Nastel Releases Free WebSphere MQ 'Ping' Tool

Nastel Technologies, a provider of application performance monitoring solutions for mission-critical applications, announced the release of a free tool for isolating faults in and measuring baseline performance of applications based on IBM’s WebSphere MQ (WMQ). Nastel’s MQSonar, available as a free download, can generate particularly valuable insight for enterprises using home-grown monitoring and management applications for WebSphere MQ.

MQSonar is  a "ping" for WebSphere MQ, Charles Rich, vice president of product management at Nastel Technologies, tells 5 Minute Briefing.  “In production, WebSphere MQ users will use MQSonar for fault isolation and for testing response times and in QA for creating a baseline for expected response times for a simulated workload.”

Like SONAR in a submarine, MQSonar sends out a ping, waits for it to echo back and analyzes the time the transmission takes to return. Measuring the time the ping takes to move between components and to complete its journey can help organizations easily and effectively identify whether flaws lie in a particular queue or queue manager or throughout the wider system. This capability is missing from IBM solutions, Rich says. “It is somewhat unique to Nastel in that this is a tool with a single purpose. Send out a ping, wait for it traverse queues and then it reflects back to you along with timing information for each hop.”

Installed on the WMQ server behind the corporate firewall, MQSonar requires no set-up, so operators with basic rights to the server can begin acquiring valuable insight from the tool immediately, the vendor says.

Rich cites examples of the typical problems to which MQSonar can be applied. “A specific queue manager may not be up and responding,” he relates, or “the configuration of queues may differ and as a result performance is adequate for some and not for others.” Additional issues that MQSonar can spot may include “slow communication between queue managers,” or “the path from one application to another, over WMQ, may be misconfigured. 

Organizations “can gain new insights into the world of application monitoring, helping them to set baseline performance levels and identify bottlenecks without any real heavy lifting,” Rich adds.

In a typical scenario, a user can test the response time it takes to access a WebSphere MQ queue manager. Using MQSonar to send a default test message to a test queue and then echo it back to the user, the user would capture the message path response times, hop by hop, and compile a report. The user can then run multiple instances of MQSonar and collect statistics about the performance of different queues and queue managers, giving him more visibility into the performance of the whole system.

More information is available at the Nastel website at