Imagine Cup 2011 (NYC) - Post 3 – Competition Begins!!!

Day 2 of the Imagine Cup 2011 Competition!!!

Today is COMPETITION Day here in New York City for the kick-off of the Imagine Cup 2011 IT Challenge!  All of the competitors met at 8am this morning for an overall competition briefing…

At 8:30am, the competitors were given a briefing by the IT Challenge judges on what to specifically expect for the next 24-hours of the non-stop head to head competition!  Effectively, the IT Challenge competitors have each been given a server system running Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization software, a workstation system, and connectivity to the Internet.

In the next 24-hours, they are to build an entire IT network environment to fulfill the needs, requirements, and expectations of the competition case scenario.  In more technical terms, the competitors will be building systems including:

  • Microsoft Active Directory 2008 R2
  • Exchange 2010
  • SharePoint 2010
  • Lync 2010
  • Windows 7
  • Windows File and Print
  • Office 365 (Exchange / SharePoint / Lync in the cloud)
  • Microsoft Azure (SQL / IIS Web in the cloud)

Some of the things the competitors will need to do are as follows:

  • Send and receive email messages both from an on-premise as well as in the cloud Exchange 2010
  • Store and share documents from SharePoint 2010 in the cloud
  • Provide anti-virus / anti-spam security for messages
  • Prevent messages from being “leaked” from a secured access point (ie: using Rights Management Server)
  • Prevent a hacker attack
  • Access information both on the LAN as well as from a remote/mobile system

(left to right: Valy Greavu (Co-Captain/Judge), Gwendolyn Tan (Judge), Chris Amaris (Co-Captain/Judge), Sinescu Ionut (Romania), Blazej Matusyk (Poland), Xuewen Tian (China), Alexander Wachtel (Germany), Yunheng Mong (Singapore), Jean-Sebastien Duchene (France), Rand Morimoto (Co-Captain/Head Judge))

These are all relatively common business scenarios that organizations setup, implement, and support every day, however with the Imagine Cup IT Challenge, the competitors are given 24-hours to do it all and make it work!  And these are not competitors that have been working in IT for the past 10-20 years, these are college students that are only 20 years old, working on their own with no outside help nor working as part of a team.  These competitors only have the resources available to them such as Microsoft TechNet or search using Bing to access information and in many cases install the software for the first time.

The competition has begun, with the following 6 competitors

Xuewen Tian (China) -!/notes/imagine-cup-it/presentation-of-the-finalists-tian-xuewen-china/10150219229948773


Jean-Sebastien Duchene (France) -


Alexander Wachtel (Germany) -


Blazej Matuszyk (Poland) -


Sinescu Ionut (Romania) -


Yunheng Mong (Singapore) -

I just participated in a Press Briefing, with over 140 members of the media from around the world, the press briefing provided print, TV, blog, social media representatives to hear from the 7 competition captains about each of the competitions, what to expect, and what will be going on over the balance of the competition!

We are now 2-hours into the 24-hour IT Challenge period and all is VERY quiet…  The competitors are hard at work getting their Windows guest sessions setup, I see a couple of them reading whitepapers trying to learn a new technology today, no power problems like we had in Paris or India (knock on wood), no Internet problems like we had in Egypt, a GREAT start to this years competition!!!

I’ll post again a good 15-18 hours into the competition, will see what no sleep and the stress of the deadline looming does to the work efforts of the competitors…

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