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DevCentral Top5 10/16/2009

After some much needed vacation I'm back at the helm this week to deliver your Top5. I'm sure you've managed to find some tasty morsels on DevCentral while I was away, but hopefully I'll be able to help out and point you in the direction of some more DC goodness now that I'm back. The past couple weeks have been busy and I have only 5 slots to fill with my picks, so make sure to keep checking out DevCentral if you're looking for more, but here is this week's Top5:


DevCentral Weekly Roundup Episode 107 - The F5 Guy

The Weekly Roundup is no stranger to the Top5. Indeed I find it's often a valuable entry as it gives some perspective on what the team and community are up to, cool things you should see, etc. It's kind of my way of fitting more than 5 entries into the Top5, but shhh, don’t' tell anyone. This week, however, there's even more reason than normal to check it out. Blogger and F5 expert The F5 Guy graced us with his presence on the cast this week, and it was filled with hawesomeness as was expected when I heard he was joining us. We talked about what he's been up to, how he came to work with F5 gear, what kinds of products and technologies he works with, how and why he started his blog,, and how the team should all have iPhones. Okay, that last part was an inside joke, but it's in there too. In any event, there was some awesome F5 and DevCentral talk going on and if you missed the live stream, you should definitely check out the podcast if you get a chance.


OOW Coverage on DevCentral

Don made a smart move this week and made a blog post rounding up and listing all the awesome videos that Pete Silva took while attending Oracle's Open World event. So while I'm linking to Don's blog, I think he'll agree that Pete is the one that did the leg work and deserves the credit along with his assorted cast of guests ranging from Calvin Rowland to Andy Ohler to Ron Carovano and beyond. Pete shot a series of short, easily consumed clips interviewing different F5ers at Open World about the event, F5's work with Oracle, what was new and exciting, and their take on the show. It was pretty cool to get a feel for the happenings without actually being there and Pete's classic style and enthusiasm shone through as always. These vids are worth a gander if you're interested to hear about F5 and Oracle. I know I was, and I'm glad I got a chance to watch them.


F5 Management Pack v1.4.1.93 Released: Globalization Support!

The post itself may be short, but the implications and impact are…long? Regardless of my grammatical failings, another new version of the F5 Management Pack has been dropped courtesy of the ever busy MPack team here at F5. If you haven't gotten your hands on the Management Pack yet, you should. There are way too many cool things that you can do to not have at least taken a look yet. With new versions dropping frequently and a steady stream of tutorial content coming straight from the Devs, it's not hard to get started. With this newest release the Management Pack now boasts globalization support to support localized versions of Windows Server 2003 and 2008 R2. This is good news for those worldwide audiences looking to dig further into the world of monitoring and management with the F5 Management Pack. Very cool stuff.


Using Network-Side Scripting to Implement Mock API Endpoints

It's a shame, really, to try and distill Lori's ever expanding army of posts down to just a single entry for the time I was out, but such is my lot in life. Using the tried and true "throw a dart at the dart-board" method seemed out of the question, so I just picked the one that talked about iRules and had code in it. What…you're surprised? Have you read my stuff before? In this post Lori delves into mocking up an API endpoint in iRules, our very own brand of network-side scripting. It's built to inspect an API call, determine what call it is, then return canned responses based on that call. Pretty cool stuff, right? What's even more cool is that this can end up saving time and resources for plenty of people that happen to have F5's ADC devices already deployed and could use it to test against. I'll admit it, I'm a sucker for a good iRules post, and Lori's got my attention straight away. Good stuff for anyone interested in network-side scripting, APIs, or SOA-ish type stuff.


Creating Cacti Templates for BIG-IP CPU Utilization

Taking you step by step through the process of creating these Cacti templates, all the way from the data collection Perl script to the Cacti configuration, is our resident Cacti expert, Jason. This very cool Tech Tip goes into stellar detail to get you from point A to B without losing you along the way. Complete with big animal pictures and the actual code you'll need to get started, Jason leads you down the path towards a state of Cacti zen. I'm not a huge SNMP or Cacti guy experience-wise, but it's some pretty cool stuff in the right hands and Jason makes it plenty interesting. It's cool to see what he's up to. Take a look for yourself.


There you have it, the Top5 for the week. I'm glad to be back and hope you found this helpful. As always, feedback is appreciated, and you can check out previous Top5s here -




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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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