We made it! We’ve survived another year and as such are one step closer to the future we’ve been promised for so long, complete with jetpacks, teleporters and press-button meal preparation. That’s my hope, at least. While we’re all just sitting around, waiting for such amenities to arrive, I bring to you some reading to entertain and educate. This week we have an overabundance of options to pick from so I apologize in advance for any wicked cool content that gets left out. What did make it in, though, are a couple of the coolest iRules I’ve seen written in quite a long time, a rockin’ blog posts, a sweet product announcement and an all new addition to the iControl libraries on DC. So have at ‘em, here’s the Top5:
Fun with Hash Performance and Google Charts
In a very cool look at hashing algorithms, Jason whipped up a killer tech tip that you don’t want to miss. In this article he goes through six different options for load balancing via hash and measures the performance hit of each one. It’s a great look into what you can expect if you’re delving into this more advanced form of traffic management, and it also sets up some pretty darn cool iRules logic, which Joe will commandeer and make use of, as you’ll see later. This is another example of how cool iRules can be as more than just a load balancing decision maker. Graphing the performance of these algorithms via Google charts makes it visually pleasing and easy to see the differences you’re getting. I hear rumor he’s continuing with another article in this vein that I’m very excited for. Wicked cool science indeed.
Comparing iRule Control Statements
So if Jason’s iRule-fu in the above article was a 9, Joe just had to go and turn it up to 11. Heck, he may have even turned it up to 12. This is one of the coolest iRules I’ve seen in quite a while. Why, you ask? Well because it’s an iRule that writes an iRule, executes the self generated iRule, and then graphs the performance results of said self generated iRule. I’ll pause for a moment so you can re-read that and let it sink in. With me? Okay, so here’s where this thing came from and what it does. Joe and I long ago, in a land not so far away, put together a handy dandy guide to optimizing iRules. In said guide we discussed different control structures (If, switch, matchclass, etc.) and gave some guidance on which to use when to achieve the best performance. Joe wanted to test this in real time with varying sizes of match statements, varying match depths, etc. So, naturally, he built an iRule. Somewhere along the way though he realized that hand coding 10,000 if/else statements was going to be…less than fun. As such he decided to use the sweet little expr hack we’ve played with from time to time. The result is a flexible iRule that takes arguments and, based on those, puts out a very cool set of graphs that shows just how each different control structure will perform in different situations (number of iterations, match depth, etc.). Super valuable, super cool, and some pretty darn impressive iRules-fu.
Getting Started with Ruby and iControl
Continuing on the “raising the bar” theme we seem to have going so far this week, George was no slouch. For a few weeks now if you wandered by George’s desk you probably saw him chained to it, scouring Ruby books and websites, imbibing physically dangerous amounts of caffeine and poking Joe every couple of hours to ask another question about the deepest, darkest inner workings of iControl. This is because he’s been building his very own iControl library for Ruby. If you’re a Ruby fan, an iControl fan, or just a fan of geeks doing cool stuff, this is one to check out for sure. In the article George walks through how to install the necessary bits to get started, offers up some example code, and generally hands you the keys to get where you’re trying to go. Check it out and keep an eye out for future versions.
VE as in Very Exciting. ARX VE Trial
Don has been writing plenty of good content lately, but the one post that really caught my eye this week was his post about the release of the ARX VE, which is too cool to pass up sharing. VE, for those not in the know, stands for “Virtual Edition”. It’s our term for the virtualized version of our products that can run on VMWare. These sweet little pieces of techno-goodness allow you to try out, dev against, or in some cases even deploy F5 technology on standard server hardware running VMWare. The news in this post, though, is specifically about ARX. ARX, our file virtualization product, has been as of yet unavailable in virtualized form. That has all changed, though, and you can now get your hands on the trial of the ARX VE for free. So go grab it, install it, and start playing with what file virtualization can do for you. Great write-up by Don, great announcement of wicked technology. It’s a double-win.
DevCentral Weekly Podcast 160 – A Poet In Our Midst
While this week’s podcast may be titled to reflect Jason’s poetry, the real meat that I wanted to share has to do with something else. No offense to Jason’s well crafted words, but F5’s Chris Webber stole the show, at least for me. Chris joined the team to talk to us about the release of the BIG-IP Edge Client and BIG-IP Edge Portal iOS applications that are now available for free download in the Apple Store. What this means is that anyone that connects remotely through an F5 Edge Gateway is now able to seamlessly connect via their iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to get access to internal emails, documents and resources. It’s a pretty slick little app that’s easy to use, free to download, and can make life a lot nicer if you’re trying to be productive while remote and using an iOS device to do it. Best of all, there is zero configuration required on the admin end…it just works. How sweet is that?! Give it a listen and click through the links to learn more.
That’s all for this week. Now that the (insane) holidays are over I should be back next week with more for you to chew on in case you’re having trouble keeping up with what’s going on out there on DevCentral.