I'm not a fan of tech blogs being positioning of any kind, but since I'm new here and have seen some things "in the wild", you'll get the occasional one of these from me.

While I was still working for Network Computing, I had a conversation with a competitor to F5 where they pitched their solution as better than BigIP becaues it didn't require coding. And thus was easier to use.

These were always fun conversations to have as a writer - you can roll your eyes, put them on speaker phone to let Lori listen, take extensive (and in egregious cases impertinent) notes, and ask piercing questions like "So you're saying iRules and iControl are required to use F5 products?" then listen to the pregnant pause or indignant sputtering because you've interrupted their presentation. This scenario is fortunately not common, but some conversations pass beyond the bounds of acceptability and require a snappy comment to make the presenter aware that you know your market, and lies aren't going to sell.

But I'm not here to talk about the fun NWC writers have trying to bring you unbiased information. The thing that concerns me is that this same vendor may be selling this schtick to you, and that some of you haven't spent enough time in the space to understand the difference, so as my first public service announcement, I'll tell you something F5 has been saying (with greater and lesser success) for years:

iRules and iControl are all about extensibility, flexibility, and adaptability.

It's that simple. And that's what DevCentral is here for. F5 products can do as much as competitors for you out-of-the-box, but no one - not us or the competition - can account for all of the things you might wish to do within your own network. Giving you the tools to do for yourself what vendors aren't doing is not a weight that drags you down, it is a buoy that lifts you out of the sea of network performance and security. And DevCentral is a resource to help you use those tools.

So if you get caught up in one of these conversations, remember that F5 products are competitive without iRules and iControl, these programmatic interfaces are just another tool in your toolchest to help you solve your users problems and lighten the natural tension between the Network team and the AppDev team.

Of course, if you're a DevCentral member, you already knew all of this, but this one's for all the casual surfers and Enterprise Architects out looking for new ways to solve their problems.


Imbibing: Strong coffee and Mountain Dew

Reading: Runes of the Earth: The  Last  Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Stephen R. Donaldson