Thursday, 22 May 2014

NSBCon 2014 – All About NServiceBus

I'm excited to say I'll be speaking at NSBCon here in London in June. NServiceBus is the most popular open-source service bus for .NET platforms, and I'll be talking about how we use NServiceBus at Spotlight to deliver online photo and multimedia publishing systems aimed at professional actors, casting directors and production professionals.
I'll be talking about two distinct systems. The first is our proprietary system for managing online photo publication. Spotlight has been publishing photographs in one form or another since 1927, and so our current system is the latest in a long, long series of incremental developments - from acid-etched brass photograph plates, to lithographic bromide machines, to industrial film scanners and ImageMagick. Photography is an absolutely fundamental part of the creative casting process, and we reached a point a few years ago where our web servers were spending 60%-70% of their CPU time rendering photographs. Working within the limitations of our legacy systems, we developed a distributed thumbnailing and caching system that delivers the same results with a fraction of the processing overhead. I'll discuss how we used NServiceBus to work around those limitations, the architectural and operation challenges we faced building and running this system, and some of the lessons we learned when, a year after deploying it into production, we had to migrate this system from onsite hosting to a private cloud.
The second is an online audio/video upload and publishing system. Working with online video offers a unique set of challenges - dozens of incompatible file formats, massive file uploads, unpredictable analysis and encoding jobs. We built and deployed a system that satisfied these requirements whilst offering an intuitive, responsive user experience, and in this talk I'll cover the high-level architectural approach that enabled this. We'll look at how we used NServiceBus to decouple the 'heavy lifting' components of the application from the customer-facing user interface components, and some of the lessons we learned deploying a distributed NServiceBus application in an Amazon EC2 hosting environment.
NSBCon is at SkillsMatter here in London, on the 26th and 27th of June 2014. I'll be speaking alongside a great panel of .NET and distributed systems experts, including Udi Dahan, Ayende, Greg Young, Andreas Ohlund and many others. Follow @NSBCon on Twitter for more updates, and sign up at SkillsMatter if you're interested.

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