WebSphere MQ for z/OS Version 8: New Toys In the Box!
MarkWomack 270000PC6X Comments (2) Visits (2037)
It's the moment you've all been waiting for (I know I have). Version 8 of WebSphere MQ has been announced and will soon officially become available for the z/OS platform (General Availability date 13 June for z/OS, eGA of 23 May for multiplatforms). When I was reviewing early release materials for documentation on the product I was happy about many of the changes that had been implemented by Development. We had seen, at the Support Center, that many of these changes were the result of problems that had come into us at the grass-roots level but were too encompassing to fix in the current service stream; thus, enter the wide span improvements that follow.
Topic host routing is introduced for publish/subscribe clusters. Queue managers now only need to be aware of those queue managers that host a particular topic. They need not be aware of, or connect to every other single queue manager within the cluster. This new way to route greatly decreases administrative PubSub traffic. Since only systems hosting topic queue managers will likely require the most resource, other systems will not necessarily require the same level of resource (and/or cost).
By the way, topic host routing is a family change so distributed platforms can leverage this as well.
Now, for as long as I can remember the "Client Attachment Feature" (CAF) has been there always as a separately licensed feature. There were some limited connectivity options for clients such as the administrative connections (5 of them to be exact) that could be made using the MQ Explorer; and then later the same number of connections that the Broker could use for administration. These were described by me in Technote 1501196 "CSQX260E Client Attachment Feature and client connections" where strict naming conventions had to be adhered to in order to use these types of administrative channels. Now, comes Version 8 where the CAF is gone. So, with it, goes the old licensing charge (and any additional installation it required in the past).
And remember that I said the Explorer and Broker could have up to 5 administrative connections? Well, now even those values can be increased past 5. In trying to sell the book I'll say: please take a look at the new documentation in the Knowledge Center topic "Removal of Client Attachment feature" for more details.
You'll also find that Version 8 not only allows for up to 100 buffer pools now, but these have also been moved into above the bar storage making things a lot easier on the private storage used by the Queue Manager. On top of that this will allow some applications to experience performance improvement.
I'm sure some readers recall (beginning way back in Version 5.3.1) some performance impacts that might have occurred because of the quantity of messages WebSphere MQ issued for client channel starts and stops. A remedy was provided back then using special service parameters. Well, fast forward to Version 8 where the new ZPARM, EXCLMSG, can be used to exclude console messages that you don't want issued.
Though there's much more in store for WebSphere MQ on z/OS at Version 8, I just wanted to finish up with the mention of support for multiple cluster transmission queues on that platform. Why multiple cluster transmission queues? Well, to improve availability. As individual cluster sender channels can now be assigned their own transmission queue it can help to remove a point of failure. The existing behavior to have individual cluster channels share a transmission queue remains an option as well.
By the way, to aid in a smooth upgrade/migration, be sure to check out the new Version 8 fixcat, named IBM.
Other enhancements and improvements across the family will come with V8 as well. We'll save that for next time; but for now instead of saying "I could have had a V8", now you actually can have V8.