Whether you are whipping up a crème brûlée or configuring your BIG-IP system to manage web traffic, a good cookbook won’t let you down.

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Gourmet chefs know that the best way to help us cook a dinner fit for a queen is to create recipes. Top-notch recipes don’t just give us a list of ingredients or describe the chemical composition of an emulsifier; they give us simple, step-by-step instructions on how to cook a meal so delectable our guests will be tweeting about it before they leave the dinner table.

Fortunately, recipes aren’t just for cooking. They can also help you configure your BIG-IP system, quickly and easily. Just for fun, here’s a potential recipe for web hosting two different customers through an external switch.

Ingredients:

1 BIG-IP system interface
2 VLANs
2 load balancing pools
2 virtual servers
routes

Instructions:

1. Create an internal VLAN, assigning the interface as a tagged interface to the VLAN.

2. Create a load balancing pool, with content servers as its pool members.

3. Create a virtual server that references the pool.

4. Add routes, to taste.

5. Wash, rinse, repeat.

(O.K., a tad over-simplified maybe, but you get the idea.)

In this same spirit, the F5 product documentation team regularly publishes a special category of “cookbooks” known as implementations guides. Derived in part from real customer use cases, these guides give you detailed step-by-step instructions for how to quickly combine ingredients (aka product features) to reach your goals, without dropping too many eggs on the floor in the process.

For example, the guide BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager: Implementations offers a slew of instructions ranging from how to set up HTTP data compression to how to segment application traffic into route domains. Another guide, BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager: Implementations, gives instructions such as how to set up wide IP load balancing and how to manage bandwidth based on link thresholds.

Currently, F5 offers implementations guides for BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager, BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager, and BIG-IP Application Security Manager, and you can find all of these guides on our Ask F5 web site, https://support.f5.com.

When you crack open our BIG-IP implementations guides, it’s a sure bet that your dinner guests won’t give a hoot, but your IT staff (and ultimately your application users) will be delighted.