What the heck does that mean? And who are you anyway?

Well, hello to you, too! I'm Lori MacVittie, Technical Marketing Manager for Application Services here at F5. If the name sounds familiar that's because I spent the past five and half years at Network Computing performing in-depth testing and analysis of products ranging from SSL accelerators to SOA and XML security and management to - yes, you guessed it - application delivery controllers like BIG-IP.

I'm a software developer at heart, so even though I can recite the layers of the OSI stack in my sleep and understand standards like 802.3ad, I still have a (rather large) soft spot for applications.

The problem is that I have a nearly insatiable appetite for understanding applications and how they work. I have to know what makes them tick and how to tweak them to do what I want.

That's probably why I feel right at home here at F5, because the BIG-IP and I have a lot in common. We both need to understand applications so we can tweak them. Which brings us back to the subject of Application Fluency.

Most people associate the term fluency with the ability to speak a language. In the case of BIG-IP that language is the language of applications. You see, early on in F5 history the team figured out that in order to be really effective at delivering and securing applications you had to understand them; you had to be able to speak the same language.

BIG-IP and its modules are fluent in wide variety of languages today - Oracle, BEA, Siebel, SAP, and Microsoft, to name just a few - and recently learned the language of SOA, XML.

And that's why I'm really excited to be here at this stage of BIG-IPs life. Because being able to understand XML brings with it benefits similar to that of knowing how to speak Latin. Latin is the base for so many other languages that knowing it makes learning all the others a breeze. When BIG-IP learned to speak XML it opened up whole new avenues of possibilities. Not just for F5 but for network admins, architects, and developers everywhere who are struggling with the task of building not only the services that make up their SOA, but architecting a dynamic, flexible network infrastructure that enables them to deliver on the promises of SOA.

Some people like to add a note in their blog to let you know what they're listening to when they're writing. I don't listen to music when I write because it's hard to write when you're head-banging. Seriously - have you tried it? So instead, I'll let you know what caffeinated drink I happen to be imbibing.

Imbibing: Mountain Dew