With the amount of content washing constantly across the pages of DevCentral it can sometimes be impossible to keep up with everything, or to know what to read first. It's because of this that I started the Top5 series.  The intent is to allow me to act as your guide and lead you by the hand to point out the Top 5 things that I would choose to make sure you saw amongst the many awesome things gracing the DC pages in a given week. Broadening the reach of this series, I'm going to start making it a part of my blog, so you'll always be able to access the entries from weeks gone by. You'll also be able to access it easily to forward on the link to others or to re-view it as it will be a permanent fixture on my personal page in the about the team section.

In any event, you'll be able to check here each week to look for the Top5 highlights of DC goodness throughout the week, hand-picked by yours truly or an esteemed guest writer when I'm not available. Please feel free to let me know what you think. Things you'd like to see in coming weeks, comments, questions, and all other non-encoded communiqué can be delivered by way of comment directly here. Without further adieu, this week's Top5:

 

Election Hash Load Balancing

http://devcentral.f5.com/weblogs/dctv/archive/2008/06/26/3399.aspx

In this interview, Deb talks with one of our talented Field Engineers, Nathan, and discusses just what Election Hash Load balancing is, what makes it tick, why it's valuable, and why it's something that's fairly tricky to implement - unless you have iRules.  They get pretty detailed about just how the LB decisions are made and how this unique setup can be of immense value in certain situations like fronting large caches. Take a peek to see one heck of a cool iRule at work, discussed by the brain behind it, and one of DC's very own brains.

 iControl Apps - #02 - Local Traffic Summary

http://devcentral.f5.com/Default.aspx?tabid=63&articleType=ArticleView&articleId=245

Joe's at it again, scripting up cool and useful new iControl toys. In this most recent addition to the iControl Apps series Joe talks about the Network Map component in the GUI of the BIG-IP, and how to replicate some of the functionality contained within by use of, you guessed it, iControl.  Joe lays out some great examples of iControl and Powershell command usage, and gives you some very handy bits of code, as well as a link to the complete picture in the iControl codeshare.  Take a look and see what kind of useful numbers you can pull to get a bigger picture of your BIG-IP and what it's doing.

On Walden's (very secure) Web

http://devcentral.f5.com/weblogs/macvittie/archive/2008/06/25/3388.aspx

In this post to Lori's popular blog she talks about Web Application Firewalls and Web Application Security in general.  I enjoy the discussion she has about what it would take for a developer to "truly" secure an application, especially requirement #10. She touches on some important elements of Web Security and some of the issues that are faced today. This one's definitely worth a read.

Selective DNS Persistence on GTM

http://devcentral.f5.com/Default.aspx?tabid=63&articleType=ArticleView&articleId=243

Persistence is a concept that's been around for a long time now. Most of use are probably pretty comfortable with the term and what it means, as well as using it in our deployments where necessary.  What about DNS Persistence, though? In this Tech Tip you'll get a peek at how iRules on your GTM device can allow you to selectively enable DNS level persistence.  Read more to find out when this might be useful, and see an example of the simple iRule that can get you there.

Making Use of kSOAP2 at Dr. Dobbs

http://devcentral.f5.com/weblogs/dmacvittie/archive/2008/06/24/3385.aspx

It's a banner day when one of our very own here at DC get published in a publication like Dr. Dobbs. Our esteemed colleague Don MacVittie has done just that this month, and the article is well worth a look. Inside he'll talk to you about the use of kSOAP2, how it can be a boon in an ever increasingly mobile world, and how iControl and kSOAP2 can play nice together to build some wicked cool remote apps for your mobile device. Remote management of the BIG-IP via a mobile device? Why sure, we can do that, just ask Don. The link above is to his blog mentioning this awesome achievement, here's a direct link to the Dobbs article.

 

That's it for this week's Top5. Check back every Friday for another edition, and I'll help you keep an eye on what I think you need to know.  There's plenty more where this came from, though, so don't be afraid to dig in yourself, and take in the rest of the awesome content DC has to offer.

#Colin