Second of a six-part blog series that describes how a team of IT pros and managers at one of the world’s largest global banks accommodated a bank acquisition and mastered a complex messaging environment.)

Before MegaBank’s merger with TargetBank, their IT department had been using a well-known event monitoring product to monitor WebSphere MQ. TargetBank used TIBCO Hawk to monitor their TIBCO EMS system. As the bank merger progressed, business requirements soon dictated that a seamless integration across the combined environment was necessary. But at this point, they had two separate management systems. MegaBank needed a tool that could handle their home-grown message broker plus multi-vendor middleware and messaging environments. Continue reading

Making a Happy Marriage of WebSphere & TIBCO Infrastructures (Part 1 of 6)

Nastel_IT_Layer_Web(First of a six-part blog series that describes how a team of IT pros and managers at one of the world’s largest global banks accommodated a bank acquisition and mastered a complex messaging environment.)

In the beginning, there was darkness…

Ok, I’m being a bit overly dramatic. What was happening in New York a couple of years ago at a really big global bank with almost U.S. $2 trillion in total assets—let’s call it MegaBank—was a serious lack of control. Continue reading

The ABCs of Multiple Messaging Infrastructures – Part 2

analyze across multiple messaging systemsIn the first installment of this two-part blog series I discussed a number of issues IT pros face when managing the tech aftermath of a corporate acquisition: merging different IT infrastructures. (Reminds me off an old sci-fi movie, When Worlds Collide.)

Let’s recap the frequently encountered issues I mentioned last time: Continue reading

The ABCs of Multiple Messaging Infrastructures – Part 1

abc's of multiple messaging infrastructures

Many large companies need to address—and hopefully simplify—their means of control over multi-vendor messaging infrastructures. What are the issues IT professionals often mention as causing their management and administrative workloads to get out of hand?

  • Acquisitions that expand technology diversity and overall footprint
  • Lack of visibility across multiple middleware platforms
  • The need for self-service
  • Shortage of appropriately trained human resources
  • Skyrocketing support and maintenance costs
  • Need to quickly determine root causes of software and infrastructure problems—so they can be resolved before noticeable impacts to end-user or customer satisfaction occur

Let’s explore these points a bit more…

Continue reading

Test Better, Test Faster, Test Smarter

Nastel Comments: Test smarter, the ability to identify problems sooner in the application life cycle will yield better results when the need to remediate issues arises. This can only happen when development and production are working together as a team, utilizing a common tool set, and when development is enabled with full visibility. This approach will save time and money as well as help organizations meet SLAs and drive ROI from these applications.

Test Better, Test Faster, Test Smarter - DevOps

How do you balance the need to “go fast” with the need to test everything and deliver high-quality software? With applications the driving force in today’s economy, the quality and release cadence of your software are critical to your business and your bottom line. You want to get software updated in the hands of your […]

Ask yourself, What are you trying to achieve? Is it a process where you can release code more quickly? Or where you can address bugs more readily? Then make sure you’re intimately aware of what you have in place. You need to know every step, task, process and tiny bit of your testing procedures and supporting infrastructure. Draw your entire end-to-end workflow on a whiteboard and find the bottlenecks that are slowing it down.

Read the source article at devops.com

Original Author: Contributor

Managing IT in a Hybrid Cloud World

Managing IT in a Hybrid Cloud World

Managing IT End-user monitoring ensures appropriate levels of service are being met; application  layer monitoring tests service levels for each separate application; and infrastructure monitoring helps organizations avoid large-scale outages due to infrastructure…

 

Read the source article at cloudtweaks.com