Posts

Introducing Open Data Movement

Today Solace introduced something we’re calling Open Data Movement. I’m going to do just two things here: define Open Data Movement, and give an example in pictures.

Breaking Down the Term

Each of the words are important and we’ve chosen them carefully.

Open

We see this as meaning free from proprietary lock in. Solace’s approach to real-time data movement favors:

  • Open protocols – the defined and de facto standards that have emerged for posting, messaging and streaming, including REST, JMS, MQTT, AMQP 1.0 and WebSockets.
  • Open APIs – where possible, we encourage use of open standard APIs like JMS, Paho or Qpid giving developers and enterprises maximum choice.
  • Open to all the popular cloud environments – Solace works the same in private or public IaaS and PaaS platforms, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, OpenStack, VMWare, Cloud Foundry, OpenShift and more.
  • Delivering all the message patterns and classes of service – best effort, guaranteed or transactions for request-reply, publish-subscribe, fanin/fanout, and more
  • Openly integrated with popular DevOps tools – Modern products need to be fully integrated from getting started with shared sample code in GitHub, all the way to automating the test, stage and deployment process in tools like Puppet or Bosh (and everything in between).
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When Topics Aren’t Just Publish/Subscribe: Explaining Topics & Subscriptions in Solace

I was at a retail customer recently helping them migrate from their existing infrastructure. Their message brokers have run out of capacity, so they are evaluating how Solace could simplify their messaging environment by providing all the scale they need in a single easy to manage appliance.

Things were going well when I was asked a question I often hear: “OK, so how do I create a Topic?”

This customer understood a “topic” to be an object on the message broker, created administratively and able to persist messages: in JMS terminology, he understood a “topic” to mean something like a Durable Subscription. (in Solace we map this to a Durable Topic Endpoint which is the broker artifact that persists messages).  Note that a JMS topic is not the same as a durable subscription –  unfortunately the same terms in messaging can have widely differing meanings between similar products.

This lead to the question “what is a Topic in Solace?”  The answer is surprisingly simple: “In Solace, a Topic is a property of a message.” That’s it. … Read the rest

The Art of One Handed Programming

I’ve been playing around with MuleStudio from MuleSoft lately, and am very impressed with how easy it is to create integrations with the Eclipse-based IDE. The product comes with a long list of commonly needed endpoint connectors for talking to files, databases, HTTP, IBM WebSphere MQ, or even end systems like SAP.

This was all it took to customize the included JMS Endpoint to work with a Solace appliance, which we make available in the public Internet as a messaging service:
xml

jmsWith the Solace JMS endpoint configured, the rest was “one handed programming.” Dragging and dropping icons and connecting endpoints from the pallete was quick and easy, and before I knew it  I was running a REST API for publishing messages to Solace topics and queues.

After that, I wanted to explore further and make a more “cloudy” demo so I picked up on the available Cloud Connectors which include integration components for Amazon, Salesforce.com, Facebook, and Google.… Read the rest

The Fleet of Buses

iStock_000002004120XSmall-300x199The message bus, information bus,   and enterprise service bus concepts are popular, and now old enough, that most large organizations find they have an entire fleet of such buses. Complicating matters is the fact that they tend to be heterogeneous in version and vendor and much of this middleware is really embedded legacy application infrastructure that cannot be easily changed. So how do you modernize your fleet of old buses?

1 ) Federate: Get them talking to one another so that they benefit from the network effect that returns greater value as more endpoints are inter-connected

2) Accelerate: Get rid of the road bumps and bottlenecks slowing down the real-time flow of information. Modern data movement is much lower latency, globally distributed, with active/active  replication into in-memory datagrids and distributed cache.

3) Rejuvenate: Remodel a few key flagship implementations to take advantage of the new world of streaming big data, real-time analytics, mobile sensors, M2M, etc.… Read the rest

Messaging 101

What is messaging? Instant messaging like MSN/IRC/Yahoo? SMS stuff?  Email? Morse code? Even techies have different understandings of messaging depending on context, so I wasn’t too surprised when my banker father fired me those questions at me when I told him that Solace makes messaging appliances.

I believe most readers of this blog already know something about the type of messaging that Solace delivers, but for the sake of our guests who are new to it, here is another perspective to understand what we mean by messaging.Computer Systems from a layman’s perspective have 3 logical components:  Processing, Data Storage and Transport.

  • Processing: The performance of mathematical and logical computations, e.g. calculating the area of a circle or executing an algo to compare patterns and decide whether to buy or sell a stock. Without getting into the deep systems architecture detail, this is typically handled by the CPU in a computer or server.
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Reason 9: Solace lets applications "Think & Act Globally"

This is part 9 in a 10 part series: 10 reasons for the growth in middleware appliances. The series summarizes what we’ve learned from our clients about what they value in appliances and why they selected Solace.

There’s a well-known environmental adage “Think Globally, Act Locally”. The idea is that while you can’t save the world by yourself, making changes close to home can make a difference.

In enterprise computing it could also be a slogan for implementing truly global real time systems.  Enabling real time access to all of your corporate information across the planet is a great utopian ideal, but there is a big gap when you get beyond cheap 1 or 10 Gigabit Ethernet LANs into the limited bandwidth and higher latencies of metro- or wide-area networks. Today, you can “think globally” about your requirements if you want to, but the cost and performance constraints of the WAN mean most applications can realistically only “act locally”.… Read the rest

Reason 8: Guaranteed messaging fit for the 21st century

This is part 8 in a 10 part series: 10 reasons for the growth in middleware appliances. The series summarizes what we’ve learned from our clients about what they value in appliances and why they selected Solace.

For over two decades, messaging middleware has been transporting information between distributed applications so they don’t need to be directly connected. Over the years though, many strains of messaging have evolved, with highly specialized products to address niche problems like low latency, WAN synchronization, or internet data streaming. But the real workhorse of the space, is the kind of messaging that started it all. Guaranteed messaging doesn’t get the headlines, but it quietly addresses the vast majority of use cases.

This post explains how Solace fundamentally changes the guaranteed messaging game by rewriting the rulebook on what’s possible in terms of throughput, latency and simplicity. To fully understand what we’re doing for our customers today,  we will first look back at how guaranteed messaging evolved in software.… Read the rest

AMQP surfing a wave of positive progress

Earlier this week I attended the second annual AMQP Face-to-Face conference at the beautiful Scripps campus at the University of California San Diego.  Even a somewhat dreary day in San Diego, which they call June Gloom, is better than a nice day back home in Ottawa, and I was inspired by the many surfer dudes and dudettes who braved the cool weather to venture into the waves.  I kept my feet on dry land and the lifeguards no doubt appreciated that.

The first day of the event was open to the public, and over 50 attendees came to see what’s happened with AMQP over the past year.  The agenda for the day included technical tutorials on the AMQP1.0 wireline specification, some sharing of user experiences, and a discussion of plans for 2010.

In summary, after six years in development the AMQP1.0 wireline spec is now in “recommended” state. That means it is frozen and the only technical changes will be errata.… Read the rest

Two Sigma Investments chooses Solace JMS

We are pleased to announced that Two Sigma Investments has chosen Solace’s JMS messaging to be the foundation of a wide range of their trading applications. They’ve been working with Solace for a while now and plan to go live on initial applications this month.

I found the following self-description on the web that sums them up nicely:

Two Sigma Investments is a leading technology and finance firm founded in 2001. At Two Sigma, we work each day in small teams to develop and apply disciplined, process-driven investment trading strategies. Our casual culture celebrates rigorous thought and encourages true innovation. While we’re focused on the financial markets, technology is the driving force behind our business. In fact, many say that our unique SoHo offices in Manhattan have the look and feel of a software firm. Sounds good to us!

We are pleased to welcome Two Sigma to our growing list of hedge fund customers, and we thank them for allowing us to publicly share the details of their selection of Solace.… Read the rest

Giddyup, JMS!


Think of the lowly workhorse, toiling away while his cousin the thoroughbred races to fame. Much like that workhorse, Java Message Service has been relegated to the less sexy applications in the middle- and back-office (such as routine communications between applications and databases, especially in SOA environments) while the high-profile applications where volume and/or performance are critical (such as low latency market data systems on Wall Street, and event networks in many other industries) are handled with specialized, proprietary messaging solutions.

Many people have JMS pigeon-holed as being just for these relatively simple, low-volume tasks because while it’s very easy to set up, its performance is relatively limited. You can always scale JMS by splitting the workload across dozens or hundreds of servers, but that introduces major architectural complexity, administrative nightmares and high TCO. That simple JMS deployment is no longer so simple.

Solace recently announced a new version of its JMS broker that has the horsepower to support enterprise-scale applications in a purpose-built appliance that’s easy to deploy and has a small footprint in the datacenter.… Read the rest