Feeds

BMC snaps up message queue maven

Eat or watch others eat

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

System and application management tool maker BMC Software today made a rather oblique move into the message queuing middleware space by acquiring a relatively obscure company called MQSoftware.

For most commercial applications, generic message queuing middleware comes in two flavor: IBM's WebSphere MQ (formerly MQSeries) and Microsoft's Message Queuing Middleware (MQM, now part of BizTalk Host Integration Server). But ObjectWeb's open source Joram provides an alternative for coding your own queuing software for asynchronous message passing between application components.

This code has made its way into the JBoss Messaging server from Red Hat, and Red Hat has also put support for the Advanced Message Queuing Protocol into its Enterprise MRG variant of its Enterprise Linux stack. The Apache Project has implemented AMQP in a bit of code called QPid. Oracle has something called Advanced Queuing that provides similar middleware functions, and there are specialized messaging systems, such as Tibco's for financial services, aimed at specific industries.

This is by no means exhaustive list. But suffice it to say that for certain kinds of big applications, message queuing software is a necessary glue for distributed applications because sometimes servers are down or systems are just running slowly, and you still don't want a transaction to stall just because a backend system is not performing well. So instead of hard-coding the transactions pieces to not continue unless each stage of the transaction is completed, you carve up the transaction into messages and then queue them up on different parts of the application's servers.

Say, for instance, you have an application server and a database. If the database is down or moving slowly, a transaction can still complete as far as the end user banging away on the application server is concerned, thanks to message queuing between the application and database servers. When the database server has more capacity, you just process the messages stored up to make all the backend stuff work out.

BMC is not interested in selling such software, but rather, as you might expect given its long history, it wants to peddle products that allow it to babysit message queuing middleware.

Hence the acquisition of MQSoftware, a company that was founded in 1996, four years after IBM and Microsoft both tapped the same basic code base to create their respective MQSeries and MQM products. The company was originally a service and implementation specialist for MQSeries until it launched its own message monitoring product, called Q Pasa, a few years later.

The Minneapolis, Minnesota software firm acquired a set of tools called AppWatch to help programmers cope with WebSphere MQ and created another called AppWise that helps manage and monitor Tibco messaging. The company also sells a product called StatWatch, an audit tool for WebSphere MQ, and an application integration tool called DataFlow Studio. The basic idea is that these tools can see what is going on in these distributed applications and actually figure out where the performance bottlenecks are.

BMC did a little survey work ahead of the acquisition of MQSoftware and found that 92 per cent of large IT shops in the world have WebSphere MQ deployed on mainframe, Unix, Windows, Linux, or proprietary systems. Across all company sizes, BMC discovered that 66 per cent of shops were using the IBM messaging middleware. (Presumably this was not a survey that included SMB shops). BMC says that the acquisition of MQSoftware will allow IT shops to cut their costs since they won't be measuring and monitoring their various systems in a piecemeal fashion and will make managing all these queued applications easier and more resilient.

MQSoftware is privately held and does not provide revenue figures, but says that it has over 1,000 customers in banking, insurance, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, telecommunications, and government industries. (And yes, I am saying that government is an industry).

Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

BMC just reported its first quarter of fiscal 2010 financial results last week and is hoping that its partnership with Cisco Systems on the "California" Unified Computing System blade servers will start bringing in the bucks soon, and MQSoftware is presumably going to help too, if not in the short run, then in the long run (that's always the plan).

BMC has over $1.3bn in cash and equivalents and $1.7bn in deferred revenues, and it needs to eat or be eaten. And even if it does spend down its cash to acquire lots of companies to build up its hold on systems management, that will make the company an even more attractive takeover target for some company with big money bags. As we go to press, BMC has a market capitalization of $6.35bn and is too expensive for all but a handful of players. It would be interesting to see EMC make a play for BMC, but Oracle or IBM could do it too. Hewlett-Packard could as well. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.