What‘s New in WebSphere MQ 9 & Installation Guide

IBM recently released WebSphere MQ 9, the latest version of their widely-used message queuing platform. This major update includes several key enhancements like increased security, better platform support, and an improved developer experience.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover the most important changes and new features introduced in MQ 9, as well as provide a step-by-step walkthrough of downloading, installing, and verifying MQ 9 on a Linux environment.

Major New Features and Enhancements

Here are some of the most notable new capabilities now available in WebSphere MQ 9:

1. Removal of Support for Older Platforms

MQ 9 no longer supports running on the following older platforms:

  • Windows X86 32-bit
  • Linux X86 32-bit
  • IBM 4690 OS

While dropping support for these older architectures simplifies development and testing, it may require transitions for a small subset of users still leveraging these platforms. Planning upgrades in advance is advised.

2. Command Enhancements

Two commonly used commands have new parameters added in this release:

  • SET POLICY now includes a KEY REUSE option to configure reuse rules for encryption keys. This can help manage keys with expiring certificates.
  • SETMQSPL also has the new KEY REUSE parameter to control how long TLS certificate keys can be reused.

These provide more flexibility when dealing with encrypted connections and expiring certificates.

3. Improved Security Posture

Over 50 new AMQ messages have been added covering additional scenarios. This improves the overall security posture when using MQ queues by detecting and alerting on more potential violation scenarios.

Some examples include detecting cipher suite mismatches, TLS validation errors, and correlating IDS signature events.

4. Enhanced Unicode Support

MQ 9 has upgraded its Unicode support to cover the full Unicode 8.0 character set specification. This includes new emojis, expanded language scripts, and additional symbols.

Applications can now process messaging traffic containing any of these newly defined characters.

Installing MQ 9 on Linux

Now let‘s walk through installing the latest MQ 9 version on a Linux platform from scratch…

Prerequisites

Before getting started, you‘ll want to ensure your Linux distro is updated fully and meets the minimum supported specifications:

  • RHEL or CentOS 7.4+
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 4 GB disk space

Older OS versions or lower specs may work but are not officially supported.

Downloading MQ 9

First, grab the latest trial installer package from IBM:

  1. Visit [https://www.ibm.com/account/reg/us-en/signup?formid=urx-19776]

  2. Fill out and submit the contact info form to access downloads

  3. Scroll down and select the MQ v9 package for RHEL/CentOS 7, 64-bit

  4. Download the ~500MB .tar.gz file

Once downloaded, extract the package by running:

gunzip -c MQ_Package.tar.gz | tar xvf –

This will unpack the folder containing the MQ installation binaries and scripts.

Installation

With the extracted MQ package ready, we can now install to our system:

  1. Switch user to root first

  2. Change directory into MQ folder

  3. Accept license agreement by running ./mqlicense.sh

  4. Run installer RPMs:

rpm -ivh MQSeriesRuntime-9.0.0-0.x86_64.rpm
rpm -ivh MQSeriesServer-9.0.0-0.x86_64.rpm

Follow the prompts during installation. The key packages are now deployed!

Post-Install Verification

To validate everything completed successfully:

  1. Verify directory contents under /opt/mqm/

  2. Switch mqm user and run dspmqver

This will print out the version info, confirming MQ v9.0 is active.

Some warnings about system limits may be present – address these as needed for your scale requirements.

And that‘s it! MQ 9 is now ready to go on your Linux environment. From here, you can start configuring queue managers, distributed queues, and diving into messaging development.

Next Steps with MQ 9

Now that you have MQ 9 installed, here are some recommended next steps:

  • Create your first queue manager
  • Enable security features like TLS encryption
  • Develop a simple test application to send & receive messages
  • Browse use cases and examples in the Knowledge Center
  • Sign up for an MQ trial subscription to access more functionality

Let us know if you have any issues getting started with MQ 9 on Linux! We‘re happy to help troubleshoot.

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