Wow, now this is something that is easy to use, and works out of the "can".
gem install fmq
Gets you started. This is a "message" queue system. It lets you implement a "fire" and forget type messaging system. (In my old Stratus or VOS days, we called them "server" queues.)
So you set up a "server", which in this can is a "mongrel" rails application, that manages multiple "server" queues. The communications method is "http", which means it will go thru firewalls easy. Your "client", which could be a pc, or a "ruby" capable device then can "fire" work to be done at the server, such as request a report, or perform some "action".
For example, in "device" management, it could be to "get" outstanding commands, or "update" status. The work is "queued" and processed as quick as possible.
The nice thing about fmq that I can see is the "dependencies" are "tiny" to "none". There's a cute little demo/management system that lets you create "queues", and fire messages, and receive messages.
In doing a lot of "missing" critical applications I find a good message system is critical. I've even coded my own "system" to extend "server/message" queues to a pc.
This looks "simple" and "good".
So I'll give this a spin in a "real" project, and see how it flies.