From Web Accelerator to iRules to the release of the new Management Pack, this week's Top5 has it all. As always, there was plenty going on this week on DevCentral. These are my picks that you've just got to check out. Whether it's because they're incredibly useful, interesting, or just plain cool, all of these are worth a read, or listen, as the case may be. Here's this week's Top5:

Announcing the Release of the F5 Management Pack for Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007

Aside from being the longest title of anything I've ever put in the Top5, this post represents the very cool release that was the big news for us here on the DevCentral team this week. We are quite happy to be able to help release the Management Pack on DevCentral. The management pack is a software plug-in that gives you access to a host of information about your BIG-IP. This post by Stephen, one of the killer developers here at F5 responsible for the Management Pack, gives a description of what it is, how to get a hold of it, and where to read more. You can also check out the very handy installation tutorial here - for a video walkthrough of getting started. Check out all the Management Pack related content we've got, as it updates, at

v.10: WebAccelerator Enhancements

Version 10 coverage has been thick on DevCentral since release. We've talked about all sorts of changes and upgrades to iRules, iControl, licensing, GTM, LTM and more. Now you can add Web Accelerator to that list as well. Jason dives into some of the awesome changes to WA in v10, touching on handy features like Signed Acceleration Policies, as well as more core functionality changes like true integration into TMOS. Bygone are the vip-sandwich days, WA has made it fully into TMOS which just opens the door for better performance and deeper integration. This article is particularly interesting to me given my recent work with Web Accelerator thanks to the Real IT project the DC team has been working on most of the year. It's great to see WA getting some v10 love as well and, as always, Jason does a great job as your tour guide.

v.10 - Introduction to iSessions

Another very cool feature that's new in v10 is iSessions. iSessions are, in the simplest possible terms, a way to create a secure tunnel between two BIG-IPs. That, in and of itself, would be cool enough…but wait, there's more! These secure tunnels are also optimized to allow increased performance between BIG-IPs. Extrapolate on this a bit further and suddenly you're talking about secure, optimized connections between not just two systems in a datacenter, but quite possibly between different data centers. Interested yet? I know I am. In this post Don walks us through what iSessions are, what they can do and promises more information soon. I'll be staying tuned to learn more about this cool new feature, since it sounds like there are some very cool possibilities here.

Virtual Reality

Weighing in on the topic of virtualization, Lori postulates that - "You can't afford not to invest in technologies that leverage virtualization to improve data center efficiency". She goes on to make some strong points about how now more than ever it's important to think about spending some money in the DataCenter to save big in the long term via virtualization and improved efficiency. She details the areas in which CIOs report that they will be investing over the next year, including information security, virtualization and data center efficiency. All of these things, of course, benefit from application delivery, which is good news for us. Whether it's to build in better efficiency today or to plan for tomorrow, Lori's comments make a lot of sense (cents?).

20 Lines or Less #23

Continuing with one of my favorite pastimes on DevCentral, I dished out another 20 Lines or Less this week. As always, I bring three more cool examples of how to use iRules that do interesting things in less than 21 lines. This week I've got some HTTP version modifications mid-stream, LTM served responses based on a request URI, and a cool trick to make dealing with favicons a little easier. If you're looking to see what kinds of things can be done with iRules in just a few lines, I highly recommend this series. Keep the awesome examples coming, as this one is almost solely driven by community examples.

There you go, my favorite five things from DevCentral for the week. Thanks for reading.