IBM MessageSight: Making connections in the Internet of Things
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For many years, we have heard about messaging models and topologies, like point-to-point and publish/subscribe models based on a variety of supporting technologies such as IBM WebSphere Message Queuing (MQ) or Java Message Service (JMS). These models and technologies have been out there for years, which shows how reliable and accepted in the industry they are.
Computing, as we knew it before, was present only in offices, data centers, universities and at our desks at home, but now computing technologies are so present in our lives that they reach into nearly everything, like smartphones, cars, toys, oil pipes, shoes, the hangers inside a clothing store and much more. Almost everything you can think of is or could be connected, which reminds me of the term Internet of Things, where many devices that once were unthinkable as Internet-connected things have now come to life with their own IP addresses.
The big transformation effort that we are all facing these days to move from IP version 4 to IP version 6 proves that. Billions of devices are now connected and generating a massive amount of data every second. Impressive technology is required to handle this volume of devices and data. I am not talking about a repository or a database to hold all this data; in fact, I am talking about a way to receive and push data out in near real time on the scale of millions of messages and connected devices. The fast world needs a fast response in order to take fast action.
IBM MessageSight appliance
Here is where a dedicated messaging infrastructure is required to simplify all of this data in a fast, secure and reliable way. Consider this: I like to think that my fridge does what it is supposed to do pretty well. I don’t expect my fridge to bake a cake or cook an egg for me. In the same way, I don’t expect my dishwasher to keep my soda cool. So, what if we have a dedicated appliance that does well in the field of millions of devices, exchanging messages for the scenarios we are facing today?
This is where IBM MessageSight comes into place—a purpose-built appliance made for this new, connected world. MessageSight can put together a large number of “things” and handle a huge number of messages with consistent latency. Message Queue Telemetry Transport (MQTT) is at the core of this product, bringing a wide range of possible use cases including mobile technologies.
IBM MessageSight Appliance
To get a better idea of where MessageSight can be used, consider the following scenarios:
Fan-out broadcast: A retailer sends stock level updates to their sales force from one central office
Fan-in per device: A hospital needs to monitor the blood pressure of high-risk patients. Each patient’s device remotely sends data containing ID, blood pressure and time stamp to the IBM MessageSight appliance that sits inside the hospital.
Fan-out per device: A transport company wants to send lock or unlock commands to each of their vehicles.
Fan-out per device request/reply: A security company needs to remotely lock or unlock safes in different locations for a maintenance task. After issuing the command, the company expects to receive a lock or unlock status confirmation from each safe.
Fan-in per device request/reply: On the way home, a customer decides to reserve a particular item from a store. Before driving to a specific store, the customer has to know if the reservation is confirmed and which store has the product ready for pickup.
These are just a few use cases, and you may have noticed that some of them require some level of security, either because the messages are flowing from disparate devices across the Internet or because the data being transferred is sensitive. IBM MessageSight was built with these concerns in mind, and besides being extremely capable and ready for the new Internet of Things era, it is secure as well.
I look forward to hearing from you about what other use cases may benefit from IBM MessageSight. Catch me on Twitter @giulianodm.
Giuliano Diniz de Morais is an Advisory Software Engineer at IBM Brazil Software Labs. He is currently part of the Worldwide Technical Professionals team for WebSphere working with Business Partner enablement across Latin America. Follow Giuliano on Twitter at @giulianodm.