The hits just keep on coming. Between the release of the LTM VE, some internal DC projects that are brewing, some new site stuff we're trying to polish up, and all that daily stuff that just keeps showing up out of nowhere, there has been no shortage of distractions. There has also, however, been no shortage of amazing content cruising through DevCentral, so this week's Top5 is packed full of it. You know there's a lot of cool stuff out there when I actually had to make a list of about 15 things I'd like to highlight and start whittling it down to just five, and the 20LoL didn’t even make the cut. That’s unheard of in my “iRules ‘till I die” multiverse. So you can rest assured there are many things not in this list worth checking out, but this is the Top5, not the Top13…so here you go:

 

Post of the Week - The triumphant return, thanks to LTM VE

http://devcentral.f5.com/weblogs/dctv/archive/2010/02/24/post-of-the-week-ndash-the-triumphant-return-thanks-to.aspx

First on the list of hits is a personal favorite that hasn't been around in a while, the post of the week. This one has historically been not only a personal favorite but a fan favorite as well. This has been a highly requested series that lapsed for a while, so now like those kids today say, I'm bringing it back. I've been meaning to get this back on wheels and moving for a while and the amazing (seriously…amazing) response in the LTM VE forum was the perfect impetus to get this going again. You have checked out the LTM VE forum, right? I'll pretend like you said yes. If you haven't, go do it now. Hawesome stuff abounds in there, thanks to the killer users and their tinkering. If you've got questions on the LTM VE, what it can do, getting started, limitations, concerns, etc. this is a good place to start.

 

Laptop Load Balancing for The Developer With BIG-IP LTM VE

http://devcentral.f5.com/Default.aspx?tabid=63&articleType=ArticleView&articleId=1082333

This article from Joe is an absolute must read for anyone looking to get into the LTM VE with low resource usage. Whether you're trying to cram it into an already busy VM cluster or you're like Joe (and me) and want to get a workable dev environment up and running on your laptop but don't have room for 3 VMs, this article's for you. Joe walks you through just how to get things running with a single VM used to run the LTM VE, and all other needed components for a host/client test setup functioning from the native OS. This is something I hadn't thought of somehow, even though it was a glaringly obvious idea as soon as I saw him write about it (what..don't look at me like that, I WOULD have thought of it…I've been busy!), and is something that is going to make using this amazing technology a lot easier for a lot of people. Big kudos to Joe for taking the time to spoon feed this one to us, complete with a couple scripts to help you set things up because you know, Joe likes to script things.

 

Whaddya Mean LTM VE Only Has Two Interfaces?

http://devcentral.f5.com/Default.aspx?tabid=63&articleType=ArticleView&articleId=1082331

Continuing the running theme of LTM VE awesomenitude and getting people info they really need to know to get their hands dirty, Jason delivers a solid hit with his demonstration of how to add interfaces to the VE. If you're one of those people that actually want to test networking type stuff then you'll quickly realize that a mere two (not including the management port) interfaces may be shy of what you need for your purposes. Luckily Jason steps in to solve that problem before it even exists by showing you how you can add additional interfaces without breaking a sweat. He even goes so far as to show you how to use VLAN tagging to remove the need for extra interfaces, so you have your choice of solutions. I hear he slices, dices, and cuts through cans, too. He's just that cool. If you've got the LTM VE this one is worth bookmarking and tucking away for later even if you haven't already run into the need for more ways to "plug" things in.

 

TechDump - Managing multiple systems with pyControl v2

http://devcentral.f5.com/weblogs/dctv/archive/2010/02/24/techdump-managing-multiple-systems-with-pycontrol-v2.aspx

While I could list about a bazillionty more killer things relating to the LTM VE because it's that cool, I thought I'd add a couple other links as well, as there were some things that warranted sharing for sure. First up, Matt delivers yet another cool tutorial on using his amazing pyControl v2 platform for system management. If you haven't checked out pyControl yet I strongly recommend it, obviously even more so if you're a python inclined type. In this tip he shows you how you can deal with multiple systems easily. I love the complete walk through showing code, configs and the process he uses to get things working. This one is easy enough for grandma to follow, but geeky enough for us propeller heads to not get bored. Nicely done.

 

BIG-IP Logging and Reporting Toolkit - part one

http://devcentral.f5.com/Default.aspx?tabid=63&articleType=ArticleView&articleId=1082334

The other non LTM VE highlight I wanted to point out was the intro piece to what proves to be a wicked cool series brought to you by Joe Malek, one of the many stellar engineers here at F5. In this series Joe is going to walk us through some concepts behind logging and reporting using your BIG-IP, what your options are, how they compare, and then provide us with some tools to make it easier. This first post outlines the problems inherent, the desired outcome and really just sets the table for the juicy geek content sure to come. (I do mean "sure", I've seen it, it is coming) So take a look, figure out if it's of interest and then check back next week for the next installment. There's a whole world of information and options pertaining to logging and reporting that most people don't even think about when talking BIG-IP, and I'm really looking forward to getting some info out there from someone that's done the legwork to become an expert.

 

That's it! Unfortunately I'm out of room in my list of 5 cool things to check out. I feel sad, honestly, as I could fill three more of these lists with stuff that's happened in the last two weeks alone, but that just means it's up to you to get out there to DevCentral and dig around, find the goodness yourself, and dig in. It's not hard, the site is veritably oozing with interesting content for you to stumble upon these days, so get to it.

#Colin