DevCentral Top5 10/09/2012

Persistence is a term that is quite commonly thrown around when talking about application delivery. There are all sorts of different kinds of persistence; from client address to cookie to some customized, specific variant that requires an iRule and a good whisky to dream up, persistence is a common and valuable theme. Persistence as a concept ranges far beyond application delivery and networked applications, however. It's the more traditional definition of the word that I'm more interested in at the moment. Persistence in the sense that the sky is persistently blue, sugar is persistently sweet, and Dr. Horrible is persistently nefarious, socially awkward and just so darn … horrible (I mean, he does have a Ph.D in Horribleness, after all…). That's the type of persistence that leaps to mind this week as I dig through DevCentral to fish out some hawesome topics for you all to peruse. It leaps to mind because the community is just so darn cool, so often. It is persistent in the way it surprises me, time and again with the level of interaction and content being put out by those involved. That's not such a bad form of persistence either, and it didn't involve cookies at all. That's all a lead up, of course, to showing off just what I'm talking about. So with that, allow me to introduce you to your DevCentral Top5 for the week:

Building a resilient, secure DNS infrastructure
It all starts and stops with DNS. Everything on the web, generally speaking, is accessed using an archaic infrastructure that has been around since before the days of smart phones and Wi-Fi enabled cars and tablets. DNS is a constant in most things internet and certainly web focused, and as such it's a pretty vital part of any deployment. What Ben offers in this article, then, a resilient, secure DNS infrastructure, is likely a rather valuable thing, no? In this article Ben talks about some of the more common DNS attacks, explaining what they are, how they work, and what makes them particularly nasty; he then depicts how F5 helps to mitigate those attacks. DNS has a special place in my heart, as it was the very first thing I was officially trained on at my first honest to goodness technical job (have I told this story kids? Ahh well, it just gets better every time I tell it…doesn't it?). Even if it didn't, though, this article would be more than worth the read.

Of Escalators and Network Traffic
Always on the up and up (oh escalator humor…I slay myself), Don gives us a solid take on network traffic expansion in this post comparing it quite accurately to an escalator. How so, you ask? Because they're both always headed in a single direction, which in this case, is up. Network traffic continues to grow at an astounding rate. Between the number of new devices added per year and the increasingly rich content being sucked across the wire by each of said devices, it shows no signs of stopping either. Complete with a mind blowing graph of the acceleration that network traffic has seen over the years, this blog post is a solid read. It also contains a series of events that often leads people down the road towards an advanced application delivery device. That alone was an interesting read to me as it's a story I've heard near verbatim more than once, give or take a step or two. Love it or hate it, the world is getting wired rapidly and there's nothing to do but keep up. Don's take on such things intrigued me and, I believe, will you too. Take a look for yourself and see what you think.

Monitoring Your Networks with PRTG - Custom Notifications
More monitors, more monitoring..'nuff said. Okay, maybe not quite enough. Joe's series on PRTG and monitoring your network may not initially sound as scintillating as the latest episode of "So you think your biggest survivor can glee", or whatever the kids these days are watching, but those expecting to find boring monitoring tedium will be pleasantly surprised. This series has been solid, and with another installment, just keeps on keeping on with good monitoring know-how. In previous articles Joe's walked through getting PRTG set up, setting up custom sensors and more. Now, though, he talks about an extremely valuable and vital portion of any monitoring tool…the notifications themselves. Let's face it, if the notifications aren't useful, brief and readable, no one's going to get what they need out of them. It stands to reason then that learning how to customize monitoring notifications would be a valuable thing then, wouldn't it? I thought so too, which is why I was more than happy to read through Joe's solid explanation of how to do just that.

To Pre-Authenticate or Not to Pre-Authenticate
That is the question. Painfully obvious literary devices on my part aside, Greg Coward delivers a darn solid blog post detailing some of the many benefits of remote access inspection and authentication. Whether you're dealing with mobile access or remote users in the field somewhere looking to plug into the applications they need for their day job, remote access is an exceedingly  common theme which is just growing. There are many benefits to screening people accessing your applications whether internally or externally, but rather than try to sum it up myself I'll just quote Greg, who did the description justice when he said that such solutions "act as a secure doorway on the perimeter of the organization and prevent un-authenticated and un-trusted traffic from accessing resources residing on the private internal corporate network." Yeah … that. Do you want to know more about, have more control over or insight into the connections accessing your network? I figured as much.

#The101: iRules - Logging & Comments
I couldn't let a week go by without at least some mention of iRules, now could I? Fortunately I managed to fire off another installment of #The101: iRules series last week. The perhaps seemingly benign and may haps even mundane subjects of logging and commenting required some discussion and by George…that's just what they got. Logging can actually be near imperative in an iRule, depending on the context, and given that there are a few different ways to go about it, it's really not a bad topic to cover. Do you want to log locally or remotely? Do you want to use the standard log command or the HSL commands? Do you want to pre-format log statements yourself or allow them to be formatted in a standardized fashion automatically? If you aren't sure, then you've got some reading to do, don't you?

Published Oct 10, 2012
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