A few weeks ago, I was attending the GTC conference when a friend dragged me over to see a challenge NVIDIA put together.

The challenge was to stand up a working POC of 60 VMs in 60 minutes. NVIDIA had a team and VMware had another team (as they were showing vGPU support on vSphere – something we support as well by the way). NVIDIA won the challenge then put me on the spot to accept the challenge as well. Some trash talk commenced and so I felt compelled to accept.

With the help of a passionate person from our partner marketing group, and assistance from our great partners Dell and NVIDIA we put together a full-on game show of this event. Instead of it being one challenge, we brought in four teams, NVIDIA, Dell, Citrix and our CTPs. With these teams we will now compete over a three day period, with the third day holding a winners competition. The winner takes home the bragging rates and a trophy.

The event will take place in the main expo hall each day. I am told there will be plenty of signage at Citrix Synergy, and I think we aligned the event to the times when there is food and drink in the expo hall. I hope you can make the event but if not you can follow along using the Twitter hashtag #60in60. I’ll probably even have a little fun with Periscope for those of you who are remote and would like to see the event. Now on to the rules:

The challenge is pretty straightforward, and I will lay out the groundwork of the rules (in case anyone else wants to pick up the mantel for this challenge in future conferences):


  1. Everything that is used must be readily available by the customer (GA). This means no custom scripts! The idea being that any customer should be able to follow the same setup the team did and repeat the magic.
  2. There will be a set of things that are pre-loaded. The idea here is that it is expected most customers would already have these running. This includes:
  • SQL server
  • Active Directory
  • DHCP, DNS, etc.
  • A Network share with all executables (ISO, templates, drivers, receiver, VDA, XenCenter, etc) needed for the contest
  • Windows Server templates (up to date and only loaded with hypervisor drivers)
  • Windows 7 templates (up to date and only loaded with 3D apps and the hypervisor drivers)

Starting Materials:

  • Each team will be given a USB stick with the XenServer ISO deployed on it ready to install the hypervisor on the server.
  • Each team will be given a Dell R730 server, preloaded with all necessary hardware (2 x NVIDIA GRID K1)
  • Each team will be given three Wyse Thin Clients that must be used to connect to the VMs

How to win:

  • A minimum of 3 audience members must be able to successfully log into independent VMs simultaneously.
  • The 60th VM must have been provisioned and in ready state.

Any changes to the rules will be added to this blog post prior to the event.


I think its worth asking “Why do this kind of challenge?” Is the intention to see which vendor is the best at building a Citrix POC? Absolutely not! The teams involved all have one goal, to show the community that a deploying a vGPU POC can be done quickly and easily. There is a stigmata with VDI POCs that they are complex and take too long. We and our partners want to show in real time, without any gimmicks (hence rule #1) that anyone can stand up a POC in an hour. We made it a challenge because its a fun way to share a message every team involved wants to share. Get out and try this technology! Hopefully the live event and anything we post online post the event will emphasize that building a POC can be quick, simple, and fun.

Don’t forget you can follow the event on Twitter using the hashtag #60in60