In this article I will share a short video tutorial and an updated calculator that can help you compare license cost for IBM MQ vs. Red Hat JBoss A-MQ. For the introduction to the subject, I recommend you read these two articles “Software costs” and “How to NOT buy Enterprise Software“, so that I can spare you the overview of TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) and how it is different from TCA (Total Cost of Acquisition). I like to think of TCO as the entire iceberg and TCA as the tip of that iceberg:
In this post I will simply look at the tip of this iceberg – just the TCA component, i.e. only software license and support costs. You can read about TCO and technical differences between IBM MQ and ActiveMQ in these posts. Now lets take a look at the TCA (not TCO!!!) comparison between IBM MQ and Red Hat JBoss A-MQ, shall we?
All cost data is obtained from public sources and you can use this tool to calculate the cost of your own configuration.
Table above assumes MQ performance advantage over A-MQ, which is based on this performance benchmark. If I remove performance advantage from the calculation and assume that both products have exactly the same performance (which is wrong), then MQ TCA becomes just a little bit more expensive for 5 year and almost the same cost as JBoss A-MQ over the 10 year period – and that is if not considering additional components needed to make JBoss A-MQ work in a managed environment (see tabs in the spreadsheet for additional components – such as JDK and database for JON).
You can play with these numbers in the spreadsheet all day long – just download it and change input assumptions, such as number of cores, servers, performance difference, vendor discount levels, time span, etc. MQ has lots of features that are not provided in JBoss A-MQ and this results in significant TCO advantage of MQ on top of already very compelling TCA. You might ask – what if my company uses Apache ActiveMQ and does not pay for the commercial support for Red Hat JBoss A-MQ? In this case all I have to say is this: REMEMBER THE BOTTOM PART OF THE ICEBERG…
i.e. you still need to provide care a feeding to your messaging server, manage, secure, tune, troubleshoot, etc. These things are not free and your time is not free. Nor is downtime. According to researchers, cost of downtime per hour can be very significant and varies depending on industry:
For additional information on this topic, see related MQ vs. ActiveMQ articles.