Apache ActiveMQ and IBM MQ: High Availability and Administrative Analysis

Here is the new report published by Zibis Group comparing IBM MQ and Apache ActiveMQ (AMQ). To quote executive summary:

QUOTE: “This report provides the results of a reliability and high availability examination of the most recent and popular open source and commercial message oriented middleware solutions; namely Apache ActiveMQ 5.11.1 and IBM MQ 8.0. This included message reliability and service availability testing, with a look into the administrative experience with respect to productivity and overall capabilities.

A number of failover and reliability tests were completed using a clustered environment with four servers, each with an active service (i.e., Apache ActiveMQ Broker or IBM MQ Queue Manager) and a corresponding failover (i.e., Slave/Standby). These tests included a temporary network interruption, a predictable shutdown, and a catastrophic power failure.

The following outlines some high level observations discussed in greater detail throughout the report:

  • Apache ActiveMQ passed testing when a Broker was fully shutdown (planned or unplanned). However, when encountering a temporary network interruption, it created a situation where there was message duplication and a potential for lost messages. Similarly, when using the “more reliable” JDBC as the persistence store, a separate unrelated issue resulted in a concern around lost messages. IBM MQ passed all testing without message duplication or potential for lost messages.
  • Apache ActiveMQ provides no centralized way to manage a cluster (i.e., Network of Brokers), requiring administrators to access each individual Web-based console (i.e., a unique URL for each Broker); cumbersome in environments with a high number of Brokers. IBM MQ provides centralized management through either the CLI or the MQ Explorer GUI.
  • The Apache ActiveMQ Web-console is not available for Slave brokers, meaning their status cannot be viewed other than checking that the process is actually running on the server.
  • IBM MQ provides users with significant documentation. Unfortunately Apache ActiveMQ documentation was often outdated, which resulted in significant time spent searching or on more than one occasion resorting to online forums.
  • IBM MQ can sometimes appear more complicated because of its plethora of feature functionality options. While Apache ActiveMQ may be simpler to configure initially, it does not have the same granular control over queues available through IBM MQ.
  • Apache ActiveMQ provides a mix and match of management facilities forcing administrators to use and switch between interfaces. For example, some actions require manually editing XML configuration files, using the command line, or using the Web-based GUI. IBM MQ allows administrators to perform virtually all functions through the command line, the GUI, and the API; administrators are not forced to switch between them.
  • IBM MQ supports automation through scripting since all actions can be completed through the command line.” END QUOTE

You can download full report here:

MQ vs AMQ comparison by Zibis GroupThe report comes with four demonstrations – HA tests and Admin tests for AMQ and IBM MQ:

IBM commissioned Zibis Group to perform an objective functional comparison of IBM MQ 8.0 and Apache ActiveMQ 5.11.1. The study took place between April 2015 and June 2015, with the analysis consisting of running a series of tests to assess how each solution performs from the perspective of high availability, failover, and administration. Zibis Group wholly supports the integrity and the methodology of how this study was conducted as well as the accuracy of the results and the conclusions. Zibis Group has made every attempt to provide a fair, honest, and unbiased research study of these messaging solutions through a set of defined Proof of Concepts.

Categories: IBM MQ, Messaging, Technology

Tags: , , , , , , ,

3 replies


  1. White paper: IBM WebSphere MQ 7.5 versus Apache ActiveMQ 5.9 – IBM Advantage Blog
  2. What is the future of Apache ActiveMQ? – IBM Advantage Blog

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