The power of BIG-IP in general and iControl in particular are that they enable you. They give you a ton of functionality and a way to utilize that functionality.

They're also complex. For an admin, using the WebUI to administer BIG-IP is not a huge deal, but for your average programmer it can be painful. I know, I'm a programmer (though like most, I don't consider myself average... But if most think like that, then that too makes me average, no?)

The number of fiddly bits required to just test your app in any load-balanced environment is larger than I, personally, would like. I've got experience with several vendors, and it's just plain a complex topic. For more than a year I've been talking about giving app developers tools that simplify their lives when a BIG-IP is introduced into their environment... And have gotten little done on that front because we're all very busy.

This week (or next) will begin to change all of that. The i2CI series is going to delve into simplifying your life as a developer or overworked admin.

The first installment will present you with a standalone application that will allow you to say (from the command line to keep the extraneous code to a minimum) "Create this new Application" - it will simply take a minimum of information from you (name of the application, IP Address/port it should reside on, and nodes that service it with an option for pool name if the pool already exists), and will generate the necessary objects to start that application running through the BIG-IP.

We'll have to make a ton of assumptions to get from here to there, but that's generally okay for developer purposes. This version will create an http application, but once you have the code, if your organization does https or some other app as a standard, you can modify the code to handle that.

Quick and simple, that's the goal. Hopefully useful falls in there too, or I've missed my mark.

I am on-track to have it done in time for my normal Friday posting, but I'll blog if things run over - there is a lot going on here at the moment, and Joe and Jeff are in Japan this week, so my workload is variable.


/imbibing: Water

/reading: Fields of Honor, given to me by a friend this weekend.