In my best Michael Buffer impersonation (and it is a pretty good one): “Ladies and gentlemen, let’s get ready to RUMBLE!”

I am super excited to pen this blog, and not just because it’s my first one while riding my #FitDesk, but because I get to shed light on the adrenaline-pumping technical challenge we call Synergy Showdown.

Here’s the scoop: on Tuesday, May 24th, at the Solutions Expo, four teams will storm the stage and face off in a contest to see who can stand up an entire XenApp environment from nothing to login-ready in under one hour. The first heat will take place during lunch and at the end, two teams will be eliminated. Who will go on to the grand finale, which takes place during the Welcome Reception that evening? Only one team will get to hoist the Synergy Showdown trophy!

Imagine this scenario: the Vice President of Corporate IT comes to you and your team and says, “Folks, I need you to do a demonstration of virtual apps and desktops in an hour to the board of directors. I can’t give you any hardware, compute resources, networking, storage or even software to get this done. Just go and do it. See you upstairs.”

Well, that’s exactly what we are doing at Citrix Synergy during Synergy Showdown. We have assembled four teams, each captained by one of our elite Citrix Technical Professionals (CTPs) and comprising industry experts who will stand up an entire XenApp environment in under an hour using nothing but their skills, technical chops, determination and sheer grit.

Each team will take to the cloud—the Microsoft Azure cloud, to be specific—and, starting from nothing, will try to be the first to cross the finish line and get to a login-ready state in under one hour. Then, we will ask attendees to take out your own devices; if configured properly, they should be able to launch a virtual desktop with a provided URL and launch, say, an Office 365 app.

And now, with all the fanfare of a Fantasy Football Draft, let me introduce you to the teams:

The Beltway Bandits

The Bandits are captained by Chris Rogers, an 18-year IT veteran whose focus is datacenters and Internet architectures. Chris brings not only his entrepreneurship but also his consulting skills to captain his team of experts to try running a victory lap around the Solutions Expo.

Screaming Synergyism

Rick Dehlinger is stepping up as the captain of this elite team. He brings his leadership background as founder of Claros Systems and his prowess as CTO of nGenx to lead this notable team of power XenApp gurus. Rick and team aspire to hold the coveted Synergy Showdown trophy over their heads with a cocktail in their other hands.

Dutch Devils

Just like the World Cup, we have international representation with Timco Hazelaar wearing the captain’s hat for the Dutch Devils. Timco is from the Netherlands, where he serves as the IT architect and chief demo officer at Login Consultants. Let’s see if stroopwaffles give him an unfair advantage.

Village Idiots

Captain Tom Gamull, who is a solutions architect in Atlanta Georgia at Champion Group, will bring his team into the ring and take a hard hit at landing the trophy. Let’s see if Tom’s experience in creating virtual desktops for 24,000 students in the greater Atlanta area helps him in popping the cork on the victory champagne.

We expect lots of fierce competition and lots of trash talking from each of our competitors. This is definitely going to be high energy and high impact. Cheer on your favorite team—or cheer them all on!

(Oh, and by the way, I burned 647 calories while writing this blog post.)

Find Synergy Showdown in the Solutions Expo, Sands Expo, Level 2, Sands Hall C, on Tuesday, May 24, with semifinals from 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. PT and finals from 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. PT

Synergy will be here before you know it, so if you haven’t already done so, register TODAY! Be sure to follow on along Twitter at #CitrixSynergy to keep up on all the news and announcements.

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