Measuring MQ Capacity: How To Talk To A Bully

TxMQ senior consultant Allan Bartleywood doesn’t like bullies. Didn’t like them when he was a wee lad chasing butterflies across the arid hardscrabble of the Zimbabwean landscape. And certainly won’t tolerate them today in giant enterprise shops across the world.
Here’s the deal: Allan’s an MQ architect. Pretty much the best there is. He’s got a big peacenik streak. And he likes to stick up for his guys when a company bully starts to blame MQ.
You’ve heard it before: “MQ is the bottleneck. We need more MQ connections. It’s not my application – it’s your MQ.”
We all know it isn’t, but our hands are tied because we can’t measure the true capacity of MQ under load. So we blame the app and the bully rolls his eyes and typically wins the battle because apps are sexy and MQ is not and the app bully has been there 10 years and we’ve been there 3.
But Bartleywood’s new utility – the aptly named MQ Capacity PlannerTM (MQCP) –  unties our hands and allows us to stand up to the bully.
“I’m giving everyone the information we need to defend our environments – to stand up for our MQ,” Bartelywood says. “The Tivolis, the BMCs, the MQ Statistics Tools can’t speak to capacity because they can’t gin the information to tell you what true capacity is. I absolutely love how MQCPTM allows me, and you, to turn the whole argument upside-down and ask the bully: ‘Here’s what the MQ capacity is. Does the demand you put on MQ meet what it can truly deliver? Can you actually consume connections as fast as MQ can deliver them?'”
MQCP is now available to the public for the first time. It’s simply the best tool to develop an accurate picture of the size and cost of your environment. Ask about our special demo for large enterprise shops.
Photo by Eddie~S

MQ Capacity Planner FAQ: Six Questions About The Tool

TxMQ will debut is new MQ Capacity Planner (for IBM WebSphere MQ) next week at the MQ Technical Conference in Sandusky, Ohio. This new tool allows for the testing of a virtually unlimited number of messages from any number of concurrent applications. It reveals micro details and offers a powerful lens to inspect, diagnose and performance-tune your MQ.
In anticipation of the pilot release, here’s a brief FAQ.
Which message patterns can MQCP measure?
MQCP can measure simple and multi-threaded Put: Local and Remote Queues, as well as  Simulated Request/Response using UTurn and MQ-Triggered Process/Publish/Subscribe.
What specific metrics does MQCP deliver?
MQCP captures elapsed time in milliseconds, message size and number of threads to calculate TPS (transactions per second) and volume throughput. It also produces all statistical values to the 90th percentile to offer a more accurate measure of your environment’s Queue Manager/Infrastructure.
Does MQCP measure system usage?
Yes, MQCP measures CPU usage and wait times (using tools like Nmon for Linux and AIX and Perfmon for Microsoft platforms) from MQCP test cycles.
What are some of the customization options?
There are many. Some of the most important include options for configuration relating to the Queue Manager and Queues to be used, MQ Client Connection options, Application Message Size options, and Application Reflection. Additionally, MQCP dynamically invokes the required application for getting and putting messages
Are there any features to be added that are not found in the pilot release?
Yes, we are currently working to add a Trigger Monitor process, which is a custom Java Trigger Monitor supporting the Request/Response flow tests. The Trigger Monitor is a configuration and is a production-ready process. We’re also adding publish/subscriber processes to support both JMS and native MQ Java processing. These publisher processes are configurable for multi-threaded publishing and message sizes.
Is TxMQ willing to address general questions about the product?
Yes, TxMQ will continue to discuss the product and respond to questions before, during and after the rollout. We encourage anyone with questions to contact us. Communications are always confidential.
Interested in trying the MQCP? Contact TxMQ president Chuck Fried and ask about the MQCP Pilot Program: (716) 636-0070 x222, [email protected].
(photo by Taber Andrew Bain, Creative Commons license)