First post! (Okay, I had to get that cliche out of the way). 

I'm pleased to be joining the illustrious group of bloggers at F5 Networks.  I'm looking forward to adding information from a former customer perspective and also information about SAP and Adobe, which will be my focus at F5 Networks.

As a new employee and former customer, my viewpoint is a bit like a kid's in a candy store right now.  I've had the opportunity to delve into many of the nooks and crannies of our application delivery networking offerings and I'm just now seeing how so many of my previous projects could have been streamlined, accelerated, been deployed faster and cost thousands less with the right mix of application delivery networking.

Big-IP can do some amazing things, but as a Sys Admin I rarely had the time or opportunity to delve into all of the things it can do.  I hope to help break down some of this time barrier for those of you that are Sys Admins out there by sharing some real world experiences.  For the system architects out there, I hope that this information will help create solid solutions that cost a fraction of other alternatives, for your upcoming projects.

For me, on several projects, the ability to control and initiate URL rewriting at the load balancing layer created the ability to launch some projects on an amazingly accelerated timeframe.  In one project (not on Big-IP unfortunately), our outside analysts had put a timeframe of several years on one migration project; with the help of layer 7 networking, we were able to cut that down to six months.  That project was more than five years ago and the amazing thing is that the technology we used to pull that off looks downright primitive next to the capabilities of Big-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) and the modules that can reside on Big-IP LTM.

There are already piles of real-world implementation and performance data located in our solution center (link to the performance data section in particular:  http://www.f5.com/solution-center/white-papers/#app-performance).  I'm going to share some of my personal experiences with these results and implementations, especially around SAP and Adobe, but also around the Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Python/Perl (LAMP) stack world. 

Not every system administrator and network engineer who falls in love with the full proxy architecture of Big-IP LTM can come join F5 Networks, immerse themselves in the technology and learn all the inner workings, hopefully my experiences can bridge that gap.

Some of the topics I'll be delving into will include:

* Bridging the gaps between system administrators and network engineers through the use of Big-IP LTM partitions and  profiles (delegated administration).  And more importantly, why network engineers can safely balance the risks of handing over management access to people outside their group,

* Using Big-IP LTM and Web Accelerator to reduce system administration tasks on web servers,

* Building a cheaper disaster recovery solution using Big-IP and solutions such as link load balancing, global traffic management (GTM) and WAN Acceleration,

* Utilizing iControl to automate system administration tasks,

* Utilizing iRules to reduce complex web site monitoring tasks such a Omniture tracking, or measuring page load speeds.

The list goes on, but the theme will remain the same: getting system administrators and network engineers to bridge the gap, for each to give a bit of control to ultimately create a much more efficient infrastructure with somewhat limitless architectural possibilities.