Established App Infrastructure Middleware Strategies No Longer Adequate Says Gartner

2 Jul 15

As the enterprise ecosystem changes, the middleware market needs to adapt and change with it. In a world  of huge market percentage increases (46% in security technologies, 42% in cloud computing, 38% on business analytics, 36% in storage and 35% in mobile and wireless, the worldwide application infrastructure and middleware (AIM) has only grown 5.6 percent since 2012, according to Gartner, Inc.

Massimo Pezzini, vice president and Gartner Fellow said:

“Organizations that take advantage of the digital era’s opportunities are realizing that their established application infrastructure middleware strategies are no longer adequate. Enabling digital business transformation requires IT organizations to operate with much greater agility and “on demand”. They must provide much deeper business insights, web scale systems and the ability to integrate myriad of endpoints, such as mobile apps, cloud-based applications, social networks, heterogeneous data sources and a growing number of ‘things’.”

This got me thinking about the legacy middleware players in the market. These established giants of the message-oriented middleware (if you are not sure who these players are the Gartner Middleware Magic Quadrant is a good reference) play an important role for enterprise messaging. But to Gartner’s point, these established players are no longer adequate. Instead, we are in the new era – the Internet (web) Messaging era.

Information is no longer static, or from a single source. It doesn’t stay just within the safety of the enterprise, instead, it spans the Internet to reach hundreds of thousands or millions of users. This new ecosystem has bred a new need, Internet Messaging.  We have therefore defined Internet Messaging as high-throughput, low-latency, bandwidth-conservative information movement between vast numbers of endpoints casually connected via the Internet.

In a press release on the AIM market, Gartner writes:

To support these requirements [mobile apps, cloud-based applications, social networks, heterogeneous data sources and a growing number of ‘things’], IT departments need to refresh their application infrastructure adding the capabilities needed to rapidly scale their systems, inject real-time operational intelligence into business processes, and target an adaptive approach to integration.

Pezzini continues that traditional, feature-rich, but also expensive middleware products are being increasingly complemented — and at times replaced — by lightweight, low-cost technology aimed at enabling much faster time to value.

I have highlighted a few phrases above because I want to focus on the importance of each in more details.

Rapidly scale systems

Major sports events, news, social interactions, surges in financial trading, utility consumption or transportation delays are just some examples of user activity that places huge pressure on the networks and infrastructure. To Gartner’s point, organizations must have the toolset to develop web and mobile applications that can scale quickly and scale to meet large numbers of concurrent users.  But for many organizations, scalability comes at an infrastructure increase and cost which can get very expensive very quickly. Plus you have to deal with how to support the infrastructure which is both time consuming and expensive. Instead, of throwing infrastructure at the problem, organizations need to understand how to handle extreme scale by being intelligent with their data.

For modern organizations, a data-centric approach can help apps elastically scale up and down whilst delivering a high quality user experience. In standard systems, elastic scaling typically means that all systems in the stack have to be considered when determining what to scale up and down.  Moving to a data-centric approach means that scalability can be focused at a single point, reducing load and infrastructure needs on back end systems.  This data-centric approach gives enterprises better abilities to meet the needs and demands of millions of end users in complex web and mobile applications.

Inject real-time operational intelligence into business processes

Research shows that the issues consumers and employees complain most about is the speed of an app, its capabilities, and/or the information available when using the app. Injecting speed into operational and business processes is vital, and while many established vendors do a great job inside the firewall, what happens when they need to take that same real-time information feed and extend it outside the network?

Applications no longer consume data from one source, they are constantly using the Internet to provide data and information to the employee or consumer, from several disparate sources. With this comes an increased load on the Internet and with the number of applications growing rapidly, every application must now struggle to get a slice of available bandwidth. The latency associated with that data being driven to or from the application is dependent on several factors, including but not limited to:

  • The speed and quality of the network
  • The load on the network
  • The time to send the data to backend servers
  • The load on the backend servers receiving the data
  • The time to process/distribute/store that data on the backend
  • The time it takes for the data to be returned to the device
  • The quantity and size of data sent

The problem is that the network is what it is – a precious resource that cannot be controlled. You cannot really do anything about the Internet since it is open and shared. Organizationsneed to extend data to end users outside the enterprise reliably, serving mobile apps, cloud-based applications, social networks, heterogeneous data sources and a growing number of ‘things’.

Middleware products are increasingly complemented

You have to look no further to 888 for a proof point here. 888 Holdings PLC (888) is one of the world’s most popular online gaming entertainment and solutions providers. At the forefront of the online gaming industry for over a decade, 888, and its B2B arm Dragonfish, allows both players and B2B partners to enjoy a world-class gaming experience.

888 is expanding rapidly in new markets, offering new gaming entertainment all while complying with different regulatory requirements. To support this growth, 888 turned to Push Technology, a proven technology—and our partner IBM—to further extend its powerful gaming experience. Using a combination of IBM WebSphere MQ and Diffusion, 888 is turbocharging its apps that run over the Internet.

Internet Messaging

So if you’ve read the above and are thinking that your middleware needs a more modern, data-centric approach, you’ve come to the right place. We believe that successful modern messaging requires Internet Messaging, with an emphasis on Internet Sympathy – the ability to be sympathetic to the realities of mobile devices and the fact that people are often on the go.  As these users move around with these devices, the connectivity will change between EDGE/3G/4G/WiFi, causing (at times) vast fluctuations in performance of mobile devices.  Our advice is to look for Internet Messaging solutions that offer Internet Sympathy, extreme scale and speed, extreme data management and extreme quality of service.

Push Technology and Legacy Middleware Vendors

At Push Technology, we have taken a fundamentally different approach by delivering extreme scale and speed and easily complementing existing MOM vendors. To maximize performance from these vendors, we combine the advanced capabilities of a publish/subscribe model with a live data model that takes continuous snapshots of the data in business systems and caches it. This eliminates the performance drag of reaching into business systems each and every time applications need data.

As a result, we typically serve 15 million messages per second to 87,000 concurrent connections although we’ve pushed the boundaries in scale to millions of concurrent connections without sacrificing performance. Another way to look at this is that a single Push server can process as much as a competitor’s entire messaging infrastructure.

We want the AIM market to grow faster and it needs to with the way we are digitally transforming. Contact Us (see footer) because we can help you against what Gartner deems necessary for this market.

The Diffusion Intelligent Data Platform manages, optimizes, and integrates data among devices, systems, and applications. Push Technology pioneered and is the sole provider of real-time delta-data streaming™ technology that powers mission-critical business applications worldwide. Leading brands use Push Technology to fuel revenue growth, customer engagement, and business operations. The products, Diffusion® and Diffusion Cloud™, are available on-premise, in-the-cloud, or in a hybrid configuration, to fit the specific business and infrastructure requirements of the applications operating in today’s mobile obsessed, everything connected world. Learn how Push Technology can reduce infrastructure costs, and increase speed, efficiency, and reliability, of your web, mobile, and IoT application.

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