What Plexus Broker has to offer
The Plexus Message Broker is a high performance, extensible, resilient, and highly reliable Windows®-based messaging system. It provides standard interface adapters to most current and legacy communications technologies. It also provides customizable as well as programmable data path filters that tailor a solution to a client’s particular needs. Whether it is converting legacy protocols and messages to current technology interfaces or simply interfacing one technology to another, the Plexus Message Broker can get the job done in a quick and efficient manner.
Flexible Communications Interfaces
Plexus Message Broker provides support for a variety of transport protocols including:
- WebSphere® MQ Series (MQ)
- Microsoft® Message Queuing (MSMQ)
- SNA LU6.2
- NetBIOS (IPX)
- NetBIOS (TCP)
- Proprietary protocols
Each Plexus Message Broker instance is capable of handling in excess of 200 transactions per second. Higher site volumes can be achieved by either configuring multiple instances on the same system or by configuring multiple systems.
From a Broker perspective, scalability is the ability to add additional resources to a system to easily and seamlessly accommodate business growth. These additional resources are of the “Plug and Play” variety so as not to disrupt the architecture of the current system. For the Plexus Message Broker, two types of “Plug and Play” strategies can be used. The simplest strategy is to add a Plexus Message Broker instance(s) to the current server provided that there are excess resources on the server. A more robust strategy is to add a physical or virtual server that has its own Plexus Message Broker. The latter strategy can then be used to add a third, fourth or fifth Plexus Message Broker server until the business need is met. See the Health Care Solution for such an example.
High Availability means local redundancy, that is, more than one server provides the given service. If one of the servers goes dark, the other server(s) handle the load. A core design strategy of the Plexus Message Broker is to allow multiple, active, concurrent Plexus Message Brokers to run at the same facility. There are two typical scenarios. The first scenario is to run the Plexus Message Broker on multiple physical machines all front-ended by either a load balancer or a central input queue. The second scenario is to run the Plexus Message Brokers in virtual environments (VMs) that reside on a multi-cluster physical system. In this latter scenario, additional VMs can be spun up to fit the site’s needs.
Software Reliability is the probability that software will act as designed, in a specific environment for a given amount of time. The first step to achieving High Reliability is to design the software with the following concepts in mind:
- Sound, proven software architecture
- Test-driven development techniques
- Extensive, embedded diagnostic trace facilities
- Real-time reporting of the software via a graphical user interface
- Specialized testing tools
The second step to achieving High Reliability is to implement the multi-server or multi-VM environment described in the High Availability section. The Plexus Message Broker embraces both these steps.
Security is an ever-changing battle between the hackers trying to break into your system and the security software layer that protects your data. Gone are the days in which a simple firewall is sufficient protection of your network. In today’s world, dedicated security hardware/software devices abound that specialize in keeping the hackers out of your network. But these devices only provide the first layer of security; two additional layers are needed— the second being validation and authentication, and the third being auditing. For messaging software such as Brokers, there are three directives: (1) be flexible enough to incorporate the steady stream of new security devices, (2) validate and authenticate every message, and (3) audit transactions multiple times. First, the rate at which new dedicated stand-alone hardware devices that specialize in intrusion detection, virus elimination, malware mitigation, and spam email are released is unprecedented. It is reasonable to assume that utilization of these specialized devices is a far better security strategy than relying on the typical in-house protection. Second, validation and authentication is site specific. There are sites whose validation and authentication rules stay static for months. Other sites, such as law enforcement, require real time validation and authorization rules that must change at a moment’s notice. Finally, the transaction must be audited as it comes in from the internet, and audited again once it passes though the security lays of intrusion detection, validation and authorization. This allows the security department to analyze offending attacks as well as hone the security rules to provide better protection.
The Plexus Message Broker is the culmination of fifteen years of development and evolution. It has been refined, revised, updated with current technology, stress-tested in production environments and utilized in a variety of mission critical applications. Business units include banking, insurance, health care and law enforcement agencies.