We’ve survived the ghouls, ghosts and goblins which means it’s now time for gobbling, guests and gastronomy galore. Through it all DevCentral continues to be a steady, reliable source for hard to beat technical how-to docs and commentary. With more community involvement and action than ever before it’s a great time to be a part of the DevCentral movement so get on board if you haven’t already, and bring your friends. This week I’ve got some great stuff for you, including an exclusive interview with iHealth’s proud uncle, Matt DuHarte, to get you the low down on that truly incredible new tool. So let’s get to it, here’s your DC Top5:
Session Table Control with iRules
Right out of the gates this week, Joe sets a staggering pace with this truly epic Tech Tip. We’ve seen a slew of awesome articles over the past months that make use of the table features in iRules to do some pretty darn cool things. I’m sure we’re not through with those yet as there is an almost endless list of things that they can help you do. That being said, this is high on the list of most impressive to me. This is an iRule that gives you an interface with which a user can completely manage their tables. Add, update, delete records, import or export an entire list of records from or to a csv file, or delete a table completely. This is not only impressive to look at as an iRules lover, but it’s pretty frackin’ useful in real-world scenarios, too. Tip of the cap to Joe for his inventive and impressive iRuling this week. This one is a must see, complete with video walkthrough.
Trending BIG-IP with Munin
Taking a radical turn away from sporting his iRules fu with the URL shortening bit, George is flexing his administration style muscles to show you how to set up Munin to track usage on your BIG-IP systems. Having some form of trending can be extremely helpful in not only monitoring but also in forensics after some form of incident. Whether you’re talking about an attack, a CPU spike or some form of crash, being able to go back and see what different parts of the system were doing and how they responded can be quite handy. George has made this as easy as installing the software and copy & pasting a few commands. Take a look and try it out if you don’t already have something trending for you.
DC Weekly Podcast #153 – iHealth
As promised, I now deliver unto you a truly hawesome podcast done with Matt DuHarte talking about iHealth. We cover what it is, where it came from, why we (F5) built it, how to use it, some of the features, and … well basically I just geeked out about how dang cool this thing is. iHealth, in case you haven’t heard yet from under your rock, is a publicly available tool recently launched that allows F5 users (internal, external…anyone that can log in and create a support ticket can use it) to upload qkview files and have them processed into an extremely helpful, easy to use format. When I say extremely helpful, I only use those words for lack of something more potent. Monumentally helpful? Massively helpful? Shockingly helpful? All correct and yet none enough to express how much this is going to change the game for people using F5 technologies. iHealth allows you to view absolutely everything that’s happening or has happened (been logged) on your device in an extremely easy to use web interface. It shows summary info, VIP/pool info, network mapping, resource usage, charting and more. And as if that weren’t enough the creators have built in some truly advanced heuristics that can identify problems that currently exist and even things that you may be susceptible to in the future, complete with suggested solutions to said problems. I’ll stop gushing now so you can go listen to the actual interview. Go check it out, then try it out for yourself. This thing is wickedly cool.
There’s a Service in Your Future
IT automation is a huge topic. It’s growing more and more important as server, network and data sprawl continue to grow like wild fire, bandwidth consumption scales faster than a tribble love fest, and applications continue to become more demanding. Don gives some guidance that I find to be spot on in this article discussing ways to automate the appropriate parts of the puzzle and not waste time and energy trying to automate the whole of it. Allow specialization via automating out the general tasks. Support the business(es) with those specialists and we all win in the end. While I’m obviously summarizing drastically, that’s the gist I got and the old sysadmin in me couldn’t agree more. I think you will too, so give it a read.
20 Lines or Less #41 – When spark flies
F5’s own beloved spark has been “tearing it up”, as the kids say, on the forums lately. As a result two of the three iRule offerings in this week’s 20 Lines or Less are courtesy of our very own PD team responsible for writing and maintaining iRules. If that doesn’t have you interested, then I’ve got nothing for you. These wickedly cool iRules will maintain a clean connection limit via tables and the after –periodic command, which taught me a neat trick I didn’t know before, ensure your Round Robin load balancing is the strictest of strict, and give you a simple way to do request filtering for portions of an application. Community driven innovation at its finest, the 20LoL rolls on with over 125 iRules tricks in under 21 lines of code.
There you have it, my five favorites from this week on DevCentral. I’m off to the land of Auzzies next week but will hopefully be reporting back in soon with yet more DC goodness.