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DevCentral Top 5 for November 30, 2009

DevCentral team is back from our week of being sequestered in a conference room discussing the meaning of life

Released into the wild, the DevCentral team is back from our week of being sequestered in a conference room discussing the meaning of life, the universe and everything. Well…everything as it pertains to DC, at least. We even rolled successfully to save against being mauled by zombies or turned into newts (hey…it's almost Halloween, gimme a break…). As such there is plenty of content to pour through this week, including a very cool talk with a newbie to the F5 family. As always I'll give you my picks and hope they serve you well. Here is the Top5 for this week:

Cast Your Vote for Best iRule for the 2009 Contest


We're almost there! I'm sure some of you that were paying close attention have been looking at your calendars with all of the days marked off, waiting with baited breath for the announcement of the winners of this year's iRule Do You? contest. There is but one more person that needs to vote before we can be finished - you! We've made our picks, cast our ballots and bet on our respective ponies, as it were, and now it's time for the community to get involved. Take a minute to go look at the top 6 iRule entries this year. You'll get to feast your eyes on what people are doing with the coolest coding language in the networking world, then vote for your favorite to win the grand prize. Not only is this post informative, but it's interactive as well. Take a few minutes and go take a look at what the community is up to.

DevCentral Weekly Roundup Episode 109 - Branch Cache Chumby


It's all right, I have no idea what the heck "Branch Cache Chumby" means either. Regardless of the title, this week's podcast was very cool. We talked about a few of the usual things as well as Jeff mentioning the above post wherein the community gets to help steer the ship directly for a change, rather than indirectly. Most interesting of all, though, was the in-depth discussion that we had with the guest this week, F5's own James Hendergart. James is a relatively new player on the F5 team but he's got plenty of experience, so he comes across as anything but new. We talked at length about what he and the Business Development team are up to with Microsoft, ranging from Sharepoint to Exchange to Branch Caching and beyond. It's always good to hear what other teams are up to and James has some definite passion about what he's doing, so it turned into a great talk. This one is worth a listen.

A First Look at the F5 PRO-Enabled Management Pack for Microsoft Virtual Machine Manager 2008


Speaking of Microsoft, the guys on the Management Pack team are on a roll. They just keep dropping release after release with new, cool features for you to play with. In this post Joel Hendrickson, one of the devs on that team, walks through some of the new bells and whistles in their newest deployment. I love seeing what these guys are going to come up with next, and they haven't disappointed so far. If you've been following or have interest in the management pack at all, I think this is definitely worth a read.

To Take Advantage of Cloud Computing You Must Unlearn, Luke.


The unlearning Lori is talking about is all that knowledge you have about application scaling and sizing. It's common practice to over-supply resources for an application. You think the app needs x amount of CPU and y amount of RAM to comfortably run at normal operating levels? Great. Now go buy servers with 2-3x those resources so you can be sure that things are always running smoothly, even during spikes in usage. That might not sound so bad, but what if "x cpu and y RAM" ends up being 40 physical machines worth once you've tripled it? Now scale that out across many applications and you start to see the problem that companies running their own infrastructure have often had to deal with. They have all this capacity going to waste a huge percentage of the time, but they have to have it for those 5 or 6 times a year when usage spikes. This, as Lori says, is one of the large draws to the cloud computing and virtualization model(s). There are a few hiccups, of course, if you treat your options for virtualized resources in the cloud the same as you always have your physical systems. Lori goes into much more depth in her post, I suggest you give it a read to find out more.

20 Lines or Less #30


Back at it this week the 20LoL is here with three more great iRules examples courtesy of the community. In this particular case when I say "community" I mean "hoolio". I didn't realize it until after I'd pulled all three examples that they all ended up being from one guy. That's less shocking, though, if you look at the 5,000+ posts Aaron has put out there for the iRulers worldwide. This week I grabbed a couple good ones dealing with pre-loading search queries via http redirects, even more fun with the ever popular nested switch statement, and updating referrer headers in-line. We're darn close to breaking 100 unique iRule examples under 21 lines of code in this series, and every week I love digging around to see what I can find that people are up to in just a few short commands. Take a look if you want to get some ideas on how to use small iRules to have a big impact.

That’s it for this week. As always, check out previous versions here: http://devcentral.f5.com/Default.aspx?tabid=101 and don't be shy with your feedback.


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More Stories By Colin Walker

Coming from a *Nix Software Engineering background, Colin is no stranger to long hours of coding, testing and deployment. His personal experiences such as on-stage performance and the like have helped to foster the evangelist in him. These days he splits his time between coding, technical writing and evangalism. He can be found on the road to just about anywhere to preach the good word about ADCs, Application Aware networking, Network Side Scripting and geekery in general to anyone that will listen.

Colin currently helps manage and maintain DevCentral (http://devcentral.f5.com). He is also a contributor in many ways, from Articles to Videos to numerous forum posts, to iRules coding and whatever else he can get his hands on that might benefit the community and allow it to continue to grow.

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