Welcome to a special "yes I know it's Wednesday but I won't be here Friday" edition of the Top5. There has already been some great content in the last week or so, which makes it easy to do an edition mid-week, but that's not unusual. Given the amount of awesome content that can generally be found roaming the wilds of DevCentral, it isn't uncommon to have enough to fill up the Top5 by Wednesday. This week I am taking advantage of that fact. Though I have no doubt there will be still more goodness to come this week, you'll have to manage for yourselves...so dig deep and see what's out there! In the meantime, here are a few great pieces with which to get started:

iRules Concepts: Tcl, The How and Why

http://bit.ly/z9j18P

One of the questions that we get asked from time to time is, "Why Tcl". Those people are referring to the interpreter we chose as the underlying infrastructure for iRules, of course. I've answered this question several times, and frankly it belies many solid, deep dive style concepts about iRules: how they work at their core, TMM interaction, byte code compilation and more, that are worth discussing. So...that's what I did. This article looks to shed some light on iRules history, anatomy, our choices in regards to their underpinnings, and why we do what we do how we do it. What it lacks in code samples and graphs, it makes up for in sheer word count (if, you know, that's your thing) but hopefully others find it useful content...I certainly did.

Google reCaptcha Verification With Sideband Connections

http://bit.ly/A4PAma

One of the many awesome Tech Tips that George has written recently...this one eluded the Top5 in previous weeks as there was just too much good stuff to share. Having read through it again this week, though, I decided it needs to make the hit list. This shows off one of the key features in iRules for v11, sideband connections, and how to do something very handy with them. Real world applications of bleeding edge iRules features in a consumable, organized, easy to follow format ... yep, that's kind of my thing. So here it is, better late than never. Take a read and see what else George has been up to, it's definitely worth the time.

F5 ARX WAN Optimization with WOM

http://bit.ly/w9bhsg

Pushing out an example from the field is a treat for me, and this week is no exception. Michael Fabiano, one of the FSEs here at F5, put together a very solid article on ARX WAN Opt with WOM. If you've been curious about possible solutions for multi-data center storage, this is the article for you. There are many things from an F5 perspective that can be done to streamline and optimize the general multi-location storage deployment, and those benefits are broken out here in an easy to follow (and implement) format. Whether it's ARX, WOM or both that you're looking to deploy or investigate, this picture is a good one, especially given the ways they work together. Michael does a good job of making this approachable and interesting, so take a look and learn something.

F5 Friday: What's Inside an F5?

http://bit.ly/yAwUi0

Lori came through last week with a solid answer to a question that seems to take many forms with this look at what actually goes on inside F5 devices. We have come a long, long way from the old 4.x and before days. As she points out things have changed all the way up and down the stack from hardware to software, as well as many massive leaps forward conceptually, allowing us to deliver a whole new level of power. Many people don't fully understand what it is that these products we talk about all the time offer at a somewhat base level. Lori does a good job here of giving some insight into that without going so deep that she loses the passengers on the trip. If you've ever wondered about TMOS, vCMP, or any of the other magic that happens internally...take a look.

New iOS Edge Client

http://bit.ly/wE68Lv

Last but not least Pete delivered a friendly reminder today that there is a new iOS Edge Client available for download in the App store. If you, like me, are one of the many folks making use of the Edge Client from an iOS device, this new version adds some worthwhile features. I love seeing the effort being put into making our products easier to use and more accessible not just for the administrators, but for the end users as well. This new release won't change the lives of the people running the systems, but it makes it just that much easier for those of us using the products as an end user (yes, I'm an end user too), and that is valuable. I just updated my device, and figured I'd pass on the heads up as a nice way to round out the Top5 for this week.

That's it for this week, as always feel free to drop me some feedback or suggestions.

#Colin