DataPower Firmware V7.2 Upgrade Details (More Cloud!)

One of the coolest things about IBM DataPower is how it provides a single security and integration gateway solution using a simple, policy-driven interface. And it’s ultra-flexible, so it’s easily deployed to multiple cloud environments. And that’s really the trick, isn’t it? The need to deploy across today’s growing mix of public, private and hybrid cloud mixes. It’s not as easy as it seems.
The good news is that the newest DataPower Gateway Firmware V7.2 upgrade extends multiple-cloud support with enhanced security and integration capabilities for mobile, API and web workloads. Want to run DataPower to gate Amazon Web Services? Great, this firmware update is definitely for you.
Cloud environments like Amazon AWS and IBM SoftLayer are hosting environments that allow a business to deploy an optimal set of supported infrastructure resources. Using DataPower, businesses can then quickly build gateway solutions and rely upon the cloud provider to maintain the underlying infrastructure. The result is an overall lower cost to deploy and secure workloads (especially mobile workloads), plus additional flexibility for faster responses to market trends and business opportunities.
The DataPower Firmware V7.2 enables this type of process improvement through several key upgrades:

  • Use GatewayScript to easily integrate Systems of Record with Systems of Engagement
  • Deploy IBM DataPower Gateways on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and IBM SoftLayer CCI
  • Enhanced hybrid cloud integration: Use the Secure Gateway service to securely connect between IBM Bluemix applications and on-premise services secured by DataPower Gateways
  • Enhanced message-level security for mobile, API and web workloads with JSON web encryption for message confidentiality, JSON Signature for message integrity, plus JSON Web Token and JSON Web Key
  • Protect mission-critical applications with enhanced TLS protocol using Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC)
  • Build automation, deployment and migration scripts more quickly using the new Representational State Transfer (REST)-based management API
  • Enjoy the increased high availability with enhanced load-balancer group healthchecks
  • Support for IMS Commit mode 0 for more flexible integration with systems of record.
  • IBM WebSphereeXtreme Scale 8.6+ support for distributed caching

TxMQ specializes in DataPower upgrades and services. Need some quick advice about deploying this firmware upgrade into production? Want to decouple from core IT and speed your time to market? Want to integrate your systems of record with your new systems of engagement? That’s what we do. Let’s start a conversation today: Click the chat icon below, or email our president [email protected].
(Image from Paul)

MQ In The Cloud: How (Im)Mature Is It?

Everyone seems to have this concept that deploying all of your stuff into the cloud is really easy – you just go up into there, set up a VM, install your data and you’re done. And when I say “everyone” I’m referring to CIOs, software salespeople, my customers and anyone else with a stake in enterprise architecture.
When I hear that, immediately I jump in and ask: Where’s the integration space in the cloud today? Remember that 18 or 20 years ago we were putting up application stacks in datacenters that were 2- or 3-tier stacks. They were quite simple stacks to put up, but there was very little or no integration going on. The purpose was singular: Deal with this application. If we’d had a bit more foresight, we’d have done things differently. And I’m seeing the same mistake right now in this rush to the cloud.
Really, what a lot of people are putting up in the cloud right now is nothing more than a vertical application stack with tons of horsepower they couldn’t otherwise afford. And guess what? That stack still can’t move sideways.
Remember: We’ve been working on datacenter integration since the old millennium. And our experience with datacenter integration shows that the problems of the last millennium haven’t been solved by cloud. In fact, the new website, the new help desk, the new business process and solutions like IBM MQ that grew to solve these issues have all matured within the datacenter. But the cloud’s still immature because there’s no native, proven and secure integration. What we’re doing in the cloud today is really the same thing we did 20 years ago in the datacenter.
I’m sounding the alarm, and I’m emphasizing the need for MQ, because in order to do meaningful and complicated things in the cloud, we need to address how we’re going to do secure, reliable, high-demand integration of systems across datacenters and the cloud. Is MQ a pivotal component of your cloud strategy? It’d better be, or we’ll have missed the learning opportunity of the last two decades.
How mature is the cloud? From an integration standpoint, it’s 18 to 20 years behind your own datacenter. So when you hear the now-familiar chant, “We’ve got to go to the cloud,” first ask why, then ask how, and finish with what then? Remind everyone that cloud service is generally a single stack, that significant effort and money will need to be spent on new integration solutions, and that your data is no more secure in the cloud than it is in a physical datacenter.
Want to talk more about MQ in the cloud? Send me an email and let’s get the conversation started.
(Photo by George Thomas and TxMQ)

How The IBM DataPower XB62 Bridges Internal And External (B2B) Integration

One of the more elegant features of the DataPower XB62 appliance is its dual ability to govern internal application integration as well as external B2B (or Trading Partner) integration. In essence, the XB62 bridges the gap between internal and external integration, which is what makes it such a complete solution for so many different types of businesses.
In support of the XB62, IBM states that the company “recognizes the convergence” of internal and external integrations. And it’s obvious that the need for integrations near or at  the edge of the network is growing rapidly. By opting to deploy the XB62 you can better support complex B2B flows and become more flexible in routing and file processing. It’s therefore much easier to bridge between the DMZ and protected networks without sacrificing security. This in turn allows you to attract more partners due to the ease, flexibility and security of the external integration.
One oft-cited example of an XB62 deployment is to have the XB62 sit in the DMZ, where it securely connects to trading partners, but that same appliance also exchanges data with a DataPower X152 appliance within the protected network, which handles all the enterprise service bus functions.
TxMQ successfully deployed a DataPower XB62 solution for Medical Mutual of Ohio that serves as a strong example of the appliance’s secure integration capabilities. Medical Mutual wanted to take on more trading partners and more easily align with government protocols, but lacked the infrastructure to support it. “We needed to set up trading-partner software and a B2B infrastructure so we could move the data inside and outside the company,” says Eleanor Danser, EDI Manager, Medical Mutual of Ohio. “The parts that we were missing were the trading-partner software and the communications piece to support all the real-time protocols that are required from the ACA, which is the Affordable Care Act.”
TxMQ’s DataPower XB62 solution delivered $250,000 to $500,000 annual savings on transaction fees for Medical Mutual, as documented in this story published by Insight Magazine.
For more information on TxMQ’s many DataPower solutions for all industries, contact vice president Miles Roty – (716) 636-0070 x228, [email protected] – for a confidential and free initial consultation.