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F5 BIG-IP iRULES v11.x - Developing iRules for BIG-IP


This three-day course provides networking professionals a functional understanding of iRules development. The course builds on the foundation of the Configuring BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) v11 course, demonstrating how to logically plan and write iRules to help monitor and manage common tasks involved with processing traffic on the BIG-IP. Course Labs consist of writing, applying and evaluating the effect of iRules on LTM traffic. This hands-on course includes lectures, labs, and discussions.

Topics covered in this course include:

  • Introduction
  • DevCentral - The Resource for iRules
  • iRule Elements
  • Syntax and Troubleshooting
  • iRule Optimization
  • iRules and Security
  • Expressions and Operators
  • Variables and Loops
  • Data Classes
  • Persistence and Server Data
  • Statistics and Final Project


By the end of this course, the student will be able to logically plan and write iRules to help monitor and manage common tasks involved with processing traffic through the BIG-IP LTM system.


Attendance in the F5 BIG-IP ADM v11.x course

Prior to attending the Configuring BIG-IP with iRules course the student must have attended the Configuring LTM course. The student can also benefit from several months experience configuring and designing with the BIG-IP LTM product before attending this course.

Students should also be familiar with:

  • Common network terminology
  • TCP/IP addressing and routing
  • Internetworking concepts
  • Common elements of WAN and LAN environments
  • Programming Basics (Tcl is a plus)

Students should be proficient in:

  • Basic PC operation and application skills
  • Basic Web browser operation (Internet Explorer is used in class)
  • TCL and TMSH commands

Who Should Attend

This course is intended for system administrators, network administrators and application developers responsible for the configuration and administration of the BIG-IP LTM system.


Preface: F5 Product Overview

  • BIG-IP Product Family
  • Enterprise Manager Series
  • ARX Series
  • FirePass
  • Hardware
  • Virtual Editions
  • F5 Services
  • F5 Resources and Tools

Chapter 1: Introduction to iRules

  • What is an iRule?
  • What iRules Can Do
  • What iRules Should Do
  • Tcl and iRules
    • Configure Management IP Address Lab
    • Licensing, Provisioning and Network Setup Lab
    • Configuration Verification and Review Lab
    • Create a UCS backup

Chapter 2: Basic Elements and Resources

  • Events
  • Operators
  • Commands
  • DevCentral
  • iRule Editor
    • DevCentral and iRules Editor Labs
      • Exercise 2a: Install the iRule Editor
      • Exercise 2b: Explore DevCentral
      • Exercise 2c: Create a series of simple iRules
      • Exercise 2d: Archive and Share iRules
      • Exercise 2e: (Optional) Adapt code from DevCentral

Chapter 3: iRule Elements

  • Programming Best Practices
  • Terminology
  • iRule Components
    • Events
    • iRule HTTP Events Diagram
    • Conditions
    • iRule Elements Lab
      • Exercise 3a
      • Exercise 3b
      • Exercise 3c (optional)
      • Exercise 3d (optional)

Chapter 4: Syntax Troubleshooting

  • Whitespace
  • Troubleshooting Overview
  • Case Study: iRule Logic Error
  • Using Fiddler
    • iRule Syntax and Logic Labs
      • Exercise 4a
      • Exercise 4b
      • Exercise 4c

Chapter 5: iRule Optimization

  • Optimization Overview
  • Best Practices Examples
    • Measuring Efficiency Labs
      • Exercise 5a
      • Exercise 5b
      • Exercise 5c
      • Exercise 5d
      • Exercise 5e

Chapter 6: Security and iRules

  • Security Overview
  • Preventing Common HTTP Attacks
    • HTTP Version Attack Labs
      • Exercise 6a
      • Exercise 6b

Chapter 7: Numbers and Strings

  • Numbers
  • Strings
    • Strings Lab
      • Exercise 7a
      • Exercise 7b

Chapter 8: HTTP Headers and Commands

  • HTTP Headers and Commands Overview
  • Examples with HTTP Headers
  • Other HTTP Commands
    • HTTP Commands Labs
      • Exercise 8a
      • Exercise 8b (Optional)
      • Exercise 8c
      • Exercise 8d

Chapter 9: Data Groups and Classes

  • Data Groups Overview
  • Data Group Processing
    • Data Groups Labs
      • Exercise 9a
      • Exercise 9b
      • Exercise 9c
      • Exercise 9d (Optional)

Chapter 10: Session Table

  • Tables Overview
  • Sub-Tables
    • Session Table Lab

Chapter 11: Persistence, Arrays, and Profiles

  • Persistence
  • Stream Profiles
  • Arrays
    • Statistics Profile and Final Project Labs
      • Exercise 11a
      • Exercise 11b
      • Exercise 11c Part 1 (Optional)
      • Exercise 11c Part 2(Optional)

Appendix A: Load Balancing

  • Virtual Servers and Pools Overview
  • Configuring Virtual Servers and Pools
    • Virtual Servers and Pools Labs
  • Network Map
  • Load-Balancing Modes
    • Load Balancing Labs
    • Round Robin Load Balancing Lab
    • Priority Group Activation Lab
    • Ratio Node Load Balancing Lab (Optional)
    • Member Threshold Lab (Optional)

Appendix B: iRule Concepts

  • iRules Concepts
  • iRules Events
  • Configuring iRules
    • iRules Lab #1
    • iRules Lab#2

Appendix C: iRules Revisited

  • iRules Revisited
  • iRule Events
  • iRule Commands
  • Context
  • String Manipulation Commands
  • Other iRule Concerns