F5's iControl API and Software Development Kit

Jeff Browning

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v.10 – Finding the Edge (so you don’t have to)

Appointed Executive Director, Business Development — Government Services

If you haven’t heard about about the revolution underway,  you’re not paying attention. To get a running update of the cool new features in v.10, check out the fresh new v.10 spotlight page. Otherwise, read on.

Here at DevCentral, you can count on (at least) three things:

1.) Our team is comprised of full-on geeks who are constantly trying to stretch our technology and challenge each other at the same time.

2.) We do out best to call it the way it is and as we see it. You bet your career and company on us so you deserve nothing less than the straight truth.

3.) If it relates to iRules, iControl, or other advanced F5 technical topics, you’ll probably hear about it first on DevCentral.

Item #1 above puts us in a unique position where – sometimes – we break stuff. While we would love to say there are never bugs or issues with our products, that wouldn’t be true and you wouldn’t believe us anyway. So, our “policy” is that if we know about it and it can affect you, you deserve to know about it too. While we like surprises on our birthdays, we don’t like surprises when upgrading software or rolling out new features. We suspect you feel the same way.

So, with that said, here’s something you need to pay attention to as you migrate to v10. While performing internal testing on some advanced iRules on v10, we discovered a possible scenario that users should be aware of.  Making use of certain commands: (session, persist <add, lookup, delete>, after) inside one of a few specific constructs: (switch, foreach, eval, catch) can result in a race condition, causing serious repercussions to the performance and stability of your device.

The good news is that we've discovered this internally, zeroed in on the very specific nature of the issues, and our fantastic PD team is already working to correct them. Things will again function properly as of v10.0.1, slated to release in a few weeks. It is highly recommended that if you are running code making use of any of these command combinations that you either re-work your code to avoid them before upgrading to v10.0, or wait until v10.0.1 is released with the necessary fixes in place to avoid this issue.

To learn more about how to rework your existing iRules to avoid this issue, you should check out the document posted here in the iRule forum. If you have questions or feedback, please reach out and let us know how we can help.

While you’re thinking about that, you might want to click on over to “New in v.10” section of the iRule Wiki to familiarize yourself with the new functionality.

[update] Since Joe came in to my office and whined that iControl wasn’t getting enough props (in addition to iRules), here’s the link. Be sure to check it out. Word. [/update]

More Stories By Jeff Browning

As Product Manager for F5 Networks, Jeff is responsible for driving the product and marketing strategy for F5's iControl API and Software Development Kit. With over 10 years of software industry experience, Jeff's extensive background in Web services, Enterprise Portals, and Software Development tools at leading companies like Microsoft and DataChannel helps bridge the gap between networking technologies and Web services applications for better performing, scalable, and secure enterprise solutions