Project Chain Links: Introduction

Hey there, community! Many moons ago my good friend and colleague "THE" Colin Walker started a series of iRules challenges for our sales engineers at their new hire boot camps and then published the results here at DevCentral. Personally, I have used Project Euler for my own development or for mentoring students I've worked with. In shoring up my own python language-specific skills, I use PyBites and Python Morsels. All these are great for the busy technologist because they offer three things:

  1. A clear problem to solve
  2. A focused, bite-sized problem that can be tackled at lunch or on a break
  3. A solution to validate your efforts

That brings me to the point of this new article series. The idea is to release a challenge on a frequent basis with a solution released the following week in a GitHub repo. Different from Colin’s original series? It will not be limited to iRules. It could be solution oriented, an investigation into the power of a command line tool, or any number of API-related queries.

Final order of business before jumping in: why the name? Well, it’s an homage and/or an amalgamation of Project Euler, the BIG-IP hud chain, and the F5 automation toolchain. The goal here is to build the requisite skills bite by bite to connect all these chainlinks into a suite of skills at your disposal.

Challenge #1

The background: DC Nerd Life, Inc has one public facing web application with an FQDN of www.nerdlife.local. This application is offloaded at their BIG-IP that has a single public IP address available to host the website and two servers serving content via the http protocol.

The problem: Management has an immediate requirement to stand up a new web application with a different FQDN of www.nerdknobs.local. There is no additional IP space for you to use. How do you manage this new requirement?

Solution: Your solution should result in a BIG-IP configuration consisting of two servers in a pool, the necessary profiles, and the virtual server configuration.

Bonus challenge: If instead of www.nerdknobs.local, the new FQDN was my.nerdlife.local. How, if at all, might your solution look different?

Questions for understanding:

  • How does the TLS handshake make this solution possible?
  • Before your solution is in place, what happens on the client and server side for requests to an unknown application?
  • After your solution is in place, what happens on the client and server side for requests to the known applications? What about unknown applications?
  • What happens for clients that don’t support the solution?


Update: The solution has been published. If you haven't attempted the challenge, hold off and give it a shot!

Published Dec 04, 2019
Version 1.0

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