Reminder: The method for ordering VITA services has changed. Please follow the revised instructions in the "How to Order" section, below.

Application Messaging

Service Catalog Server Image

Price: See Description

Unit of Measure: Usage Based

Pricing Type: Fixed

Billing Cycle: Monthly

Service Lead: Jeffrey Scheich Jeffrey.Scheich@vita.virginia.gov

Description:

Application Messaging (AM) is a messaging middleware service that allows agencies to securely integrate applications across multiple platforms.

The AM service is implemented using IBM MQ platforms. The Production environment is implemented in a high availability configuration.

AM service provides a unified messaging solution that offers agencies the capability to send and exchange information across diverse applications and multiple platforms through the use of message queues. Agencies can use message queues to facilitate the exchange of information between applications, systems, services and files. 

Pricing

Pricing for the AM service is based on a combination of core and server charges. The AIS team will collaborate with each customer to define the optimal configuration based on agency needs.

AM Cores

AM service pricing is based on AM cores. An AM core is the unit of measure for the software and support included with the AM service. AM cores are shared between customer production and non-production servers. A minimum configuration of 0.5 cores is required for production servers. A minimum configuration of 0.1 cores is required for non-production servers.

For invoicing, the number of AM cores assigned to a customer is combined into an AM core quantity total. The AM core quantity total is multiplied by the AM core rate to calculate the AM core charge.

New customers to the AM service are offered a discounted introductory rate for non-production AM instances. The introductory rate applies until the first production AM instance is deployed or for the first year of utilizing the service in non-production mode, whichever comes first. The introductory rates are converted to standard rates at that time.

Server Charges

AM customers will need at least one dedicated AIX LPAR server to run the AM service. The specific configuration will be determined based on customer needs.

Server, Storage Area Network (SAN) and Network Access rates are based on the VITA service catalog pricing.

  • Tier 1 SAN is normally utilized for production and Tier 2 SAN is normally used for non-production. 
  • All storage associated with the customer LPAR is charged to AM customers. 
  • Disaster recovery is an option for Production AM servers.
AM Monthly Service Rates
Standard
AM Core $470.00 per 0.1 core
Minimum cores (production) 0.5 cores
Minimum cores (non-production) 0.1 cores
Introductory
AM Core $235.00 per 0.1 core
Minimum cores (production) 0.5 cores
Minimum cores (non-production) 0.1 cores
Server Charges
AIX Logical Partition (LPAR) (click here for pricing)
AIX LPAR SAN Storage Tier1: Storage SAN Tier 1 at CESC or SWESC
Tier2: Storage SAN Tier 2 at CESC
Network Access LAN - Port Charge
Disaster Recovery (Optional)
AIX LPAR DR Server AIX DR PAR
AIX LPAR DR SAN Storage DR Tier 1 – Allocated Storage

How to Order

Effective 12/15/18, this service can be ordered from the VITA Service Catalog in the new VITA Service Portal. To submit your request:

  • Customers who have Commonwealth of Virginia (COV) accounts (including executive branch agencies) should access the VITA Service Catalog via the VITA Service Portal to place service requests using the automated form provided in the catalog.
  • Customers who do not have COV accounts (including some local government customers) or customers who are unable to gain access to the portal may order the service by sending an e-mail to the VITA Customer Care Center (VCCC) services desk at vccc@vita.virginia.gov. Please include the following information:
    • The words "Service request" in the "Subject" line
    • The name of the service being ordered
    • The quantity desired (if applicable)
    • Any other information you deem relevant

If you are uncertain as to whether you have a COV account, start by trying to access the VITA Service Portal. If you are unable to do so, then use the email-to-the-VCCC method.

If you need additional assistance, you may check with your agency information technology resource (AITR) or call the VCCC at 866-637-8482.

You will be contacted to confirm that your request has been received and to obtain any additional required information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on question to show or hide answer.

Application Messaging (AM) is a messaging middleware service implemented using the IBM MQ platform and uses message queues to enable information exchanges. The AM service offers agencies the capability to send and exchange information across diverse applications and multiple platforms through the use of message queues.

The applications communicate with one another by sending each other data in messages rather than calling each other directly. The messages are placed on queues in storage, allowing programs to run independently of each other, at different speeds and times, in different locations, and without having a logical connection between them. Hence the AM service serves as single, robust and trusted messaging backbone for dynamic heterogeneous environments with rapid and seamless connectivity in a secure reliable message delivery environment that is simple to manage and at the same time preserves message integrity and minimizes risk of information loss.

Agencies using the AM service are able to:

  • Develop applications and systems that communicate with one another across a network of unlike operating systems, applications, and/or communication protocols.
  • Send messages between two systems or publish messages that can be consumed by multiple subscribers based off the message topic.
  • Trigger an application based on the arrival of a message.
  • Trigger events based off specific characteristics of the message header or start an application based off a criterion, for example, trigger application on the 10th message.
  • Send messages to receiving application without waiting for a reply to its message.

The introductory rate applies until the first production AM instance is deployed or for the first year of utilizing the service in non-production mode, whichever comes first. The introductory rates are converted to standard rates when a production instance is deployed or after one year in non-production mode.

The AM service is compliant with COV security standards and best practices. The AM service secures transactions in flight and at rest.

Multiple environments, such as development, test, UAT and production can be implemented to fully support customer needs.

The AM service will enable you to set priority of messages and/or transactions to ensure that the most critical messages are processed first.

If the receiving application is down, the messages will be placed in a queue and retrieved by the receiving application when it is operational.

An AIX LPAR is a virtual server configured on IBM Power hardware. AIX is the IBM UNIX operating system and LPAR stands for logical partition. Running AIX LPARs on IBM Power hardware provides optimized performance and maximizes AM license efficiency.

An AIX LPAR provides a server platform that is configured for each customer and isolates customer information to the server. Customers are allocated AIX LPARs that are configured based on the number of software cores required and the amount of SAN storage needed for the AM instance.

There is a minimum of 0.5 processor cores required for a production AM service instance. There is a minimum of 0.1 processor cores required for a non-production AM service instance. Typically customer consumes cores in 0.5 increments. The partial core pricing allows AIS customers to be assigned the optimal amount of services required to support the customer instances.

VITA AIS architects and subject matter experts will work with customers to develop a solution that integrates into the AIS middleware environment. Customers are always responsible for application development. The AIS team will collaborate with your staff and provide guidance to ensure that the implementation is carried out utilizing industry best practices.

The service is available to all executive branch agencies.

The infrastructure for this service is managed by Application Integration Services (AIS), a group within VITA that provides secure hosting and integration services for agency applications. In addition to the service, AIS provides the security, architecture expertise and application monitoring for the service infrastructure. AIS also provides 24X7 support for the production and non-production environments.