While the groundhog may have promised an early spring, we’re still feeling the chill here in Seattle. Naturally though that hasn’t impeded the content marching its way across DevCentral in the past weeks. We’ve had everything from awesome blogs and Tech Tips to user contributed content to the triumphant (hopefully) return of a long lost series now born anew. This is your place to find out about all of that and more, as always, as I offer you this week’s DC Top5:

 

Post of the Week - Regular Expressions

http://bit.ly/e1m4Ri

The aforementioned series being reborn in what is hopefully a triumph is none other than the PotW! This is a series that Deb and I pioneered sometime back in yesteryear to much success. It was shockingly popular and since it’s gone by the wayside people tend to ask for it more than almost any other piece of content I’ve had the pleasure of having my hand in, other than the Top5. After some copious prodding on Joe’s part we’re finally getting this series fired back up. The idea is, every week we grab a particularly interesting forum post and chat about it like geeks tend to do. We analyze, discuss, debate, dissect, divulge and likely may other fun “D” words left as yet unseen. This series is, according to a recent twitter post, “..relaxed, informative, great way to learn; I fear I'm turning into a f5 Fanboy!”. Can’t beat that endorsement folks...go take a look and watch for more every week.

Dynamic Intelligent Application Delivery in a Distributed Environment – Part 2

http://bit.ly/hsL0z9

In a follow-up to his awesome first installment, DevCentral user and MVP Hamish kicks out another jam with this post. If you haven’t yet read the first installment you really should as this one dives in firmly in the deep end so you may get lost otherwise, but it’s worth the read. The stated intention of the posts is to add intelligence to dynamic load balancing, basically. This is a very good thing for many reasons (several of which are outlined in the post, hint hint), and as such this post outlining how to do this becomes a very good thing by extension. If that’s not cool enough it’s another awesome example of what makes DevCentral great – the members. Check it out folks.

Ruby and iControl: Distilling SSL Certificate Information from SOAP::Mapping::Objects

http://bit.ly/icBleV

George is back to his Ruby ways, iControlling it up, and this week has chosen to delve into SSL certs and what info you can glean from them. In the arena of cert management I’m sure there are plenty of people who will agree with me about the headaches that can ensue after too many hours of scouring multiple systems and/or certs to decipher what’s expiring when, what different crypto strengths are, what’s acceptable, what isn’t, etc. If only there were some cool, easy to use, free tool that would do all of that for you. Queue the music, folks, that tool is here. George has thrown together an awesome Ruby app that will scour your BIG-IP and put together a very readable list of certs along with the pertinent information you need to know about each one. Come on, it’s even color coded...it just doesn’t get much easier than that. Take a look, this one’s a winner.

2x5-Minute iRules – Timing

http://bit.ly/hq7X47

Timing is everything, or so they say, which means this should be one bang-up article. Luckily it is! Jason has churned out what’s sure to be another hit with this post wherein he looks in-depth at the timing commands in iRules and what makes them ... wait for it ... tick. *rimshot* Seriously though, he has some awesome info on how these commands work, how to use them, what the results mean, etc. But wait, there’s more! As if that weren’t enough he’s gone the extra mile to whip up a python script that will not only slam some traffic against your BIG-IP but also grab the stats and crunch them into some useful info via iControl trickery. This one’s a goody.

How to Build a Silo Faster: Not Enough Ops in your Devops

http://bit.ly/eFQ7Gx

Thought provoking as always, Lori got me nodding my head as well as stopping to think in her recent post about data center automation. She talks about application deployment automation and that, while a good thing, it can’t be accomplished to the fullest extent while focusing solely on the app itself. The surrounding, supporting pieces of the deployment infrastructure are just as important to every application being delivered and while some people realize there are gains to be had while thinking of the entire stack when looking to automate/streamline, there is still plenty of ground to be made up for others. Yes, automating the deployment of your firewalls, ADCs, logging systems, network configs, auth services etc. is just as important when holistically looking at automated app deployment as automating the app itself. Look at the entire app infrastructure, not the singular piece of software.

There they are, five more picks from the many options on DevCentral this week. Be sure to browse around yourself for more hidden goodness as it’s there aplenty in every nook and cranny. Go digging and you’ll be shocked at what you find. See you next week with five more.

 

#Colin