IBM WebSphere MQ (BIG-IP v11.1: LTM)

This F5 deployment guide provides instructions for deploying the BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) with IBM WebSphere MQ. The BIG-IP LTM brings high availability, SSL offload, and TCP optimizations to WebSphere MQ solutions.

The BIG-IP LTM brings high availability, SSL offload and TCP optimization to WebSphere MQ solutions. The primary use case addressed in this guide is placing BIG-IP LTM in front of incoming MQ queue managers for connection balancing of receiver queues. The BIG-IP LTM can also provide monitoring and high availability for transmission queues if affinity is not required.

While WebSphere MQ already provides connection balancing, utilizing BIG-IP brings a number of additional benefits.

  •  WebSphere MQ connection balancing is based on a static list of addresses. If one or more of these addresses are down, the WebSphere MQ client spends time trying to connect to them anyway. By using a virtual server address on the BIG-IP system as described in this deployment guide, the BIG-IP device routes each connection request directly to an available MQ instance.
  • WebSphere MQ connection balancing is configured at build time using a client-channel definition table file or JMS managed object definition. By using the BIG-IP system, changes to the MQ Server list are dynamic and do not require the client application to restart or redeploy to pick up the changes. 
  • WebSphere MQ connection balancing is based on weighting and each connection is evaluated independently. The BIG-IP system, as deployed in this deployment guide, is using the Least Connections algorithm, which means that new connections are balanced based on the number of live connections on each node.

The following diagram shows one of the modes described in the deployment guide: the BIG-IP LTM provides intelligent traffic direction and high availability for WebSphere Message Broker servers.