Is Ignite right for us?

We have a Drupal site and want to be able to broadcast notifications to subscribers on multiple networks. We need the messages delivered immediately to subscribers who are online, and want to cover the major IM networks. Yahoo! is a must-have for our subscriber base, but wide coverage is the ideal.

Is Ignite a good solution for this use case?

As an alternative to setting up an Ignite server, are there commercial Ignite providers we can send messages via?

Openfire is a stable plattform that has a working gateway to external networks. I am running Openfire for more than 10000 registered users and roughly 3000 concurrent users without problems on a small Intel box. There are several larger installations around.

The key problem fo you is the gateway to the IM networks. If you need this functionality for business reasons, you will have to find a programmer that is following the changes in the external networks. This guy has to adapt quickly to any change in the external networks. This is seldomly happening, but the current gateway relies on one volunteer and from the business perspective this is not enough. You will also need Java programming skills to create some plugins/extensions for Openfire to handle your setup (e.g. your broadcast requirement).

Programming for OF is not unlearnable. A good programmer needs roughly a week to produce the first extension.

Bottom line: Openfire is a stable plattform based on Java. You have to get one Java programmer to meet your functional requirements.