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It's a good day for good news...Announcing a new release of MQ for z/OS!
Pratin Ashtekar 2700046SAG firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  system_z_software mainframe impact2014 z/os appinfra ibmimpact mq | 2,288 Visits
By Leif Davidsen,
Senior Product Manager - WebSphere Messaging Portfolio.
There are some things that come around every day. Good things, like new business and new customers. Other daily occurrences are not so good, like hardware failures, network problems, or security fixes to apply. Then there are some things that come around much less frequently, but they are worth waiting for. Good days like when a new version of IBM MQ for z/OS is announced. Days like today – the 23rd of April 2014.
That’s right. At IBM we are happy to announce IBM MQ V8. You can read the announcement letters here:
However for the rest of this entry let’s concentrate on the new announcements for the z/OS platform.
There are a lot of new capabilities, and plenty of enhancements and improvements included in the announcements. At this point I will just call out a few of the high level items, and leave myself plenty of opportunity to come back on subsequent blogs and dive a little deeper into some of the new and improved areas.
Let’s start with one of the changes that maybe either big or small depending on your perspective. We are starting, with this version, to call this product IBM MQ, as opposed to WebSphere MQ, mirroring a change you may have seen in some other products in recent years. After all MQ connects your entire infrastructure, so referring to it as IBM MQ rather than WebSphere MQ is perhaps more indicative of that breadth of coverage. It does of course continue to work with all the previous releases of WebSphere MQ, and in fact when you order it and install it, you will still see it as WebSphere MQ, but over time, expect changes in the product to reflect the new branding, while continuing to deliver the same robust messaging infrastructure.
So what else is new? Plenty of course has changed for the better, and many of the changes can be grouped as enhancements to boost both security and scalability, improving support for standards, and also doing more to exploit the hardware being used. These changes should reflect an overall improvement in the ease of use of IBM MQ in this release, simplifying configuration and reducing operational tasks.
From a security point of view, some of the key changes include the authentication of userids defined in the operating system. More changes include support for multiple certificate authorities in a single queue manager, and the use of DNS Hostnames in Channel Authentication Records.
From a scalability point of view there are enhancements, especially for publish-subscribe, including a change in the way clustering works for pub-sub. These changes in scalability are particularly designed to improve real-world scalability, rather than being tuned to demonstrate performance in confected examples.
Notable in new standards is support for JMS 2.0 with new messaging features and updates to the API.
For our customers using MQ on z/OS there are some particularly notable enhancements that offer new capabilities and exploit some of hardware updates likely to be available. There is support for 64 bit buffer pools, and a wider log Relative Byte Address as well as support for the zEDC compression and Coupling Facility Flash. Likely to be of real interest is the announcement that we have removed the Client Attachment Feature, meaning that there will no longer be a charge to connect MQ Clients on other platforms to MQ on z/OS. This applies from today, not just on MQ V8 but on WMQ V7.0.1 and V7.1 as well.
And also don’t forget that on z/OS we not only have the standard Monthly License Charge way to purchase MQ, but also, for new workloads we have IBM MQ for z/OS Value Unit Edition, which provides the same product, but as a One Time Charge offering.
Other changes include MQ Advanced Message Security (AMS) is now more tightly integrated with MQ itself, meaning it is now installed and started with MQ for z/OS, although it still requires separate entitlement, or entitlement as a part of IBM MQ Advanced for z/OS V8. Also part of IBM MQ Advanced for z/OS, and separately is IBM MQ Managed File Transfer V8, allowing file contents to be moved as MQ messages, enabling file to file transfer, as well as file to message and message to file transfers.
Lots more detail to come so please come back for more, and hopefully I will see you at IBM Impact next week in fabulous Las Vegas, where I will aim to blog again with some more details of the enhancements to IBM MQ for z/OS V8