Here we are, weeks after the announcement of BIG-IP v10, and the hits just keep on coming. It's been another busy, exciting week here in DevCentral-ville. There has been plenty going on to keep track of, and then some, so I'll try to distill it down a little, as always. That said, it's a shame to miss any of the great stuff that's coming out, so make sure to check the rest out for yourself. You're not here for all the content, though, just the best…well my Top5 picks, anyway. Here they are:

 

Dear Slashdot: You get what you pay for

http://devcentral.f5.com/weblogs/macvittie/archive/2009/04/17/dear-slashdot-you-get-what-you-pay-for.aspx

Starting things off with a bang, a zing, and a bullet, is Lori's great post in response to a write-up about SSL acceleration. In the original article, which is worth checking out to understand the context of this post, os3 put together a solution for a showdown with a BIG-IP 6900. Unfortunately for them, they derive a few points that Lori found…questionable. There's no doubt merit to the type of solution they put together, it's just not a fair comparison. Many things are left out of the equation and a realistic, long lived deployment isn't depicted. I won't try and re-cap the whole thing, as Lori does so far better than I could in her post, which you should go read This is also Lori's second appearance for F5 on Slashdot, which the geek in me can't but help call out.

 

v.10 - BIG-IP UI Walkthrough

http://devcentral.f5.com/Default.aspx?tabid=63&articleType=ArticleView&articleId=2312

In this article Joe walks through some of what's new in the re-vamped, improved user interface in version 10. The interface was re-worked pretty heavily for the new version including such things as improved, form-based logins that allow for timeouts and smoother authentication interaction, improved responsiveness for page loads, and context-sensitive help functionality. There are plenty of people that are very excited about these new changes and the way it's going to make using and administering their systems a better experience. Frankly, I'm one of them. Joe provides commentary and screenshots of several key features, which makes for a great read.

 

v.10 - Testing Configurations

http://devcentral.f5.com/weblogs/dmacvittie/archive/2009/04/16/v.10-ndash-testing-configurations.aspx

Putting several of the other irons in the blogging fire on ice, as it were, Don digs into the ways in which you can use both the new LVM and Evaluation Licensing features to achieve some pretty fantastic testing scenarios on your BIG-IP. Each of these functions are cool, in and of themselves but, as Don points out, when used together they can make for some pretty hawesome scenarios. I'll spare you some of the hardcore geekery that comes to mind here, I.E. booting from one partition to the next at will for varied testing, VM like functionality with cloned partitions storing slight variations of configs…hmm, maybe I won't spare you. Regardless, this is a great post that's backed, again pointed out by Don, with some really fantastic work done by not only the Developers to make it happen, but the folks writing about what it can do. That combination makes for a killer feature that not only works, but one that's usable and interesting, since people can grok it with ease.

 

v.10 - A Look at Route Domains

http://devcentral.f5.com/Default.aspx?tabid=63&articleType=ArticleView&articleId=353

Not to be left out of the v10 fray, Jason puts out another fantastic, deep tech article on Route Domains. A feature that's new for v10, route domains basically allow the re-use of IP space within your BIG-IP. This is something that's been asked for or at least about several times, and Jason dives deep enough to get those propellers spinning, which is something I can always count on him for. It's great to see him dig right into what can be done, testing TMM to the creation limit (creating 4094 route domains just to see if it breaks), and using the tmsh shell while doing so. I love it when I walk away from something on DevCentral saying - "Wow, that's super useful…" and that was definitely the case here. With an easy to follow, step-by-step walkthrough, Jason takes you from 0-60 on route domains with ease.

 

v.10 - iRules and the after command

http://devcentral.f5.com/Default.aspx?tabid=63&articleType=ArticleView&articleId=348

As a true departure from the topics you'll normally find me writing about, this week I chose to write about … iRules. I know, you're shocked. I'll give you a moment to recover. Now then, the after command was added in BIG-IP v10, and I'm pretty stoked about it. The ability to inherently induce a specified delay period before executing code is a very powerful scripting tool that has been missed by many in their iRuling efforts thus far. The fact that we can now do so is geektastic. Being able to use the -periodic flag to repeat the evaluation of a given code block on a timer as well…that’s just icing on an already tasty geek cake. I'm just digging in myself to see what kinds of things can be done with this command, and frankly I'm pretty darn excited by the possibilities in v10 as a whole, which this is a part of. While I'm not trying to say this one command is going to help you take over the world, it certainly can't hurt.

 

I think every week I have more fun picking and highlighting the items in the Top5. That is almost solely due to the continued and escalating excellence of the content I get to choose from. More and more of the stuff we've been putting out has roots deep within different departments inside F5, not just DevCentral (we're just the messengers on lots of it) and I have to say it's awesome to get to write about all of it. So far all of those contributing, a hearty thanks. Also - I want to give a big thanks to the iRules-SME group as well, as they're continually giving me great ideas and inspiration to keep pushing the ball … err … rules.

#Colin