Gather around dear friends and let me tell you a story. This tale harkens back to a day long since past. A day wherein legends were forged and knowledge flowed freely like a river for all those with thirst to drink. Okay, so the day is today, which isn't overly long ago, really, even in a particularly Einsteinian sense of the term. Oh, and the legends were just, you know, articles and blog posts and stuff. But the knowledge bit was true at least. There's a lot of that stuff out there on DevCentral. If you're thirsty, go have a sip or two. For now, though, I'm here to paddle us down that river of knowledge and pluck out but a few offerings for your perusal. I'll do my level best to ensure that your implicit trust and devotion, by way of spending your precious time reading, is not wasted while I deliver this week's DC Top5:

 

Test Lab Guide: Demonstrate the F5 Networks BIG-IP Load Balancer for SharePoint Server 2010

http://bit.ly/NDn6UK

How to download and install a BIG-IP VE, how to configure it for networked use, how to install SharePoint Server 2010 - these are but a few of the things that you will learn in this amazingly in depth article. Co-written by Microsoft engineers, this "from the horse's mouth" document goes into intense detail, walking you step by step through the setup, configuration and testing of a combined F5 BIG-IP & Microsoft SharePoint environment. It's not often that I get to call out a document that was co-written by the vendor of the technology that we're hyping our acceleration and support of, and this opportunity is not one I was likely to miss. Not only is it a great opportunity, but it's a great look, in fine-grained detail, at just how to get this type of environment up and running. If you're looking to get started with either or both BIG-IP or SharePoint, this is a great place to start. If you're looking for both? You've hit the mother load.

 

Security is Hard: Part 1

http://bit.ly/Pc3jjc

Have you ever peered into the mind of a security geek? I know I have, and I've even lived to tell the tale, as shocking as that may be. Fortunately I've been saved the trouble of that whole tale telling bit because Josh, our local DC Security Geek (I'm so making that a thing, it's going to stick) has gone and done the tale telling for me. In this look at exactly what he goes through every time he's drug kicking and screaming kindly asked to weigh in on yet another application that needs his expertise to make with the securing. It's a really interesting read for me, as the questions that jump to mind for him are so far from my train of thought that it makes me really stop and think about things. I'm an app guy at heart, with a strong code monkey streak in me, and while I've learned to think of security in most situations at least at a cursory level, it's nothing like the innate sense of protection and anti-bad guy thwarting that lives in a native security geek's mind. Steeped in prevention, protection and pragmatism, Josh brings a solid look at what goes into even the first steps towards securing your application. Don't be afraid, he doesn't bite...so long as you're using 2k keys.

 

Let me tell you Where To Go

http://bit.ly/Plnr3i

I may or may not have mentioned (like 6 times, I'm sure) that back when neon clothing was cool, transformers was blessedly still being aired in the mornings, and the little version of me was cutting his teeth on true geekdom, my first foray into any kind of actual training/research in things related to geek was learning the ins and outs of DNS. I couldn't tell you why, but it fascinated me, and I dug in and learned what made it tick. The mystical translation from name to number intrigued me, as did learning that all of the locations of things that we searched for on the web were really a series of hoaxes, as nothing truly lived at those English legible domains, but rather existed as IP addresses behind some all powerful translation system...yet I digress. This article is near and dear to that burgeoning geek in me, learning the ways of the web one byte at a time. Don goes into detail to point out just why DNS is as important today as ever, and that despite it being a relatively simple system, there are some ways that it can do some not so great things if you're not careful. He also mentions that, due to the aforementioned important, when and if things do go sideways, they go sideways in a bad way, and many things suffer. As such, it's best to avoid that situation if at all possible. Fortunately it is, and he's even kind enough to mention a few ways to help ensure that's the case.

 

Curing the Cloud Performance Arrhythmia

http://bit.ly/Ouo1Mf

In typical Lori fashion, this post digs into an issue that I have thought about on a cursory level, but haven't really dug my teeth into...until now. For those of you not familiar with that funny looking word at the end of the title (and those that haven't googled it by now), it refers to an inconsistency in the human heartbeat. While human organs don't have much to do with cloud computing or performance, heartbeats, or more specifically rhythms, do. There are many things that go into performance when delivering an application, and not all of them have to do with speed in a direct sense. There have been many studies that show that consistency of performance is nearly as important as outright speed to keep users content and returning to your application time and again. That is why an arrhythmia, or an irregularity in performance, can be more than a bit problematic. Lori postulates that the cloud may be more inherently susceptible to such irregularities for a number of reasons. Fortunately she also goes into some ways to prevent or correct those issues. This one got me thinking and dealt a solid dose of information on a topic that I've briefly pondered before, and that's enough for me to make it one of my picks for the week. You won't be sorry if you give this one a read, so take that 10 minutes and dive in.

 

F5 Agility Summit 2012 - The DevCentral Community

http://bit.ly/Nl8avi

Last but not least I leave you with a break for your brain, at least the part that does that whole reading thing. This article is in fact 100% less article-y and 100% more video-y than the previous four picks this week. In this brief (5 minutes and change) video Pete Silva talks with our own Joe Pruitt at this year's Agility Summit. They chat about none other than DevCentral, which makes this one an instant favorite of mine. Yep, I'm a DC fanboy...I know, you're all shocked. I'll wait while you regain your composure after that mind bending revelation. Now that you're recovered, go listen to these two chat about DevCentral. Joe's been around at F5 for 13+ years now, so he has a bit of a historian's view on things and it's awesome to get to hear him tell the story of DevCentral from his perspective, especially since he was the guy that built the server and stuck it under his desk to get the very first incantation of DevCentral up and running. They also delve into some decidedly geeky topics, such the kind of neat stuff DevCentral has to offer. A shameless plug? Perhaps, but I've never claimed to be above such things. Go check out the video, you may learn something about this community that you didn't know before.

 

And that, my intrepid readers, brings us to the end of our journey through my five very favorite things that got plastered to DevCentral since the last time. Thank you, as always, for reading and continuing to offer your feedback. Any suggestions, comments, questions or any other form of non violent communication is always welcome. Until the next time, code hard.