Entries by Shawn McAllister

Service Mesh, Meet Event Mesh: The Architecture Layer for the Event-Driven Enterprise

Service Mesh is being embraced as an infrastructure layer for microservices that makes communication flexible, reliable and fast. It’s promoted by industry giants such as Google, Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat and Pivotal, and it’s being rolled out with Kubernetes, OpenShift and Pivotal Container Service (PKS).

But while service mesh works well to support synchronous RESTful and general request-reply interactions, it doesn’t support asynchronous, event-driven interactions, nor is it well suited for connecting cloud-native microservices with legacy applications, or enabling IoT.

Modern enterprises are embracing event-driven architecture as part of their digital transformation, and every event-driven enterprise will need a central nervous system to quickly, reliably and securely move events from where they are occurring to where they need to go.

The central nervous system enterprises need can be thought of as an event mesh – a new layer in your architecture.

Event mesh complements service mesh, completing the application connectivity layer to provide the full set of inter-application communication patterns enterprises need to realize their digital transformation ambitions.… Read the rest

The Age of the Advanced Event Broker

Everybody’s talking about events these days—event processing, event streams, and event-driven architectures. Event…ually it’s got to ease up, right? Not quite. All the talk points to the new age we’ve entered, that of the advanced event broker.

What we’re experiencing is not just a shift but a complete reversal of how people think about business processes and the technology that supports them—and I think we’re going to be in this age for a while. Let me explain.

The term that describes our entire industry—“information technology”—belies the fact that people have historically thought first and foremost about information. Bits and bytes, zeroes and ones. The data, the knowledge… that which is known and documented and stored and shared.

Business processes have been predefined through a series of operations to be performed, with many of those operations involving the “go get it” retrieval of information.

Event-driven thinking turns all that on its head.… Read the rest

The Long and Winding Road…to Solace Cloud

Note: Solace Cloud is now called Solace PubSub+ Cloud. Learn more about it here.


As the Beatles famously sang: “I’ve seen that road before, It always leads me here, Lead me to…the cloud.”

OK, so I paraphrased the punchline, but anybody who’s been following Solace for a while knows it really has been a long road to today’s announcement of our new messaging as a service platform called Solace Cloud.

Our chairman of the board Craig Betts founded Solace with a big idea – solve the problem of routing messages using the same proven approach that had enabled the Internet, by routing packets in hardware. IP routers and switches for the former, messaging appliances for the latter. The financial services space ate up this innovative approach, which slashed the cost and complexity of their massive messaging estates and massively improved reliability. Other markets wanted the ability to implement our powerful messaging in either hardware or software form factors, so a few years ago we introduced our Virtual Message Router software – the same capabilities, and the fastest software-based message routing you can find, in a package you can easily deploy in a variety of on-premises or cloud environments.… Read the rest

Solace Pivotal Cloud Foundry Tile is now GA!

This is an exciting time for us, our friends at Pivotal and our user community as we take our next step on improving accessibility to Solace Open Data Movement technology. Today our Solace Messaging for PCF Tile is generally available as part of the Pivotal Network. The tile, which allows app developers to use Solace messaging in any Pivotal Cloud Foundry deployment, has been in Beta for several months. This release is ready for prime time, with enough features and fixes to support your favorite microservice or IoT use case.

The highlights of this release include:

  • High Availability: VMR HA is now provisioned for you in key plans to add robustness for your applications with the click of a button
  • More Plan Choices: We now have 5 distinct plans for developers to choose from depending on your needs – some on a shared VMR for development, some on your own dedicated VMR, with choices of performance/capacity and high availability.

Read the rest

How to Integrate Cloud and On-Premise Apps

Everybody wants to take advantage of the cloud to save money, make their infrastructure more instantly scalable and make app teams more productive. To realize those benefits you need to be able share data between legacy applications deployed on-premise and new apps in the cloud. Many people expect this to be easy, and are surprised to learn that this application connectivity can become quite complex and difficult to achieve if you don’t start with a holistic strategy.

So, how do you go about integrating cloud and on-premise apps in a simple, robust and secure manner without losing the functionality your applications need? In this article, I’ll explore a few options.

The Situation You Face

In order to create a single data movement fabric that allows you to deploy applications in any cloud, you need to cover three types of connectivity:

  1. Messaging within each cloud – between distributed applications or microservices in each target cloud
  2. Hybrid Cloud data movement – between your existing on-premise apps and your new cloud apps
  3. Cloud-to-cloud data movement – so applications running in different clouds can share information

Cloud Messaging

Most enterprises have in place some form of on-premise message bus like IBM MQ or JMS, which can be based on open source or provided by a vendor.

Read the rest

Talking Cloud Data Movement with Pivotal

Yesterday I joined the Pivotal Insights podcast to discuss with Jeff Kelly and Dormain Drewitz the challenges developers face when building data pipelines and message queues in Cloud-native environments. During the episode, called Taming Data Movement Complexity, I talked about some specific IoT cases and explained how to get enterprise data moving with Solace in Pivotal Cloud Foundry.

I hope you’ll give it a listen to hear my thoughts on how Solace makes it easier to get messages moving in PCF.

Other Resources

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Extending Standards Support by Embracing AMQP 1.0

Since we founded our company with the goal of disrupting the enterprise messaging market, the application landscape has shifted dramatically. Back then, there was no cloud and the market for messaging was dominated by two commercial, closed, proprietary products: IBM MQ Series (now IBM WebSphere MQ) and TIBCO Rendezvous.

But in the last decade or so, the increasing popularity of open and de facto standard messaging APIs and protocols have brought enterprises and developers relief from those days of vendor lock-in. Namely, JMS for general Java-based messaging workloads, RESTful applications for point-to-point, MQTT for IoT, and WebSockets for streaming to browsers and mobile devices.

All that progress has allowed many more use cases to be addressed in an open way without the risk of vendor lock-in, and Solace has been championing these technologies and techniques. We’ve supported JMS for years, and more recently added REST capabilities and support for MQTT and Paho APIs to our platform.… Read the rest

A Message for All Messaging Developers

dev-portal-off-kilterI’m very happy to announce that we have launched a new developer portal with a wealth of resources that will help architects and developers be even more successful building applications with Solace technology. That’s the headline “what” news, but let me back up and explain the “why.”

The launch of our Virtual Message Router (VMR) software product earlier this summer made it much easier for individual developers to get their hands on Solace message brokers. Even though it was an early release, we could immediately tell this new software was going to be in very high demand, both as a standalone product and as a way of simplifying the development of applications slated for deployment onto our hardware.

We knew that to support this demand we’d need to give people self-service access to not just the software itself, but to documentation, tools and tutorials that would help them be successful with it, so we accelerated our plans to build our full-featured developer portal.… Read the rest

Is Big Data Recreating the Messaging Proliferation Problem?

The previous blog post in this series explained how many capital markets firms have ended up with a multitude of messaging technologies to handle different data movement requirements, the problems associated with that, and how Solace technology helps simplify such environments. This post drills in to how big data is leading companies in other industries down this same path.

According to Gartner, as of June 2014, 73 percent of organizations have or will be investing in big data in the next two years. While big data is intended to support both structured and unstructured data, many organizations start by analyzing their structured transactional data because it’s easier for them to understand, and can be more readily applied to optimizing operational efficiency.

During this phase, enterprises focus on how the big data technology will extract value from their data. They load all kinds of information into their big data lake using whatever tools are at hand or easiest to add to the mix.… Read the rest

Could the “Messaging Proliferation” Problem Happen to You?

If you work in capital markets, you know that most buy side and sell side firms operate lots of different messaging products across their business. It’s not unusual for a firm to have six to ten different messaging technologies in their production environment, from different vendors, as a legacy of M&A and developed internally. As a rational technologist, I can hear your internal line of questioning: How does this happen? What drives this type of fragmentation? Is it as bad as it sounds? And you’re probably thinking this could never happen to you.

But if you’re implementing big data or cloud, it probably already is. I will explain why, but first – how did capital markets get to this point and what are they doing about it?

Not so long ago, financial trading was done by customers talking to their brokers who talked to traders who placed an order to make a trade.… Read the rest