Captain Hammer himself would blush at the pure power presently portrayed in these paragraphs. Packed palpably and purified profusely to promote practical postulation and pontification, this week's Top5 has the goods to bring 'em all to the yard. Word play aside, it's a treat when I have to do precisely zero work to find topics to include in the Top5. Fortunately it's a treat in which I get to indulge more often than not thanks to the hawesome DC crew (extended, as it may be) and their never ending stream of solid content and whiz-bang ideas. Narrowing things down can become a far more arduous and difficult process than selecting items worthy of the 5. This week, however, the selection seemed shockingly simple. There were just so many things that had to be talked about and refused to be delayed in such a vehement manner as to have warranted no argument or discussion. From a fancy new series of documents to yet another successful panel of gurus, I mean it when I say there is no slouch in the offerings this time around. And with that, let us embark upon one of my favorite journeys of the week, the DevCentral Top5:

#The101: iRules - Introduction to F5 Technology & Terms

http://bit.ly/U9lO8v

The iRules 101 series has been around forever and, popular though it may be, it is getting a bit long in the tooth. Time passes, technologies change, it's just the way of the world. As such, it was decided amongst the DC brain trust that a new series should be forged, deep within the bowels of DC headquarters. It would be better, faster, stronger. It would include concepts from a version later than 9.4. And thus, #The101: iRules was born. In this series you'll get walked through what iRules are, how they work, why you'd use them, some core concepts of programming, iRules, and much more. It's meant to get a user from introduction to fiddling with some code in a single, logically flowing series. In this second installment  I bring what I hope is a bonus that has long been asked about on DevCentral, which is a glossary of sorts depicting general F5 terminology, what the items mean, how they work, and when you might use them. As an added bonus there are even links to the more in-depth articles on askf5 where pertinent. Just because I wrote it, doesn't make me biased, does it? Even if it does, go check this one out, I highly doubt you'll find yourself regretful.

Health Monitors for Exchange 2010

http://bit.ly/SPBHRQ

As I've said (probably several times, forgive me) before: I love it when we get user submitted articles. Not just because it's free content (hey that's nice too, let's be honest) but mostly because it means we're getting the word straight from the proverbial horse's mouth. Who better to educate our community on what the community is up to, how they're doing things and some pointers on what could be useful to know than...the community? One of our MVPs has stepped up to the plate with just such a piece regarding Health Monitors for Exchange 2010. Now you may think to yourself "But that's only one application, why monitors in plural?" and I would say "Oh my dear chap, read on!". The reality is it's not as easy as just a single monitor these days, and SMP (that's the author) did a great job of depicting the steps he took to get things all working properly in his deployment. I have an amount of doubt rapidly approaching zero about whether or not this article will be a hit. It will be, the question is, will you be in the know when someone asks you about it?

APM: Break it down Yo!

http://bit.ly/O1dODd

As Josh will be the first to point out, poorly planned security is an absolute mess. That is often most commonly displayed when it comes to access systems. You have a bunch of users in a bunch of groups accessing a bunch of applications from a bunch of locations on a bunch of platforms with a bunch of requirements and .. well that's a bunch of bunches, kids, and it's enough to make someone go ape (or bananas, either fits the joke, choose your own adventure, it's the group participation portion of the Top5). Thankfully your local, friendly security dude (that's Josh) is here to walk you through making mince meat of those access system woes. With a pic by pic walk through of how to get things set up, this Tech Tip will turn your auth rat's nest into ... something far less tangled but also somehow vaguely related to the aforementioned rat's nest to allow this joke to work. My failings in humor aside, check this article out, it's a good'n.

Monitoring Your Network with PRTG - Overview, Installation, Configuration

http://bit.ly/PpZlAG 

Joe has sort of become our resident monitoring aficionado on the DevCentral team. Let's be clear that this was not at all by choice, and was in fact entirely because someone had to do it, and Joe's the "roll up your sleeves and get it done" type of geek that we needed to make sure that when things went bump in the night, we knew about it. In steps PRTG and Joe's quickly growing knowledge for (and perhaps love of) this handy dandy monitoring tool. In the first of what is sure to become an awesome and interesting series of articles, Joe walks you through what PRTG is, how it works, and how to get started using it. Whether you're looking for a monitoring solution, looking to learn more about monitors/monitoring in general, or are wonderfully curious about that whole DC cloud thing and every detail about how we did/are doing it - hey, there may be some of those people - this is a series I'd bookmark and to which I would come back. And by "would" I mean "did". Yes, I bookmark cool stuff on DevCentral, don't you?

Cloud & Virtualization Guru Panel

http://bit.ly/PpyFii

Last but about as far from least as is possible for a collection of cleverly aligned bytes representing four humans discussing a subject can be, I bequeath unto you the most recent Guru Panel. The Guru Panels, for those not in the know (seriously, how can you not know yet? Get with it people) are this thing that we here in DCville started doing many moons ago wherein we gather some wicked smart people that are passionate about a given topic, stuff them in a room, turn a camera on, and stand back for magic to happen. Fortunately for us, it seems to have happened again. This chat was a solid one, and I'd definitely take a look. We have some of the foremost thought leaders for these topics from the Seattle offices (sorry, we couldn't fly anyone in, we're not prime time TV or anything just yet) put together for this talk, and it hits some very solid points. I learned something, which hopefully means you also will, which is always a good sign.

And that my dear friends, my faithful readers, my intrepid explorers of all things DevCentral, brings us to the end of this week's DevCentral Top5. I'll be back in two weeks with more choice selections with which to regale you and to foist upon you. Until then read lots, check back often, and code hard.