Whether you're looking to wade into a deep discussion about hardware and resource utilization, or delve into the hows and whys of a programmable ADN and the benefits it can offer (Note: This one wasn't even *me* talking about iRules..it was someone else…so there), this week's Top5 has what your Dr. ordered. That is, of course, unless your Dr. is Dr. Horrible, because I'm fresh out of freeze rays. Assuming you aren't affiliated with a mad scientist looking to rule things because they're a mess, I may just be able to help you out. Between the blogs, tech tips and media posted to DevCentral in the past couple of weeks, there's no reason for anyone to go wanting. I'll walk you through the bits that I thought were particularly worth the time investment, and leave you to sort through the rest. By "the rest" I mean "the other awesome content that you should totally go look at but I can't technically list here because it's a Top5, not a Top27". That being said, let's launch into my favorite picks for the week:

 

Bare Metal Blog: Maximized Capacity
http://bit.ly/V7otid
Don's Bare Metal Blog series is something I've been following for a while now, and it doesn't disappoint in this latest installment. Talking about resource allocations, rack utilization and the way in which project creep seems to equate, unnecessarily, to resource creep and sprawl, Don stabs at the heart of the matter: Why aren't we making better use of what we've got? I couldn't agree more, honestly. I've seen time and time again, in different teams, and different projects, the approach of "Well, we're building project #2, so it's time to stand up more resources assigned specifically to project #2, even though the gear for project #1 is near identical and at 15% utilization.". I get the idea of separation. No really, I do. I just don't buy that it is always a necessity. There is benefit to be had by consolidation and more full utilization, not just downside, and I think that is worth discussing. Fortunately I don't have to do so, as Don's beaten me to it here.

 

Programmability in ADN
http://bit.ly/WV8Z0s
While this post by Lori may never actually mention iRules, because it's not necessarily an F5 plug, I'll go ahead and make the leap - ADN programmability, in F5's parlance, means iRules, iControl, and iApps. So you can understand my excitement when perusing this post and hearing how much Lori is championing programmability in the ADN space. I am 142% behind her on this one, and have for years been a staunch believer in this notion. The idea that the ADN should be flexible, application fluent and fully programmable to make use of those first two traits, is nothing new to me, or F5, and I really enjoyed seeing the stance she took. The discussion is a valid one and something worth digging through. Have you tailored your ADN to your applications? Can you? What is the layer in place that allows you to do so, and just how much can you do with it? If you're running F5 gear I know the answer to "how much can you do with it" and the answer is "a heck of a lot". I'm always looking to help people make the most of their ADN to better their applications, and this post is an example of one of the ways in which that is possible, and valuable. A good read, to be sure.

 

Interactive iControl with bigsuds
http://bit.ly/145pZrV
While iControl may have been around since the Paleolithic era, at least in F5 years, this iControl centric post brings a new take on things with interactivity. Jason has done a great job introducing us to bigsuds, a fast, easy way to get your hands around iControl and get things working for you using the extensive API on F5 devices. Now, adding this new post to the mix, he walks us through how to interactively control your BIG-IP with the same technology. This is double plus good because frankly, there are lots of things that it is just plain handy to be able to do interactively, rather than all at once in a script. For some examples of the what and how, read the article and then follow Jason for more future goodness, because I'm here to tell you he's got more hawesome to share.

 

20 Lines or Less #67: Maintenance, Cookies, and Closing
http://bit.ly/Wg4xND
Oh my beloved 20 Lines or Less, how I do adore you. What? Can't handle a little geek love for some coding goodness? Sheesh. The 20 Lines or Less, affectionately referred to (likely only by me, ever, but you know, whatever) as the 20LoL, is one of my favorite ways of showing off what iRules can do. Thousand line programs that move heaven and earth are fantastic and impressive and all, and I fully admit to loving to geek out on them; there is beauty, however, in the simple, the efficient, the down right handy. That really is the very essence of this series. How can I make iRules useful for users in a very short amount of time, code and effort? Well, this installment of the 20LoL helps do exactly that with a few more examples of iRules doing powerful, interesting, useful things in a very small footprint. Whether you're new to iRules or a coding legend, this series is likely worth your time, if I do say so myself.

 

DevCentral Weekly Podcast
http://bit.ly/YnJEmD
Last but not least, a bit of media for those so inclined. Every week we here on the DC team sit down and chat about what's going on with DevCentral, some content that we'd like to highlight, and one F5 feature that warrants some explanation and focus. Every week we have a pretty good time doing so and, I think, spur some valuable discussion around a variety of topics. We've talked about the usual suspects, iRules, iControl, iApps, etc. We have, however, also covered things like CMP and VCMP, trip reports from foreign regions, and things like IBR, which is in this week's podcast. If you want a quick, easy way to learn about some DC happenings as well as some F5 technology, this isn't a bad bet. You can throw it on in the background while sorting your email and be up to speed by the time your day starts. Take a look or a listen, and let us know what you think.

 

That'll do it for this week's Top5. There will be more DevCentral goodies to be handed out in a couple weeks time, as always, so stay tuned. In the meantime don't be shy. Let me know if you've got feedback, suggestions, questions, or things to add to or feature on DevCentral. All rotten fruit wielders to the back of the line.