This edition of the Top5 is brought to you in part by: insomnia, and the letter "Q". Of course, it's brought to you even more by killer (as in cool, not as in sentient and blood thirsty) technology and wicked cool articles, blog entries, videos and the like floating out in the ether on DevCentral; that just doesn't sound as cool though, does it? Regardless, this is another week in which it is exceedingly easy to thumb through the content on DevCentral and earmark more than a few items as contenders for the Top5. The extended DevCentral crew is always up to fantastic things, and the core team has put out a few dandy articles as well, which provides for more than a little bit to dig through. That is, however, the precise reason that the Top5 exists. That is, to help you avoid having to tear through every single article or post to the site. As much goodness as they may contain, there often just isn't time to get through all of it; trust me, I'd know. So here you are, one guy's thoughts on which items you would be lucky to draw out of a hat from DevCentral this week. You know, if content was drawn out of a hat. And if hats existed on the internet.
Two-Factor Authentication using Yubikey, YubiCloud and APM
By now I'm going to go ahead and assume that everyone reading is aware of what two factor authentication is. If you don't, I recommend you make use of your search engine of choice and find the appropriate wikipedia entry or other means of general education to catch up with the class. All set? Most excellent. Now then, while I'm well aware of what two-factor authentication is, having worked with it more than once, I found myself asking as I read this title, "What in the heck is a yubikey?". As it turns out Brett was smart enough to put quite a nice description of exactly that in this article. As it turns out, a Yubikey is a darn cool device that allows for secure access to a device with the touch of a button. No seriously, this cool little device will generate a one time password on demand which can then be referenced against any number of services, including yubicloud, to ensure that proper two factor authentication is being enforced. What's even cooler than the device itself is the way F5 customers can use APM to facilitate a truly seamless experience. Check out the details within, I've got 10:1 odds you learn something, and not just what a yubikey is.
So you see, there's this product called AppScan. And we do some cool stuff with it. It is, in fact, precisely because of said cool stuff that people seem to keep asking questions about AppScan, F5, and how the two play together in the grand scheme of things. Fortunately, Nojan has whipped up a quick little video that will dig into some specifics to answer your questions. I was lucky enough to get to sit in on this one, and I learned quite a bit about AppScan and what it can do. These type of products are no brainers if you ask me, and make life far more enjoyable, also more reliable. Whether you haven't even heard of AppScan or you're a pro, if you're looking for F5 -> AppScan info, this is a fantastic place to start. Nojan's the expert, and he breaks it down for us to follow along nice and easy.
Australian iRules Madness, The Recap from Down Under
I was recently fortunate enough to be sent over to Australia to support the F5 Agility event taking place there. For those that aren't familiar, the Agility events are worldwide events put on by F5 wherein we invite customers and partners to come learn about, discuss, and get the scoop on upcoming news on F5 technology. Everything from forward looking business keynotes to hardcore geekery was had, and boy was it ever had. I was, I should think unsurprisingly, asked to come speak about DevCentral and more specifically iRules. There are few things finer, in my opinion, than hanging around with a bunch of geekity geeks and geeking out over geeky things, and that's precisely what I got to do. It was such a great experience I even wrote it up to share with the community as an example of some of the cool F5 stuff going on worldwide. For anyone that was at the event, a huge thank you for the hawesome experience. For anyone that has yet to attend an F5 Agility event, I'm gonna go ahead and recommend you shake a leg and get out to one soon. If you're not convinced yet, give this a read and see what kind of stuff we were talking about, and then start planning your trip.
Performance Testing Through the Layers
Performance testing and monitoring may not sound like the sexiest of all topics, but sub second application responses sure do. If you want to get the most out of your app, you're going to be monitoring and tuning it for performance and security, there's just no two ways about it. If you're doing such monitoring and testing, this particular article from Joe may tickle your fancy quite nicely. Joe talks about apps that were vs. apps that are and the different requirements and demands on the testing/monitoring side of things, as well as going into an explanation of how we approach the problem here on DevCentral. Since Joe's been the man at the helm for much of our monitoring needs since heading out into the cloud, I'm going to wager that he knows what he's talking about here. Lend him an ear, or an eye, or…well…go read the article and see what you think.
Post of the Week
Also from Joe this week is a solo mission version of the PotW. Given how busy we all are around here this time of year it looks like Joe's decided to push this one over the finish line by himself. It's either that or he wanted to geek out about iControl stuff and didn't trust any of us to keep up (which, to be fair, we couldn't. Have you ever talked to Joe about iControl? Yeah, not human). For this week's post Joe selected an entry from the iControl forums entitled:"How to get nodes list filtered by their name". The name is relatively straight-forward, which tells us what the user in question is looking for. The solution, however, is far less straight forward. There are a couple of ways to go about this, and there truly is no one better to walk you through them than the guy that helped design and create the API . Joe does a great job delivering a couple of possible solutions in a quick and easy manner. That, combined with how much I just downright love this series, means this post is rounding out the Top5 this week, rather than sitting on the sidelines.
That'll do it for this week, folks. Check back in another two weeks for five more awesome entries from the community and the DC Crew to learn more about what's going on with F5's more than standard technologies.