A10 Thunder VIP – well…

Time to lay down a basic VIP. Sure, this is easy stuff for experts, for some, it will be very new Let’s talk about the User Acceptance to Production dilemma first then shall we?

Often we have a test environment, and (very) often we are not the application developers. Always set up a test VIP with HTTPS (only) and never concede to also having port 80 in that environment. HTTPS is a pain – I know. Here’s why you never open an HTTP port for a test environment: The app somehow is dependent upon HTTP. If you set up an HTTP path to the same resources on the test environment – the dependency is transparent to the developers. This is your fault.

If you create an HTTP direct path to the application in parallel to the HTTPS path all sorts of bad things could happen.

You say: OK, I hear that. What about a redirection?

Um yeah – is this a “hard” redirect or are you also propagating the path and full URI like so many examples might provide?

It does not matter how careful you are when providing HTTP access to the test environment. Developers are very creative (bless them). Something will go wrong. The solution to all future issues in the production environment is to create hard errors the developers see. Functionality fails and QA does not pass. Only this provides the feedback necessary to prevent deployment issues that hide behind an HTTP dependency.

When you go to production you will force a port 80 HTTP redirection to the home page of the application (with NO path or query strings) with the confidence this will not disrupt the application functionality. You know this because port 80 HTTP was never available in the test environment.

Did I promise a VIP config? Yikes. You need to define some servers – these run the app. You need to clump these into a group to get that redundancy and scale. Next, you apply a service group to a port of a VIP to then get the whole picture. Here is a minimum VIP configuration – and against my own advice, it is on port 80 HTTP. HTTPS has some moving parts we will get to post-haste.

slb server mcyork1
port 80 tcp

slb server mcyork2
port 80

slb service-group example-mcyork tcp
member mcyork1
member mcyork2

slb virtual-server example.mcyork.com
 port 80 http
  service-group example-mcyork

Was that too much? Don’t say yes. Stick with me.

This is the simplest VIP on the planet in any ADC / load balancer. VIP in this case is virtual-server. The IP address where you will direct traffic for this application. Do I need to also do a DNS primer? Whatever you go to this IP and the result should be a response from either or .51. Where we expect the developers are hosting the website/application or API they promised.

Promise delivered – config for the absolute minimum possible VIP. Along with the sage advice of what not to do just because you think it is easy and or the developers are asking for it – no HTTP in pre-production – ever.


There is no phone book – Never change your email address again.

What’s a phone book?  Never mind that.

“If you don’t know I am not going to tell you” is how the Internet treats you if you need to find a friend’s email address.  When they change it and don’t email everyone they know of the change (and even when they do).  You will perhaps say Facebook, Twitter, et al will come to the rescue. This may be true in a lot of cases – but why rely on a rescue plan that’s as ephemeral as a fart?

Ephemeral you say (word of the day btw)?  I’d like to use a Yahoo example.  What if Yahoo fails (and we see it has teetered a bit).  I’d hate it to fail of course, but “what if” is how we need to approach the problem.  Say it goes poof.  You have no email now.  Um… what do you do?  Well of course you search through all your contacts and send out an email – hey I changed my email to pinkbunny42@somenewISP.com.  Please DO UNNECESSARY WORK, I need you all to update your address books. People all have the lazy gene on the Internet.  They’ll assume they can get to it later.  They won’t be able to find that email when they next think of you… The common thought you all have when going through this is “The close friends in my life know how to contact me regardless”.  Yup – well in this world you might also have moved, changed your cell phone number, and, not that it is relevant, been issued 4 different credit card numbers “because we detected suspicious activity” this year.  The point is (important) stuff changes all the time.  The perfect storm can leave you in the Internet’s dust.

Not to mention every site on the Internet you log into and forgot the password of – will no longer be able to email you a password reset.  This list is LONG.  Far more onerous than changing a credit card number.

Aside: Website password advice – use lastpass.com

Imagine a rock.  One touchstone that’s always there.  No matter what.  Your email address.  From beginning to end it never changes, not once.  Are you willing to go that extra mile to save a boatload of future pain?

My domain, mcyork.com, was registered on 1995-02-03.  Not the start of the Internet by any means but the start of my online life.  Associated with mcyork.com is my very first email address ianm@mcyork.com.  I HAVE changed my email now to ian@mcyork.com.  I never sent friends an update.  If they use ianm@ – I still get the email.  My replies are now from ian@.  Over time, but without a worry on my part, they will soon start to use my newer more current email address.  In fact, the more luddite-prone friends of mine will never know or need to know, my email address was modified. @mcyok.com is mine, I control it and all the email addresses (near-infinite) that can be associated with it.

What’s the answer/point?  Own your domain / control your destiny!

“Ok, thanks but there’s a catch, right?  To manage all that is probably technical and difficult.  We KNOW you are a geek with a blog!”

Let’s go through that over beers.  I’ll get you started.

The autonomous road

Let’s begin with today and see how full autonomy in vehicles might progress.  Today there are some auto-driving cars, but we know they are still just safety features that help you avoid collision more than anything else.  Soon, however, these features will be able to take full control of the car and you can sit back and be just a passenger.   Once this point is reached there will be rapid changes in where and how driving is done.

Freeways will be split – not like HOV lanes are today, no.  Imagine all the Northbound lanes closed to all cars where a driver is in control.  The southbound lanes will be split down the middle and drivers will be using this as their new north-south lanes.  Those northbound lanes will be only for fully autonomous cars.

But there won’t be any lanes.  Traffic will run swiftly in both directions on any side of the road that works for the flow of traffic.  You may be heading South at a full clip when the car needs to move over to the left (into oncoming traffic) and the cars will make a path – the car will float over to the left and exit as needed.  A bit like the video here but the water is northbound and the car is the swing.


Traffic signs will no longer be needed and perhaps digital markers will replace them.  Easier for the car to know what’s up ahead if there are sudden changes beyond its ability.

Once the freeway is 100% autonomous then all old lanes in both directions will be used (again in any direction) and the median will be removed.  There probably won’t be any lines painted (waste of paint by now).

Autonomy also brings a freedom from congestion.  Your car could pick you up – drop your kids off at school, drop you off at work, go backhome and be available for your spouse all day until it needs to grab you or the kids or both.  Schedule conflict? Uber-like services or your friend’s car will fill in the gap.  With cars always doing work or being there for the person that needs it – you have fewer cars, less need for parking in a city.  If these cars are gas or electric they can go fill themselves up without wasting your time or more importantly encouraging the (now mythical) range anxiety.

Sure there’s trucks and buses and other large vehicles that will need to be developed too.

Old cars will still have a life – where you can use it on country roads and enjoy the top down or whatever.  Not forever, but don’t worry most of us will outlive our nonautonomous car and the nostalgia we have for them.

This is not tomorrow – this is the final destination. Well until these things can fly of course.

Enjoy the future.

— Range anxiety:  I don’t have it.  When all-electric cars have a 200+ mile range and (a big and) people charge their car @ home when they sleep, the anxiety effect will be gone.  Even better the fully autonomous car will always know its limits and will be sure to charge when necessary and keep that in mind for longer trips.  Also lastly; battery swap we know is possible and fully automatic and autonomous battery swap is clearly within reach.

Stop with all the unnecessary lights!

Constellations Everything is turned off but… My fridge glows, my Stove glows, my TV glows, my hard drive glows, my bathroom outlet glows.  Everything glows.  This bombardment of light, from all the different things in my house, I’ve started to call it a constellation – my personal constellation.  It is light pollution people!  These products suck.  When they are OFF they should be invisible and silent in every way.  Sony thank you but a red led light on my TV or PS3 does nothing for me when your devices are supposed to be OFF.  The only godsend I’ve encountered is Tivo’s ability to select how annoying or not you want the LEDs to be (and very much OFF is an option).  All off THANK YOU!  The basic hard drive green flashing light is ill-conceived when you can’t turn it OFF!  Who cares if the hard drive on a computer is doing stuff.  Really.  YOU don’t.

Yes I have a significant investment in BLACK tape to cover these things up.  I question this however from the simple perspective of perfection.  WWSJD!  What Would Steve Jobs Do!

Do you GET IT NOW!  We are subjected to these ever-increasing constellations of light and they are all 100% unnecessary in our lives.  Unless I install a night light in a room – when the lights are off and the Sun is down – it should be DARK.

Do something like post this on FaceBook and ask all your friends to re-post it.  Personal constellations are not the where we need to be headed.

ConstallationsMr. McYork.

Engineering Roundtable – Audio Spectrum Analysis and Fire!

In today’s edition of “Engineering Roundtable,” SparkFun Engineer Chris Taylor guides you through the use of a microcontroller to perform audio spectrum analysis. He explains the basics of working with the audio spectrum and ultimately links up his project with a propane torch. Why? Well…why not? Check it out:

You can find the Vimeo version here

Feel free to leave any comments or questions in the comments section below and we’ll do our best to answer them! Thanks for watching and we’ll see you again soon with another edition of “Engineering Roundtable!”

via [SparkFun Electronics – Recent News Posts](http://www.sparkfun.com/news/1051)

Now learn that fun math

Not much to say here.  Just DO IT! http://www.khanacademy.org/ is a wonderful site. If you have a passion for learning or re-learning you will want to bookmark the site. I reconfirmed my ability to add and subtract 🙂 I am going to do every math lesson until I top out (maybe at division).

Free learning – if you have kids – create accounts now. This will help every kid and you’ll be sorry if you don’t also sign up like I have and sharpen your skills.


Math is fun, yes indeed.

I love to listen to these guys chat, Leo and Steve.  Recently I needed to get a friend up to speed on a secure key exchange. Not the simplest topic on the roster.  Just how do we share a secret over the Internet?  While we know others are watching and intercepting our communications.  We do it with math.  Math, when used like this, forces you to want to learn even more math.  Really, math is fun and you will be smart if you learn math.

The first 15 minutes of this podcast prove to me that the more math you can take in the better off you will be in life.

http://media.grc.com/sn/SN-034.mp3 100% relevant regardless of when it was recorded.

Who did not see thing one comming? Verified by…

Visa and others.  The first time the page came up “verified by Visa” you said “cool this is a very good thing Visa is making the web safer”.  If you thought that you can now go to the back of the class.  You should have been thinking what sort of phishing scam is this?  Where is the URL bar for this popup and why would I sign up for this service from this little dialog on some site?  Does Visa even have a website?  Does my bank know about this?

Now for those of you at the back of the class, the zbot botnet has been augmented to shoot phish in a barrel.  You are the phish, unfortunately.  Thank you, Visa for the swimming lessons (NOT).

Click to read more news on the zbot botnet and how it is mimicking the Verified by screens.


One reason some will like the new iPad

I am a big fan of Cisco coming down to earth where we can all interact with the technology they produce.  One very powerful tool they have bought and extended is WebEx.  There are not too many in the remote desktop space with the breadth of WebEx.

I see that one of the new iPad applications is a WebEx client.  That’s a perfect personal format to watch a presentation.  On the iPhone the technology was only cool – as the screen was honestly too small.

iPad will rock this application.

McYork is inspired every time we come across one of these “fit to form” applications.