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Handy Reference: RegEx in the Network By @LMacVittie | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps

One ingredient in the secret sauce that is data path programmability is the ability to match data

Over the years I've shared a lot of posts on using programmability in the network to do, well, a lot of different things. Like implement A/B testing, and Canary deployments, and proxying requests for memcached. All these patterns can be and are implemented by proxies that offer a platform for taking advantage of data path programmability.

One ingredient in the secret sauce that is data path programmability (a.k.a. programmability in the network) is the ability to match data. Usually that data is the URI, but sometimes it's a cookie or the user-agent or even data in the payload. Basically, most deployment and scalability patterns that make intelligent decisions require extracting some piece of data and comparing it with pre-determined values to decide where to send the request. Conversely, many security-related patterns - such as credit card or account number scrubbing - also rely on being able to find a needle in the haystack that is the data.

In code, I might use a method / function standard in the language. Whether it's Java or C/C++, Python or PHP, there are a veritable cornucopia of options available for matching strings within strings. For network and ops type folks, however, the gold standard for matching strings has got to be regex.

Now, I know some folks whose regex fu is so strong they can pop off the right expression without thinking about it. They are that good.

I am not one of those people. Which is why I found this post to be so, so, SO valuable that it needed to be shared. The target audience for the post is developers, but trust me when I say that it's just as valuable for those folks who write code for the network. Maybe more so, because it includes snippets for seeking out IP addresses, checking password strengths, extracting a domain from a URL, stripping HTML comments (optimization on the fly, anyone?), and matching a URI string.

These are tasks that are fairly common for someone developing a new or enhancing an existing service that resides in the network. Having a quick reference to these regular expressions is certain to be of use at some point in the course of the next year.

30 Regex Code Snippets All Web Developers Everyone Should Know

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

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