technology from back to front


RabbitMQ at Google Tech Talk

Matthias Radestock (LShift TD), Tony Garnock-Jones (LShift Senior Developer) and Alexis Richardson (CohesiveFT CEO) spoke at the Google London meeting.

The presentation dealt with the AMQP protocol, how we built our Erlang implementation of it (RabbitMQ), and how it might address, eg., Twitter’s scaling problems.


TravelDK Wins ‘Best Use of Technology’ Award

The Dorling Kindersley TravelDK site won the ‘Best Use of Technology’ award at the 2008 Travolution awards.

Technically designed and built by LShift, the site won the Best Use of Technology award in the Travel Information category, at the Travolution Awards this year. The awards recognise the best operators, agents, portals, digital marketers and suppliers in the travel industry. Travolution had a record number of entries which were scrutinised by a panel of judges from across the travel industry.

Judges said “DK has utilised cutting edge e-publishing techniques to produce a flexible and simple service for visitors to its website. It takes the in-resort guidebook to the next level.”

Launched last year, was awarded a 2007 TravelMole Web award for Best Website in the Holiday/Travel Extras category. The DK website attracts a growing number of unique visitors and continues to develop with more destinations and added features.

With Google maps, and thousands of images, reviews and ratings, the site enables travellers to add their own travel highlights and read those of others alongside recommendations from the DK Top 10 travel guide series. Uniquely also, DK can create customized guides for marketing partners.

“I’m delighted with this award”, says Georgina Atwell, DK Online Director. “We knew had to offer travellers something genuinely different, and giving the power to the community to create their own pdf or print-on-demand travel guide has proved an enormous success.”


We Want to Recruit You

LShift need to recruit a number of senior developers. If you want to join one of the most skilled and interesting technical teams around, how about submitting a CV and some code samples?

As a company, our outlook is moulded entirely around the principle of recruiting only candidates who combine breadth and depth of outlook and experience. We do not recruit people to slot into a particular technical role, but only all-rounders, familiar with the broadest range of operating environments, programming languages, etc., combining this with a high level of software engineering expertise. Our technical staff are all required to act as client-facing Lead Developers, managing all technical aspects of a project from its inception through to delivery.

If you think that you meet up to the high standards we expect from a potential employee, then read how to apply and complete our online application form.


Intel Low Latency Labs Tests RabbitMQ

Intel Low Latency Labs this week announced [old link:] the results of tests they performed on a messaging system built on the RabbitMQ implementation of AMQP, built by LShift and partners CohesiveFT, on Intel hardware running CohesiveFT’s Elastic Servers. This configuration achieved a throughput of 1.3 million messages a second.



[Extract From]

London, United Kingdom, Nov 14, 2007 – The quest for greater speed and lower latency trading in the financial services sector is set for a major boost due to a new initiative from Intel® Solution Services, the Intel Low Latency Trading lab. Using non-proprietary, standards-based technologies is already known to reduce maintenance and integration costs. However, solutions architects at Intel’s Low Latency Lab in London, have shown that optimising financial messaging for Intel server technologies such as Intel® I/O Acceleration Technology 2 (Intel I/OAT2) is also capable of delivering greater trading performance on major financial messaging technologies including Options Price Reporting Authority (OPRA) feed, Financial Information eXchange (FIX) Protocol Limited’s FAST data compression and the Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP) protocol over TCP/IP for message transport.

Tests were conducted with Pantor Engineering for market data expertise, Cohesive FT’s Elastic Servers running a RabbitMQAMQP cluster, Redhat RHEL5, Endace time-stamping latency measurement tools on the latest Intel® quad-core server platforms including a 16-core Intel® Xeon® Processor 7300 series processor-based machine, as well as an 8-core server based on Intel’s newly released Intel Xeon Processor 5400 series.

Using industry standard hardware, an OPRA feed input rate of 1.3 million messages per second was distributed and replicated to four concurrent subscribers, via an AMQP 0-8 compliant broker cluster running on a single Intel Xeon Processor 7300 based server, with measured mean latency below 1.5ms. Intel I/OAT2 interrupt throttle settings gave a circa 5% uplift to performance, with minor effect on CPU load.

is a product implementing AMQP to deliver a platform-neutral, complete, unified and highly scalable business messaging. It is developed and commercially supported by Rabbit Technologies Ltd, a joint venture between CohesiveFT and LShift Ltd. Additional information on the product and its management and integration tools is available here and, for enquiries, by email sent here.

delivers Elastic Server On Demand, a product that delivers value by reducing the complexity of technology by enabling rapid provisioning and management of applications without platform lock-in. Leveraging virtualisation, open standards and its partner ecosystem working with Intel, CohesiveFT opens up technology choices for the front office and lower barriers to market participation.

, the world leader in silicon innovation, develops technologies, products and initiatives to continually advance how people work and live. Additional information about Intel is available at the Intel Pressroom and Intel Blogs


Shifty needs a Programme / Business Manager

Shifty (LShift’s Guru and Avatar) is looking for an experienced Programme Manager / Business Manager with the nous and ambition to drive a truly innovative company. We’ve found that a traditional approach to running projects is as much of a hindrance as a help, so we need someone to report directly to the board, capable of defining, implementing and delivering new ways of working in a thoroughly agile environment. Do you fancy the challenge of ensuring that our systems are as smart as our technical offering?

Salary: £38 – £45k plus discretionary bonus, based in Central London.

You’ll work across five key areas:

  • Client Engagement: Put simply, this is about helping clients get the best out of their relationship with LShift. Strategically, this involves refining and communicating our proposition as a business; operationally, it means developing and improving our project management practices, tools and techniques, and helping clients work effectively with them.
  • Project Controls: We have many complex projects and need to manage resourcing across them carefully. We also need to ensure that we have the appropriate management information for decision making – whether it is to
    determine our ability to take on new work, feed into our cash flow and budgeting plans, or analyze project profitability.
  • Account Handling: We only employ Senior Developers who are also skilled project managers. However there is often a requirement to attend client meetings to assist in matching client and lead developer, helping to ensure that
    requirements are captured, high level business issues are understood, and
    linking requirements to solution roadmaps. It also involves acting as a proxy
    to make sure that our commitment to the client is fulfilled and so the role may also involve supporting developers in applying their chosen project management methodology.
  • Business Development: Supporting our Executive Director with winning new business through managing the development of proposals and pitches, farming and sizing new business opportunities (with new and existing clients), and actively managing ITT sources.
  • Product Management: From time-to-time we turn some of the bespoke applications that we have developed into products. When this happens we need someone to help write business cases, develop and implement marketing and brand plans and, through true customer insight, assist in steering the product development direction.

Ideally you’ll come from a project management discipline with a mix of planning, technical (at the requirements level) and client facing experience. In return, you can expect;

  • Working with some of the best people in the industry and some of the
    World’s largest companies, including Barclays, BBC, Dorling Kindersley,
    Habitat, Levi’s, Microsoft, The Discovery Channel, T-Mobile, Vodafone, and
  • Working in the heart of Hoxton, surrounded with all the bars and eateries you could possibly want or need.
  • Extremely flexible working patterns, season ticket loans, and contributory group pension and healthcare schemes.
  • A fridge with lots of soft drinks and beers, an excellent coffee machine, and an office jukebox to rival all others.
  • An opportunity to make the job what you want it to be, in an environment
    that’s open to new ideas and encourages radical thought.

For more information about the role, or to apply, please contact Chris
Stephenson on chris (at) or 020 7749 7749. CVs should be accompanied by a covering letter.

Closing date for applications is Wednesday 17th October, although applications will be reviewed as soon as they are received.


LShift at Agile Business Conference

The fourth Agile Business Conference will be held at the QE2 Conference Centre from 2-3 October 2007. The conference represents a great opportunity to find out more about a range of Agile development approaches. LShift is sponsoring, exhibiting, and attending the event along with other sponsors such as Borland and Fronde. Organisations such as Allied Irish Bank, the BBC and British Telecom will be discussing their experience of Agile adoption and development.

This is an exciting period for the Agile community with a rapid
acceleration in the uptake of Agile methods, both within and beyond the IT
context. The conference has been organised jointly between the DSDM Consortium – of which LShift has been a member since 2002 – and the Agile Alliance.

Please feel free to come and talk to us in the exhibition space at the event to find out more about what we think about Agile.


Dorling Kindersley Travel wins 2007 TravelMole Award

Dorling Kindersley Travel site won the top award in the Holiday Extras category at the fourth annual TravelMole web awards – the biggest in the event’s history – held in London on May 24 at the Canadian High Commission.

There were 1,400 nominations for travel industry websites across 13 categories this year, followed by an extensive judging process. The Judges said “In a very competitive category Travel.DK won the overall prize due to the innovative way they are able to present information to the potential traveller. Good content with easy, attractive access.”

The DK Eyewitness Travel Guide site was developed by LShift and design
partners Poke London. The site is pioneering as it allows users to select travel highlights from DK Eyewitness travel guide content, and then organise them into their own tailored travel guide. Once users have created their guides, they can download them for a small charge and then take them on their trip. Users can also share their guides within the DK travel community, and when they get back, rate and comment on the places they have visited.


LShift Take DSDM Atern Course

LShift first to take DSDM Atern practitioner course and examination.

LShift were the first software development company to attend
the new DSDM Atern practitioner course since its launch on Monday 23 April.

Atern is the new version of DSDM (Dynamic Systems Development Methodology), an
agile project delivery framework that delivers the right business solution at
the right time. Atern focuses on strategic goals and incremental delivery of
real business benefits while keeping control of cost, risk and quality. High
levels of agility are achieved through self-directive, empowered teams working
together in a supportive and collaborative manner.

Atern replaced DSDM Version 4.2 on Monday 23 April 2007. As DSDM is LShift’s
preferred development methodology, the team were eager to catch up on new
developments and incorporate them into current practice. Six Shiftees attended
the DSDM Atern Practitioner course during the launch week and then succesfully sat the
examination. All six Shiftees passed and are now looking forward to working
with the new framework in practice.

See Also:

Visit LShift at QCon

LShift will be attending QCon (Conference for the Enterprise Software Development Community) in London from 14 – 16 March to showcase their new product, RabbitMQ – a joint venture with CohesiveFT.

RabbitMQ Open Source Enterprise Messaging is an implementation of AMQP, the emerging standard for high performance enterprise messaging. As QCon is a leading conference for the Enterprise Software Development Community, it is the perfect forum for RabbitMQ’s first public outing.

Organised jointly by and JAOO, QCon is designed with the technical depth and enterprise focus of interest to technical team leads, architects, and project managers. There is no other event in the UK with similar opportunities for learning, networking, and tracking innovation occuring in the Java, .NET, Ruby, SOA, Agile, Ajax, and architecture communities.

Come and talk to us at stand 14.


LShift and CohesiveFT launch RabbitMQ Open Source Enterprise Messaging

LShift have developed RabbitMQ, a complete open source implementation of Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP), with the support of the pioneering software appliance company CohesiveFT.

AMQP is the emerging standard for high performance enterprise messaging; reducing change and maintenance costs through the separation of integration concerns, removal of silo dependency, and freedom from language and platform lock-in. This has resulted in consistently excellent performance, without compromising user experience, security and scalability.

RabbitMQ enables developers of messaging solutions to benefit not only from AMQP, but also from one of the most proven systems in use, the Open Telecommunication Platform (OTP). OTP is used exclusively by telecommunications companies to manage switching exchanges for voice calls, VoIP, and now video. These systems are designed never to go down even when handling vast user loads. As such systems cannot be taken offline, they have to be extremely flexible; for instance, it must be possible to ‘hot deploy’ features and fixes whilst managing consistent user service level agreements.

Rather than creating a new messaging infrastructure, the RabbitMQ team built an AMQP layer on top of OTP using Erlang. Java tooling and clients are provided for developers and administrators to run RabbitMQ and connect to it over the AMQP wire protocol, with other language adaptors to come. This combines the robustness and scalability of a proven platform with the flexibility of AMQP’s messaging model.

John O’Hara, Executive Director at JPMorgan and Chair of the AMQP Working Group said “A strong standard needs a variety of interoperating implementations and I am pleased to welcome RabbitMQ to the family. The vision of the AMQP Working Group is that through standardisation AMQP enables businesses to reduce their integration costs and paves the way to simple, robust transaction processing between firms globally. RabbitMQ, implemented in technologies pioneered in the demanding telecommunications industry, demonstrates the innovation which can occur on the back of an open standard like AMQP.”

Version 1.0.0 Alpha binary and source distributions (along with documentation) are available for download for Generic Unix, Windows, and Debian GNU/Linux platforms. The download includes the RabbitMQ server and Java client, providing an API to AMQP. RabbitMQ is licensed under the open source Mozilla Public License.

The next phase of the project will address improved support for hot failover and AMQP clients will be extended beyond Java to other programming languages and environments. RabbitMQ will be integrated with other networks via Enterprise Service Buses such as Mule, interfaced with existing management and monitoring tools such as HermesJMS, and packaged as a Software Appliance for drop-in deployment.


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