Red Hat aims at messaging middleware

Red Hat aims at messaging middleware

Enterprise MRG platform will offer alternative to IBM and Tibco

Red Hat is aiming for a slice of the lucrative messaging middleware market that is currently the domain of IBM, Tibco and others.

The open-source giant today introduced Enterprise MRG, a platform it said will allow applications to communicate radically faster than is possible with proprietary software. Messaging middleware is most used to connect applications and software components in high-throughput environments where lowest levels of latency are needed, for example in financial trading systems.

Red Hat’s messaging system taps the AMQP open messaging standard and offers guaranteed response times that allow applications and transactions to run at predictable speeds, the firm said. The software also supports grid computing management tools and allows processing cycles to be scavenged from desktops. Red Hat plans to release a beta this week and make MRG generally available in the first half of 2008. It will be offered as a separate, cross-platform program at a per-server tariff but no pricing details are currently available.

“You look at solutions such as Tibco and you see messaging performance at least 100 times faster, maybe even more in the full release,” said Scott Crenshaw, Red Hat vice president of Enterprise Linux.

“You can do trades a lot faster and that’s a significant advantage but it’s not just for Wall Street trades, it’s for every CIO who needs predictable response times.”

However, watchers were more cautious.

Neil Ward-Dutton of analyst firm Macehiter Ward-Dutton said, “If what Red Hat says is true, then they look to be building something which will eventually stand up, functionally speaking, against what IBM and Tibco can do. But in reality it'll probably take three or more years to reach functional parity with [Tibco] Rendezvous and [IBM] WebSphere MQ. And when it does, the existing apps built on those products are unlikely to be ported over to Red Hat and the existing technologies ditched. Red Hat's market opportunity is in supporting new applications, probably inside a new wave of hosted platforms and applications. [This is] a green field not populated by IBM or Tibco and [a market where buyers are] keen to look for no- or low-cost middleware solutions.”