For a good long while, bigpipe has been the command line tool for use with BIG-IP products. It worked admirably, and has lasted a good long while, but as with everything that is vibrant and successful, BIG-IP outgrew bigpipe.

Starting with v.10, you have access to a new command processor – tmsh. While you can still call bigpipe, tmsh offers such power that we figure you won’t be doing that for long.

Offering a full blown scripting language based on tcl, tmsh gives you functionality that makes this author wonder if a whole lot of work currently doled out to iControl will end up as tmsh scripts.

Over the coming days, weeks, and months we’ll be delving into how, when, and where to use tmsh in your overall network architecture, but for now, I’ve written an introductory article, and the Tech Pubs people have written an excellent reference.

Find the article here, and the tmsh Reference Guide here (requires a valid login to That’s enough to get us started down the path of on-box automation for the BIG-IP, there’s plenty more on the way.

Until next time,