Programmer or not (and especially if you're not), if you are responsible for any aspect of monitoring or managing F5 gear, you need pyControl!

As I mentioned yesterday, we are spending this morning talking about iControl.  (You may have heard of it -- it's the next iRules! If not, you can get acquainted with iControl here.)  pyControl is a wrapper for the iControl API that dramatically lowers any barriers to entry that a lack of programming background might seem to impose.

PythonpyControl is soooooo easy to use.  A quick download and few simple steps to get the underlying infrastructure installed, then with embedded help and tab completion at every level, you can start poking around in the inner workings of your LTM systems within 15 minutes or so. 

"One of the goals for the project is to make it as easy as possible for our customers to get started using iControl (we’ve got it down to 3 lines of code). Not enough of our customers take advantage of iControl, and we felt Python’s gentle learning curve (it’s just plain fun to write Python code) and portability across platforms really filled a niche."

You can interactively manage an LTM system, modify the load balancing configuration and view statistics for system and load balancing using simple python logic in the iPython shell.  But even better, you can build and save scripts to use for common dynamic system management or data center virtualization tasks.

For example, one of the SE's responsible for the initiation of this F5 Labs project, Matt Cauthorn, has just given a demo of an automatic provisioning and reservation system for a Xen based virtual data center.  It creates and manages virtual server instances and provides a resource "checkout" to create and manage entire data centers on the fly.  (We'll be posting a demo shortly to make it even easier for you to see how easy it is!)