This week brought new meaning to the old, familiar phrase “so overstuffed with goodness it’s unknowable”. Well okay, maybe it’s a silly new phrase I just made up, but that doesn’t change the fact that this was yet another killer week for content on DevCentral. There were forum posts by the hundreds, blog posts by the dozen and tech tips a plenty. There was even some twitter inspired swan diving silliness. Through all of that I’ve picked what I thought were some of the most interesting things out of the bunch to highlight. To be fair, though, I could have easily listed 15 things this week, so definitely go trolling for yourself on DevCentral to see what you can find. That being said, here you are, this week’s DC Top5:

Scatter Plotting Response Times with iRules and Google Charts

http://bit.ly/ePngP2

The whole “Google Charts magic via iRules” thing isn’t exactly new anymore. We’ve shown you at least a half dozen examples by now of truly killer ways you can make graphs and charts ranging from handy to awe inspiring with a combination of the charting API from Google and some serious iRules fu. Well, chalk one more wicked example up to that list. Joe endeavored this week to show off a new type of graph that no one had touched yet, from an iRuling perspective: The Scatter Chart. What he’s doing here is charting the duration to complete an HTTP request as it relates to first status code, then request size. He’s plotting these on a scatter chart which is an interesting way to look at this data. The chart is cool, but to me the true magic is in the iRule. Fun stuff and worth a look for sure.

Ruby and iControl: Understanding Complex Type Syntax

http://bit.ly/fxKThD

A while back George released a Ruby plug-in for iControl, which was a big step in helping make the world a safer, friendlier place for anyone that’s a Ruby fan, and interested in iControl, or vice versa. This week he comes to us with another look at how to make life simpler for those people, along with anyone at all interested in iControl, by doing an in-depth look at complex type syntax and how it works. This is one of those things that can seem pretty rough when first digging into iControl, or any SOAP based API really. With a little patience and a walk through like this, though, it really makes a lot of sense. Once you get that light bulb moment and this concept clicks, the world of iControl becomes your oyster. Figuratively of course...we’re not talking actual crustaceans here or anything. Anyway, read this article if you have any inkling of sinking your teeth into iControl any time soon. It’ll help, honest.

BIG-IP Configuration Visualizer – iControl Style

http://bit.ly/fZngFr

While we’re on the topic of iControl, let’s talk about Jason’s tech tip this week. He’s bringing to light some truly hawesome code whipped up by community member Russell Moore. This code, in the form of a Perl script (that’s right, Perl...what of it?), will suck in your BIG-IP config and by way of iControl, Perl and GraphViz magic, output a graphical representation of your config. No seriously, it makes an image that shows you each config object laid out logically. Every VIP, profile, IP, VLAN, etc is graphically represented and laid out logically based on how your system is currently configured. This is a stellar way to get a good look at how things are set up in complex environments. Yes I agree, it’s amazing. That’s why it’s on the Top 5. Now stop freaking out and go look.

Simplify VMware View Deployments

http://bit.ly/ei3Tf2

Peter Silva struck a chord with me this week by writing about deploying VMware view while attempting to be at least somewhat efficient. VMware view, for those somehow not in the know, is a method by which you can deliver a desktop environment to a user from a central location. In other words, you spin up servers in a data center that host images of client systems, and those clients simply remote into them to get their work done. There are many appealing parts to this concept, centralization, efficiency in hardware usage/maintenance/repair, etc. The things that aren’t so appealing are the network traffic required to make this kind of distributed system work, and the havoc that a little latency or packet loss can play in people getting their jobs done. Not to mention the security headaches. Enter LTM and APM. Pete walks through a few ways in which F5 can help make this type of deployment work in the real world and alleviate some of the pain that could otherwise be inherent. Take a look, it’s an interesting read.

iRule::ology; Connection Limiting Take 2

http://bit.ly/gw4rpG

For the second installation of what is quickly becoming my favorite Tech Tip series ever, I have another connection limiting iRule in this week’s iRule::ology installment. This time, however, rather than limiting a VIP to a given number of HTTP requests per time interval, we’re trying to limit it to a given number of concurrent TCP connections. This tends to be a bit more tricky, but thanks to some code by the illustrious spark himself, the task itself is no problem. What I love about this series is that it gives me a chance to truly dig in and explain each command and statement, why it’s being used, how it works, what to watch out for, etc. It’s an intense study of a single iRule and I feel like I learn something every time, let alone what I’m hoping to show others about the code chosen. I hope you like the format as much as I do, because I have no intentions of stopping.

There you have it, five more wicked cool things to dig into on DC. There are a ton more out there, seriously, so don’t be shy, go hunting yourself. If you’ve got questions, comments or feedback, I’m all ears. Otherwise, thanks for reading and see you next time.

 

#Colin