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DevCentral Top5 08/07/2009

As the extended DevCentral crew continues to crank through the summer months, churning out more and more awesome content, there is lots to see. Whether you're looking for short, easily consumable pieces of media to get you pointed in the right direction or longer posts about the practicality of running your crew or your servers close to the ragged edge, I've got both for you this week. Check out this week's Top5:


pyControl Apps #2 - Deleting BIG-IP Routes

In Jason's continuation of the pyControl Apps series he continues to walk you through how to get moving with pyControl to perform some useful actions on your BIG-IP. In this installment Jason walks through how to delete the routes that he showed you how to create in the last pyControl Apps article. He continues to expand upon the idea of using python and iControl together, giving you building blocks to a larger application or utility that could eventually do one of many possible things in your deployment. I'm curious to see what comes next in the series and this one is worth a quick read.


Audio White Paper - Load Balancing 101 Nuts and Bolts

If you're still not 100% clear on load balancing, Application Delivery Networking, and their role in your application's world, here's a great way to clear all of that up. Pete Silva takes a few minutes to clarify in very simple terms what all of these things are and what they can do. He covers everything from the basic terminology of the devices and configurations to the life cycle of a connection within the Load Balancer's world to in-line manipulation of content at the network level. In this audio version of the load balancing 101 whitepaper Pete gives a solid basis to work with for anyone that is just getting their feet wet in the LB / ADC world(s). If you're (or someone you know is) looking for a place to get started, this wouldn't be a bad place. Make sure you check out the pdf linked to in the post for the diagrams and shiny pictures.


There's a New iRule Editor in Town

The iRule Editor, for those of you that have been living under a rock or in a particularly out of the way cave for quite some time now, is an amazingly powerful tool for writing, deploying, testing, troubleshooting and archiving iRules. It's my go-to tool every time I even think about looking at or coding an iRule. It was that good before, and it just got better. Joe has implemented some fixes to bugs in the previous versions and some shiny new enhancements such as new GTM only iRules commands. If you've been using this, grab the new version. It's better, faster, stronger…you get the idea. If you haven't been using this and you use, are thinking about using, or come within 4 square miles of contact with an iRule I highly, highly recommend you pick this up and take a look. It's game-changing in the iRules dev experience. It's so good, in fact, that word on the street is that someone who will remain un-named may be looking into a Linux version as well for all of those non-MS types. Check it out, you won't regret it.


Formula for Quantifying Productivity of Web Applications

More is not always better. More utilization, even when there is more overhead technically available is not always a good thing. Lori points this out quite well and far better than I could in her recent blog post. Her discussion around the maximum realistic capacity of people/devices and the amount of fallout there is for pushing past that is something that I've understood inherently for some time, but enjoyed seeing put down in black and white. Yes, if your server is at 75% capacity you can technically squeeze another 24% utilization out of it. Realistically though, bad things will happen. Read more to find out what, why, and what to do about it.


20 Lines or Less #27

Yes, another 20LoL in the Top5. Yes, I really think it's that cool. Three more examples of what can be done with the power of iRules in less than 21 lines of code warrants a spot this week. This week we've got an example dealing with switch statements, one dealing with pool information in HTTP headers, and one that has to do with mod_rewrite rewriting. If you're looking for code snippets that you can grab and use or store for later, or if you're just trying to figure out what the possibilities are with this whole iRules thing, this series is a great place to check things out. Take a look at the 27th edition and see what you think. Then, if you like what you read, dig back through the previous 26 for over 70 code samples of nifty iRule-ey goodness.


There's your Top5 for the week. I hope, as always, that you've not only enjoyed it but found it useful. Feel free to drop me a line about what you'd like to see, what you're missing, or general comments and feedback. Otherwise, I'll be back soon with 5 more from DevCentral.


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More Stories By Colin Walker

Coming from a *Nix Software Engineering background, Colin is no stranger to long hours of coding, testing and deployment. His personal experiences such as on-stage performance and the like have helped to foster the evangelist in him. These days he splits his time between coding, technical writing and evangalism. He can be found on the road to just about anywhere to preach the good word about ADCs, Application Aware networking, Network Side Scripting and geekery in general to anyone that will listen.

Colin currently helps manage and maintain DevCentral ( He is also a contributor in many ways, from Articles to Videos to numerous forum posts, to iRules coding and whatever else he can get his hands on that might benefit the community and allow it to continue to grow.

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