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Embracing Innovation With the New Long-Term Support Version of the HiveMQ Platform

by Harsh Bansal
13 min read

Newly Released Features in HiveMQ Enterprise MQTT Platform 4.28 LTS

It’s been 18 months since we released our last HiveMQ Platform 4.9 LTS, and we have added a lot of new features to the platform. These features not only improve the user experience but also ensure that our platform remains the trusted choice for IoT deployments based on MQTT. Read on to learn about the most important features since the last LTS release. 

Focus on Data Quality 

We have gradually added new features to the platform that enable validation, transformation, and enforcement of data quality policies.

HiveMQ Data Hub

HiveMQ Data Hub is an integrated policy and transformation engine which helps implement validation and transformation capabilities directly within the data stream. This helps minimize the need for later-stage data scrubbing, and facilitates more efficient and accurate decision-making downstream.

HiveMQ Data Hub offers a unified method for enforcing data standards and ensuring the delivery of high-quality data across various deployments. The rollout of Data Hub capabilities has been gradual, with an early access release in May 2022. We have added several capabilities since then including MQTT CLI integration and behavioral policies. Additionally, we have integrated support in the Control Center for managing Data Hub policies, enhancing user experience and control.

Customers are using HiveMQ Data Hub for a variety of use cases including converting metrics like celsius readings into fahrenheit values, and transforming a Protobuf format payload into JSON.

HiveMQ Data Hub is also helping customers build an edge-centric deployment as validation and transformation features are extensible to the recently released HiveMQ Edge software gateway.

Better Integration Capabilities via New HiveMQ Extensions 

HiveMQ's extensibility has been significantly enhanced with the addition of several new enterprise extensions, allowing for seamless data integration with streaming and analytics platforms as well as databases.

Data Streaming Integrations

We added bi-directional MQTT data movement with Amazon Kinesis, rounding out HiveMQ’s integrations with major cloud streaming platforms. Customers can choose the Kafka Extension to stream MQTT data to the many Kafka-compliant services including Azure Event Hubs, the Google Pub/Sub Extension to stream data to Google Cloud services, and the Amazon Kinesis Extension to stream and transact with AWS services. 

Database Integrations

We added purpose-built platform extensions for seamless integration with popular databases. These extensions offer optimized data ingestion into databases such as MongoDB, PostgreSQL, and MySQL as well as compatible databases such as TimescaleDB, CockroachDB, and MariaDB.

Data Platform and Analytics Integrations

We added seamless integrations with popular data lakes and data analytics platforms. Via the HiveMQ Enterprise Data Lake Extension, you can ingest your structured or unstructured MQTT data into Cloud object storages such as AWS S3 and Azure Blob Storage and allow for easy integration with data warehouses and analytics platforms like Databricks and Snowflake. 

In addition, the HiveMQ Enterprise Extension for Snowflake helps you directly integrate with the Snowflake Data Cloud via the Snowpipe Streaming API. 

Enhanced Reliability

We've bolstered the reliability and security of the HiveMQ Platform by adding several key enhancements to the Enterprise Security Extension:

Enhanced Configuration Validation and Sanity Checks

We've implemented rigorous configuration validation and sanity checks. This approach is designed to prevent common misconfigurations and ensure that your HiveMQ deployment remains as stable and reliable as possible. For a more detailed description, please follow this link.

Refined Cluster Overload Protection

Our cluster overload protection mechanisms have been enhanced to ensure that your HiveMQ cluster can handle unexpected surges in traffic without compromising performance. It’s a technical improvement that doesn’t need configuration and is explained in detail here.

HiveMQ Health API with Liveness and Readiness Probes

We introduced the Health API with Liveness and Readiness probes. Health checks make it easier for site reliability engineers to ensure the robustness of the HiveMQ deployments they manage and respond to issues automatically. We have also added additional subcomponents that report on the status and health of installed extensions. Extension components in the Health API provide reliable checks of the extension status and allow automatic checks of vital integration points for your use-cases and IoT architectures. 

Enhanced Security 

PROXY Protocol Support for TLS (Transport Layer Security)

Support for the PROXY protocol has been added to TLS connections, improving the security and reliability of MQTT communication over secure channels. Customers are now able to combine the PROXY protocol and TLS. Among other benefits, it allows preserving IP addresses of clients that connect via load balancer for better visibility.

In addition, several other features help enhance the security of IoT applications built on HiveMQ Platform.

  • Client Certificate Revocation Checking

    • We now support TLS handshake client certificate revocation checking with OSCP (Online Certificate Status Protocol) and CRL (Certificate Revocation List) for connecting clients.

  • Added Preprocessors

    • We added multiple new preprocessing options to allow preparation and transformation before authentication and authorization takes place. Preprocessors can now be used for all pipelines. 

  • File-based authentication and authorization

    • We added full support for file-based authentication and authorization for all pipelines.

  • OpenID Connect (OIDC) support

    • We added full support for OpenID Connect authentication for Control Center users.  

  • Inclusion of JDBC drivers by default

    • We are shipping the Enterprise Security Extension with sensible default JDBC drivers that can be customized if needed. 

  • and many others

These improvements ensure that your MQTT communication is secure and reliable, meeting the stringent and evolving requirements of enterprise IoT deployments.

Improved Performance and Scalability 

HiveMQ's performance and scalability have seen significant improvements, ensuring that your MQTT broker can handle even the most demanding workloads:

  • Improved stability of the HiveMQ Broker cluster under high load, especially during topology changes such as rolling upgrades.

  • Efficiency enhancements for HiveMQ Broker deployment on many-core instances, resulting in increased throughput and reduced CPU usage.

  • Reduced latency of PUBLISH packets passing through the broker, optimizing CPU utilization for faster message delivery.

  • Improved resilience of cluster composition changes, including rolling upgrades and cluster split healing, and increased MQTT throughput efficiency in high-load scenarios.

Java 21 Support

Starting with HiveMQ 4.28, Java 21 support is available across HiveMQ Platform and all official HiveMQ container images. The HiveMQ system requirements remain Java 11 or higher; however, using Java 21 is now our recommendation. Java 21 is the LTS version that will receive security support till 31 Dec 2029, making it the perfect companion for the HiveMQ 4.28 LTS life cycle. Our customers are free to use the preferred JVM vendor in case of self-hosted solutions. 

Expanded Windows Server Support

HiveMQ Broker has long supported Windows operating systems for development purposes. With the introduction of the new 4.28 LTS version, HiveMQ officially adds Windows Server 2016, 2019, and 2022 support for production deployments of HiveMQ Enterprise MQTT Broker. This expansion reflects our commitment to providing versatile and reliable solutions across diverse IT infrastructures to meet the evolving needs of our users.

How to Migrate Smoothly to the New LTS

You can upgrade from any 4.9.x LTS version to 4.28.0 LTS without any hassles. We recommend testing on the staging environment before moving the changes to the production environment. 

We’d like to point you in the direction of some relevant materials that will support you through the migration process:

  • Please see the HiveMQ 4.9 LTS to 4.28 LTS Migration Guide and Release Notes for each release to check for configuration and feature changes as part of upgrade planning.

  • Please check out our steps to rolling upgrade to maintain steady resource utilization.

  • Empower your team to swiftly resolve any issues.

Please also don’t forget that our Customer Support team is always available to support you step by step during the migration process: together we can plan the smooth version-to-version transition HiveMQ is known for.

Harsh Bansal

Harsh Bansal leads Customer Support at HiveMQ, bringing multiple years of expertise in guiding L2 and L3 support teams across EMEA, APAC, and NAM. He excels in driving customer satisfaction. In his current role, Harsh is dedicated to providing an unparalleled customer support experience at HiveMQ and helping enterprises adopt MQTT, IoT, and IIoT to transform their business.

  • Harsh Bansal on LinkedIn
  • Contact Harsh Bansal via e-mail
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