Somewhere, an evil genius is laughing his maniacal laugh, dark enough to make even Bad Horse cringe. Clearly a nefarious scheme has been painstakingly plotted, planned and carried out with surgical precision, resulting in a successful acceleration in time all around the globe. This is the only possible explanation that I can come up with for how it is possibly over halfway through the year already, because I sure don't recall experiencing that many days. Villains and henchmen aside, the DevCentral team and our extended family of hawesome have been hard at work pounding out both content and infrastructure alike. Recapping the past couple of weeks, here are the five things that rise to the top of my "must see" list:

DevCentral In The Cloud
Perhaps you recall the times recently in which I've mentioned the DC team being "up to something". Perhaps something that was "super sekrit". Well, here it is sans secrecy: DevCentral is now available to you, new, improved, and 100% cloud driven. Many moons ago we started the planning and construction of our very own Death Star enterprise cloud infrastructure. We've been hard at work for quite some time and as of a little over a month ago now, DevCentral is running out in the cloud, completely. The site you've been accessing, and may be reading this very post on? Yep, 100% cloud, baby. That whole cloud thing is not vapor ware, it does actually work, some people are actually running enterprise level apps out of it, and we're excited to be living proof of just that. In this video Jeff Browning and Jason Rahm talk about the process, what it took, our partner in this endeavor and much more. Keep an eye out for plenty of content talking more about this, but this will get you started.

FIPS 140-2 and You
For those that don't know, FIPS stands for "Federal Information Processing Standard". What that means is that there are certain standards set out by the Federal Government here in the US that dictate how information is to be transferred amongst branches and agencies. That means that, generally speaking, if you're either a government agency or looking to interact with one in any fashion, you'd better be comfortable with FIPS. This affects quite a number of people and many businesses get caught off guard by these type of requirements when they weren't expecting to have to adhere to them, then step up to interact with an entity that requires this level of stringent security. Josh, our resident DC security monk(ey), has broken down this standard into more consumable chunks so that it's, well, understandable for human beings and not just Cylons. Take a look and learn something, I certainly did.

iRules Concepts: Logging, A Deeper Understanding   
Logging: The unsung hero of programming. Logging in iRules can be used for debugging, event trapping, triggering SNMP traps, statistics and a heck of a lot more. Recently the topic has come up a few times and ended up in rather interesting and in-depth discussions about logging needs, practices and gotchas. As such, a compendium of iRules logging, both the underlying infrastructure and options, seemed timely. If you want to learn more about iRules logging, off-box logging or even how TMOS works, this might be a good read for you.

DevOps Is a Verb
Development and Operations are two distinct parts of almost any high-tech company. Things have to get built, and they have to be deployed and supported. Historically these two groups of people interacted about as well as the Huns and their conquests, without much communication or commonality. More recently, however, as operations teams become increasingly complex and responsible for more and more "development" or "app stack" skills and resources, that separation is narrowing, and with good reason. DevOps is the idea of working together as a team with a rounded skill set to manage and deliver an application in its entirety. From dev to deployment to updates and patches to security scanning and updates; an application is not a black box that gets fired over to the ops team to set and forget anymore, and as such the way in which applications are supported is changing along with the makeup of the apps. This is a great read from Lori, and worth the time as she explains this  important concept very well.

20 Lines or Less #57: Switch, Switch and More Switch
The 20 Lines or Less rides again, and this time out it's all about switches! Actually, it's not just about switches as the examples deal with a lot more than that one command, but given that every example in the list makes use of the switch command somewhere, the title seemed apropos. This week there are 3 more quick examples of iRules goodness for you to dig through. Sourced from the forums as always, this week's 20LoL will show about default pool handling in a switch statement, URI re-writing and getfield usage for optimization, and trimming via iRules. As the longest running series on DevCentral, this one continues to be a favorite of mine. Sure I'm biased, but 3 examples of interesting, useful iRules in less than 60 lines of code? What's not to like?


So there you have it, my Top 5 picks for the week. As I sit and reflect on the articles and even more so on the way in which they were presented this time around, not to mention the "colorful" introduction, I find myself truly wondering: "Who the heck writes like that and then sends it to the whole company from the CEO on down?". (Oh yes, dear blog reader, this goes out in email form to darn near the whole of F5) It would seem that the answer to that is: I do. But you all seem to eat it up, so until next time, code hard.