The extended DevCentral team has been hard at work this week, as always, fulfilling your geek needs and then some. As such, this Friday's Top5 brings to you all types of DevCentral-y goodness. From text, to audio, to informative pictures, we've got it all this week. I've picked a few of the best, five to be exact, to share with you. Here they are:

 

The Threat Behind the Firewall

http://devcentral.f5.com/weblogs/psilva/archive/2009/09/09/the-threat-behind-the-firewall.aspx

Pete Silva dives into drives this week in his piece on the dangers lurking behind seemingly benign usb drives. These undeniably handy devices can do just as much, if not more, harm than good if you're not careful. Pete points out a few ways in which you can find yourself in trouble, and how these devices make up an increasingly large portion of the distribution means for malware infections. I use them, I'm sure you do, and this is an interesting read. It never hurts to be safe with your systems, but to do that you have to know what to watch out for. This is a good read if you're looking to get to know more about how you can stay safe with your usb devices, and knowing is half the battle, or so they say.

 

iRules Insight - HTTP Event Order

http://devcentral.f5.com/weblogs/jason/archive/2009/09/08/irules-insight-http-event-order.aspx

Jason found a fantastic forum post this week, that featured a pretty darn cool image. An image so cool, in fact, that he turned it into a blog post. There isn't a ton of text to read through, because there's plenty to digest in this image which attempts to detail the logical flow of an iRule firing HTTP events. This is something that might be quite useful for those building or starting to build iRules. I know the event order topic has come up numerous times. There are documents out now that show the order, but I thought this visual representation was very cool. One of the follow-up comments is pretty outstanding also. Go take a look.

 

WILS: Automation versus Orchestration

http://devcentral.f5.com/weblogs/macvittie/archive/2009/09/10/wils-automation-versus-orchestration.aspx

Maybe it's the fact that she was writing it like Seth, maybe it's because the point came across clearly and made me nod my head repeatedly while I read the piece, maybe it's just because it made me think of orchestras and music and conductors, and I have a soft spot for all those things, but this was my favorite blog post by Lori this week. She had several, as always, and this was by no means the most commented on or the most in-depth. I think it is extremely clear and concise, though, and there is something to be said for both of those things. Discussing the difference between automating a single, rigid, clearly defined task, even if it has multiple steps, and orchestrating an entire process, I.E. many tasks being performed together, each dependant on multiple situational variables, is not an easy thing to do. I think this clear-cut post did it well, so it makes my Top5. Seth would be proud.

 

20 Lines or Less #29

http://devcentral.f5.com/weblogs/cwalker/archive/2009/09/10/20-lines-or-less-29.aspx

More iRules! Yes, this week brought another edition of the 20LoL. As I near the 30th edition I talk about HTTP port numbers in a request and how to deal with them, checking pool member status in real-time and reporting it, and some fun with nested switching and pool selection. These are always fun for me to write and I think there's value in them for anyone that's using or looking into iRules. Whether you're an iRule newbie, a veteran, or just trying to figure out what the heck you'd use one for, I recommend taking a look. The 20 Lines or Less is always a good place to get simple, easy to follow examples of iRules doing real world things that benefit real people.

 

Audio White Paper - Create A Smarter Storage Strategy

http://devcentral.f5.com/weblogs/interviews/archive/2009/09/11/create-a-smarter-storage-strategy.aspx

In another edition of his Audio White Paper series, Pete peps up another storage white paper. If you've been looking to learn more about how you can lighten your storage management burden, but haven't taken the time to dig into the documents that discuss how, you might be able to squeeze in giving this a listen to help you out. The white-paper, linked to from the post, discusses file data growth and how this will continue to be a concern for companies, how there is a wealth of options to the degree of making what to do unclear, and gives some options that might help clear things up. I wasn't convinced that audio versions of white papers would be popular at first. Given the response we've seen over the history of DevCentral, including this series of Pete's, I've become a believer and for good reason. If you don't have the time or inclination to dig through the document itself, the audio version might just do the trick.

There are my five favorites from DevCentral this week. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did. Let me know if you've got any feedback, as always, and I'll see you next week.

 

#Colin