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SpringSource buys Rabbit For World Made of Messages

Its 25 past 6 on a Friday afternoon and very much beer o’clock, but I wanted to note one of the most exciting acquisitions I have seen in a while. After all its not every day that an enterprise player like VMware SpringSource buys a technology that my hacker friends like to use on a daily basis. All the folks I know building energy management and home automation with web technologies – what I like to think of as the HomeCamp cluster (folks like Pachube and Current Cost) see Rabbit as one of the most useful tools in their box.

RabbitMQ is an open source message queue system. Think WebSphere MQ for the Web generation. Message queuing without any barriers to entry. You may be wondering who the hell cares about this “enterprisey” technology. Message queue technology may be common in the enterprise, but less so in the cloud. That is perhaps until Twitter came along. Twitter is made of messages – that much was made abundantly clear at the company’s inaugural developer conference Chirp this week.

One of the smartest developers I know is Matt Biddulph, who architected the dopplr web service for frequent travelers: designed to to make it more more likely you would meet others on your social network when you are jetting around the place to conferences and so on. He is an absurdly smart guy and when I shared a lot of time with him discussing the idea of a Web that was messaging enabled. Why couldn’t dopplr for example notify me when my favourite airline had a good price for the trip I had coming up? Because web messaging wasn’t mature enough.

Matt is way smarter than me, and this is his presentation on the topic from 2008:

RabbitMQ was built to fill that gap. Web developers tend to scoff at transaction management, but messaging has a really broad applicability – particularly in the cloud world. How are we going to deliver cloud interoperability? If you think the answer is Web Standards think again- remember WS-*? Messaging however offers the opportunity to tie disparate systems together with point to point interactions or indeed other integration patterns.

Here is a use case that may better explain why SpringSource acquired Rabbit: Mark Masterson, a thought leader at CSC and all round top man, this week documented his idea for a Redundant Array Of Inexpensive Clouds. Its a great post and well worth reading. Just try and imagine the topology without a managed messaging system.

The CEO of Rabbit Alexis Richardson is another good friend of mine, and he raises the crucial point – that Rabbit wants to fill all the niches that High end technologies like IBM’s WebSphereMQ just don’t. Laudable goal – and his team made it easy for developers to do just that -with straightforward APIs. Funnily enough one active end point for RabbitMQ messaging based systems is likely to be another IBM technology from father of HomeCamp Andy Stanford-Clark- MQTT aka mosquito – which is lightweight enough to run in sensors as we build out the Internet of Things. Thing is you can’t have an Internet of Things without an Internet of Messages.

Its great to see another Shoreditch startup acquired, and there is a lot more to say about the deal – but anyone interested by technologies that bridge enteprise and web should be interested in the deal. VMware getting its Web on? Very interesting indeed.

disclosure: SpringSource and IBM are both RedMonk clients.

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18 Responses

  1. SpringSource buys Rabbit For World Made of Messages http://bit.ly/cHeTFD cc: @mattb @andysc @monadic @yellowpark @pachube @springrod
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  2. SpringSource buys Rabbit For World Made of Messages – http://is.gd/bvZ2N
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  3. astute from @monkchips http://tinyurl.com/y8396so. see also, gearman.org
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  4. And thx to @monkchips for all recent link love to my #raic blog post. (hat=tipped). Cheers, mate. Cf. http://bit.ly/cw4eM9
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  5. Nice news for the RabbitMQ folks… it seems to be a great project which has gained prominence for good reason, so congratulations to Alexis and his team. I love Matt’s presentation as well, and I’ve referenced that before in trying to help other folks understand the value of messaging.

    To clarify something here, MQTT itself is a protocol – mosquit(t)o is currently a partial but very interesting implementation of it, which lends itself nicely to “opportunistic development” on platforms like Ubuntu. “Other television listings magazines are available”… see http://mqtt.org/software

    One thing I’m personally seeing is more convergence between messaging models and protocols… increasingly things like RabbitMQ are becoming switches (and of course WebSphere MQ is reachable via HTTP these days, with the expected change in QoS that entails on the front-end). Nice to see interoperability of this kind happening across the MOM ecosystem. So, I guess I’d also point out that WMQ has a place in some of the same spaces that you’re referring to. That’s not to say that both technologies don’t have some obvious sweet spots.

    disclaimer: I’m an IBMer, but the opinions here are entirely my own and do not necessarily reflect anything that anybody else is thinking.

    • cheers Andy. great thoughts. definitely need MOM interop, and the simplicity of more RESTful methods. WMQ may have a role to play in the “other spaces” – but IBM isn’t set up to pursue these opportunities. The barriers to entry to WMQ are significant, and IBM’s engagement models isn’t set up to address them. The WebSphere business has little or no interest in pervasive adoption, whatever IBM rhetoric may have been over the years. Rabbit is just filling the vacuum that nature abhors. Same as virtualisation – if IBM won’t address the mass market with its invention, then someone else bloody will. Is Rabbit the VMware of messaging? Could be, right?

      James GovernorApril 23, 2010 @ 11:30 amReply
  6. Why WebSphereMQ won’t ever be a pervasive play, but RabbitMQ already is http://monk.ly/9Tsb3S cc: @monadic @andysc @andypiper #businessmodel
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  7. Congrats to the Rabbit folk! It will be interesting to see what VMW does with this tech. One step closer to the semantic Web 3.0 perhaps? Brings back thoughts of Ontology… *shudder* On one side you’ve folks getting into automating processes, while the other side is trying to connect through clout.
    Carly S.



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Continuing the Discussion

  1. […] bought by SpringSource/VMWare – the re-rise of queues. See James’ piece on the topic […]

  2. […] James Governor's Monkchips » SpringSource buys Rabbit For World Made of Messages Excellent writeup on the importance of message queue systems (especially the embedded talk). RabbitMQ & ActiveMQ use the AMQP protocol, which Zenoss has a ZenPack for. (tags: amqp zenoss queue) […]

  3. […] Enterprise and Web messaging and event management technologies are converging, so IBM should let the hackers hack. You can’t build an Internet of Things without an Internet of Messages. In related news its worth pointing to the fact IBM has just removed one barrier to entry for to its own lightweight messaging protocol MQTT by supporting it natively in WebSphereMQ without requiring the WebSphere Message Broker. […]

  4. […] Enterprise and Web messaging and event management technologies are converging, so IBM should let the hackers hack. You can’t build an Internet of Things without an Internet of Messages. In related news its worth pointing to the fact IBM has just removed one barrier to entry for to its own lightweight messaging protocol MQTT by supporting it natively in WebSphereMQ without requiring the WebSphere Message Broker. […]

  5. […] Stephen O’Grady posits, the desire for growth may well lead Red Hat to follow VMware, which recently acquired RabbitMQ, into the so-called NoSQL market. Such technology can be critical to constructing enterprise […]

  6. […] Stephen O’Grady posits, the desire for growth may well lead Red Hat to follow VMware, which recently acquired RabbitMQ, into the so-called NoSQL market. Such technology can be critical to constructing enterprise […]

  7. […] friend James Governor posited not very long ago that “WebSphere MQ won’t ever be a pervasive play“. James is an extremely smart guy and I take his opinions very seriously, but with the […]

  8. […] A World Made of Messages James Governor discusses how messaging in the cloud, specifically with RabbitMQ, is changing the way applications are architected. The slides on that page (by Matt Biddulph) are definitely worth a look. […]

  9. […] last time I wrote about a World Made of Messages was back in 2010, when SpringSource announced it was to acquire RabbitMQ. A lot has happened in the the meantime- but things are really heating […]

  10. […] IBM, for example, is investing heavily in Smarter Buildings, bringing the world of HVAC and asset management together with IT. Energy is the common thread there. I also wrote recently that IBM had open sourced some core MQTT technology, in an attempt to kick start the Internet of things, in a world made of messages. […]