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messaging middleware

Solving the biggest management issues for messaging middleware

Nastel Technologies®
December 16, 2019

Every company that relies on messaging middleware to operationalize the way that application stacks provide reliable and high-performance business operations, is super-aware of the time and effort involved in managing the way each business application uses messages.

Each business application must be configured to send and receive messages, and this demands very careful control on each queue, queue manager, stream and cluster.

The challenge is that the basic tools that are provided with each messaging middleware platform are not designed to allow admin staff to simply and securely manage multiple queues or managers, instead requiring each connection to be managed individually.

Common Problems

1. Scale

Enterprises that use messaging middleware will be using hundreds or even thousands of separate queues spread across many queue managers, often spanning multiple cloud and on-premise environments. Having to treat each system as an individual discrete process is not just burdensome it’s also insecure and unreliable. This makes the process of change management very complex and time consuming. With each request having to be submitted to an administrator, who must first validate the nature of the request against policy and then create a change request which must be tested before being implemented, and the change must be documented in multiple ways. When there are thousands of requests happening in any given period, this makes for a very resource-investitive process. And there will be times when the time it takes to reliably and securely make changes will hinder the progression of the business.

2. Change Management

The macro-changes that may have to happen in an environment to ensure that systems are maintained in the optimal way, with new releases of code bases being adopted at regular intervals can be difficult in a messaging middleware environment. Using the tool sets available with each release of each middleware messaging application for systems migrations, updates, upgrades and mergers has been found by almost every enterprise to be impractical. It can literally take many man-months of work to handle a change of release. This has led many businesses to delay such upgrades for many years, until they are forced to by release “end-of-life” or “end-of-support” notifications. By this time these releases may have been in use for decades, even when significant security flaws have already been identified. The lack of viable toolsets to manage mass change has meant they were not able to perform these types of upgrades. Many companies are therefore left with a wide range of legacy releases in production systems.

3. Self-Service

Ideally a business would prefer each development team and QA (Quality Assurance) team to be able to manage their own messaging requirements. There should be a secure and simple method where each application team can setup and manage their own middleware messaging queues and messages.

But the tools available with each middleware messaging application are not designed for individual application users to manage their own requirements. A user of the administration tools will have access to all the queues on a specific queue manager, and this makes it impossible to be both compliant to security and privacy policies and at the same time allow individual users to manage their own requirements. And where multiple queue managers are in use this problem is compounded, as the standard tools provided with messaging middleware systems require a separate login to each queue manager.

The Solution

Nastel Navigator provides a complete and secure solution for all the above listed issues. It’s a web-based portal that allows administrators to manage multiple queues, across multiple queue managers – cross-platform. With the ability to group-change parameters and setup schedules for when changes will be implemented. It even provides the ability to use an existing queue as a template to create new queues, simplifying the ability to roll out new instances.

Nastel Navigator provides administrators with the ability to create profiles for specific users, so that those users can use Nastel Navigator to manage just their own messaging requirements. The admin can even lock down specific functionality so that users can (for example) only create specific queues for specific purposes. And every change is recorded in an auditable way allowing for compliance and reporting.

Nastel Navigator also provides roll-back functionality, so any changed that is implemented can up rolled-back if needed. This may seem like an obvious function, but surprisingly most of the available messaging middleware tools do not provide it.

When you add up all these benefits, Nastel Navigator is able to solve the specific pain-points that most enterprise users face, allowing for much more reliable, efficient and secure delivery of messaging middleware services, and dramatically improved time to market for application teams.

For companies that see messaging middleware as a key part of their business application architecture Nastel Navigator has become the de-facto tool to improve their business performance.

Nastel Navigator is available today for IBM MQ and Tibco EMS, and is in the final stages if beta testing for Apache Kafka.

If you would like to see Nastel Navigator, a cloud based live version of Nastel Navigator for MQ pre-populated with a series of MQ Queue managers, queues and messages is available for you to look at here.

This is a live system which has been configured to allow experts in messaging middleware to “test” the technology. There is no need to download or install anything, just follow the link!

 

Nastel Technologies is the global leader in Integration Infrastructure Management (i2M). It helps companies achieve flawless delivery of digital services powered by integration infrastructure by delivering tools for Middleware Management, Monitoring, Tracking, and Analytics to detect anomalies, accelerate decisions, and enable customers to constantly innovate, to answer business-centric questions, and provide actionable guidance for decision-makers. It is particularly focused on IBM MQ, Apache Kafka, Solace, TIBCO EMS, ACE/IIB and also supports RabbitMQ, ActiveMQ, Blockchain, IOT, DataPower, MFT, IBM Cloud Pak for Integration and many more.

 

The Nastel i2M Platform provides:

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