Engineering Deathmatch Two engineers enter, one engineer leaves Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:57:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Engineering Deathmatch 32 32 The Data Center Design Episode (S3E5) Fri, 17 Nov 2017 16:56:09 +0000 In the final episode of Season 3, Ariel Liguori and Gaston Brait compete to design a cloud enabled data center for Show Me Products international, the leading manufacturer of barings for the machines that make fidget spinners.  Watch now to see who judges, Michael Zsiga and S1E3 winner Daniel Dib, choose to the winning design!  To see the entirety of winner, Ariel Liguori’s run through, see the video below!

Challenge Details:

Show Me International Products

Show Me International Products is an international company based in Eminence, Missouri.  While they have had a broad variety of products in the past, their primary source of revenue currently is making the barings for fidget spinners and driving parents around the world crazy.  They are considering using you for a complete redesign and definition of their data center and cloud strategy, but before they commit to working with you, they would like you to consider a scenario and explain how you would architect it.

The Scenario

In this scenario, you will be tasked as a modern consultant being asked by a F500 business to drive significant value to their business by taking them into a pure digital economy with agile engineering practices that allow for true business micro-experimentation. Make no mistake about it – these are not merely buzzwords, and will require a superb cross-functional depth of knowledge in many areas, as all modern consultants are expected to posses. This will be achieved by a combination of working to drive a true DevOps culture change with and between Lines of Business, Application teams including Product Managers, App Devs, Performance Testing Devs, CI/CD/CD pipeline Devs, Applistructure Devs, and traditional Operations teams including SysAdmins, Compute, Virtualization, Containerization, Networking, and Security teams. For the purpose of this scenario, you will mostly be tasked with how to design an over-arching solution that is both technically sound, highly scalable, reliable and secure. As a bonus, you may also elect to add verbal comments as to how you would sell this solution to the C-Level – most prominently the CMO, CTMO, CIO, CTO and CFO. Please choose between Cisco and Open Source products to build a private cloud that provides PaaS/IaaS/ITaaS, and includes:

  • A highly scalable DC fabric architecture that supports:
    • Open-Standards ReST-based API with a well-formed model
    • Secure control and data-plane multi-tenancy architecture with support for SLDCs (see below)
    • Simple, scalable and open, yet secure networking IPv4 space (sorry IPv6 lovers) – every SLDC must support at least 5K IP-addressed nodes, except for “Prod”, which must support at least 10K IP-addressed nodes
    • Every app deployed in this fabric must have/allow for complete intra-app-tier isolation, with prod nodes providing for complete intra-node isolation
    • Single-pane-of-glass troubleshooting, with ability to roll-back any infrastructure configuration based on and directly tied to the application being rolled back
  • A cloud management platform and architecture that supports:
    • Open-Standards ReST-based API with a well-formed model
    • Secure control and data-plane multi-tenancy architecture with support for SLDCs
    • Ability to model applications and deploy them directly into one or a combination of Bare Metal machines, Virtual Machines and/or Containers
    • Applications must be able to be deployed to Public Cloud or on-prem Private Cloud based on open-source virtualization platform on top of above-mentioned fabric, while providing same/similar policy with regard to L4-7 services and networking constructs
  • A Service Catalog that supports:
    • Applications from CMP above to be published and deployed
    • Chargeback/Showback models
    • Customization/Skinning
    • An open-source container runtime and orchestration system that supports:
    • Treat multiple Private/Public Cloud as single platform
    • API gateway and dynamic load balancing services

*A node may be interchangeably defined as a Bare Metal machine, a Virtual Machine, or a Container residing on either BM or VM

Designing Apps for Chicken Apparel (S3E4) Mon, 23 Oct 2017 16:22:22 +0000 If you’re looking for the challenge details of the Data Center episode, please go to

In this episode, filmed at Cisco Live in Las Vegas, Josh Anderson and Sankar Nair compete to whiteboard an application using the Cisco Spark Board.  Watch as they help Bocksmith, the worlds only supplier or Chicken apparel, design a Spark app to manage inventory through the Cisco Spark application.  Challenge details are below:


If we’re honest we would have to tell you that Bock Smith is the only producer of apparel and accessories for chickens.  Looking for that perfect cardigan for your chicken flock?  Look no further.  Want a custom fitted chicken tiara?  You’re in the right place.  Bock Smith has recently started using Cisco Spark and has realized the power of the platform to link multiple systems together and provide communications to their organization.  They would like you to design a bot that will help them check inventory and order new products when inventory is low.


You will not be writing any code for this challenge.  Instead, you will need to white board out the application flow to make the below requirements work.  Remember to white board any interactions or back end requirements (databases, third party APIs, etc) that are part of your solution.  You will be writing an inventory and ordering bot for Cisco Spark.  Your application must do the following


  1. Any user should be able to enter a 1-1 room with the bot and search the inventory as long as they have the e-mail address suffix.
  2. A user can supply a part number and the bot will return inventory status on an item. Additionally, they can search by keyword description
  3. If the search returns more than one item (for instance two part numbers that start with the same string or multiple items with similar descriptions) the user should be able to select (by answering) a part number from a list to show inventory details on that part
  4. Once a part is displayed, if the inventory is below 5 units, the bot should offer to put that in a shopping cart to order more inventory
  5. Users can issue a command to display the status of their shopping cart
  6. If the user has appropriate permissions (as defined by a database table called tbl_Users) they can issue a command to submit an order to the orders database (table called tbl_Purchase)
  7. If a user does not have permissions to issue purchase, the bot should create a spark room with the employee’s supervisor (also listed in the tbl_Users) and provide them a list of the items in the shopping cart as well as current inventory levels.
  8. The supervisor can either approve the order, which will submit an order to the orders database based on the shopping cart, or decline with a reason. If they decline with a reason, the bot will post a message to the original employee’s room informing them of the reason that the order has been declined.
The Network Design Episode (S3E3) Thu, 14 Sep 2017 22:19:33 +0000 Brad Edgeworth and Jody Lemoine battle in this, first ever, network design challenge.  Watch as they use a Cisco Spark Board to diagram the network of ABC Company!  See below for Jody’s full run as well as the challenge details:

Scenario Details

Fictitious company ABC is looking to improve the resilience of their corporate WAN by integrating an Internet-based solution. The primary reason for this new upgrade is to improve the quality of the CEO town hall meetings. In the past, brownouts and slow engineering response times from the private MPLS WAN carrier have necessitated the installation of a backup path. To save money, a business class Internet connection has been installed at the main headquarters site, which is also a data center. Most remote sites have also received their Internet upgrades, though the schedule for rolling it out to the remaining sites is spread over the next 6 months. The remaining remote sites are singly connected to the private WAN. There are 200 total sites and about 140 are dual connected to MPLS and the Internet. Each site has a 100 Mbps Internet connection while the main site has a 300 Mbps Internet connection.


Despite the brownouts recently, the MPLS provider has historically maintained four nines of availability. It has also complied with all of its SLA commitments to include jitter and latency. When the carrier was notified that an alternative WAN solution was being proposed to augment ABC’s network, the brownouts became very uncommon. They’ve also offered free add-ons for IPv6 and MVPN as reparation for their transgressions, which the company has accepted and deployed. The MPLS carrier offers 50 Mbps between any two branch sites, and all sites are connected with at least one 100 Mbps Ethernet last-mile connection. The main site has a full 1 Gbps line rate connection over MPLS.


These CEO town hall meetings are streamed from a pair of servers that have an application-level active/standby protocol running between them. The servers exist in the DC and are not capable of any data rate or quality adjustments during transmission. The servers get their IP addresses via DHCP and sometimes their addresses change. The application has a client program that runs on user’s desktops/laptops which does not buffer traffic. This reduces memory consumption on devices and is also suitable for small mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. The application is quite old and only supports IGMPv2. To save bandwidth, the flow sent from the active video server in the DC is about 2 Mbps.


At present, the video servers support multicast transport. The traffic itself isn’t company confidential as, about 2 weeks after the town hall, the video is posted to the company’s public website so that customer’s can see it too. The company prides itself on maximal transparency. During that 2 week period, the only edits made to the video are beautification related, such as wide screen formatting, lighting, and sound effects. The CEO’s main concern is that middle-man attackers are not able to disrupt or replay his message by manipulating his words, body language, or any other facet of the video experience. The network team also wants to ensure that attackers cannot “step on” this video content by flooding the network with bogus video flows, effectively hijacking the town hall session.


The company is still unsure as to which WAN transport (Internet or MPLS) to use for this video service as the primary transport method. In either case, the failure of one transport should provide a way to automatically switch to the alternate path for all north/south traffic. Packet loss, latency changes, and packet duplication should be absolutely minimized. This failover between WAN transports should be both rapid and automatic.


R1 only advertises locally originated DC routes to the PE to prevent any transit network formation. R2 learns an eBGP default route from the ISP router so that it can reach the remote sites as well as any Internet destination. In the event that either the MPLS or Internet based WAN fails, downstream load sharing for downloads must be immediately restored without network administrator interaction. This is achieved by using a pair of HSRP groups on each DC VLAN. 75% of the servers use R1 as their gateway to take advantage of the superior performance of the private WAN. The remaining DC servers will prefer R2 as their gateway once the Internet WAN comes up. The company has a number of traditional enterprise services available to its campus and branch users, including directory services, DNS, VOIP telephony, IM/presence, and video/audio teleconferencing. Nearly all of the collaborative services are used for branch offices to call the main site to troubleshoot the endless onslaught of IT issues that plague their day jobs.


In addition to the CEO town hall, which is the primary and most important application in the business, there are many other VMs across two DCs connected with an L2DCI from a metro Ethernet carrier. A basic EV-LINE service is provisioned between the two, which maps a number of pre-defined customer VLANs into L2 connections across the metro carrier. No routing protocols are enabled across this link yet. The company has struggled with MTU issues and fragmentation over the DCI in the past.


The company runs eBGP between R1 and the MPLS PE at present. R2 has an eBGP connection to an ISP for Internet access which the campus consumes, but is not aggregating any Internet WAN connections yet.


During initial talks with the customer, they’ve suggested that they never want to send multicast over the Internet for fear of poor performance. They also want to use small layer 3 firewall devices as the Internet-facing CE device. Finally, they’d like a WAN that provides confidentiality for traffic accessing DC resources such as personal records but only when being accessed over the Internet. Which option is most suitable given these constraints?

  • IPsec ESP direct encapsulation
  • IPsec AH direct encapsulation
  • MPPE


The customer decided to go with a DMVPN + IPsec ESP approach on small CE routers after some internal meetings.

Which phase of DMVPN is most appropriate for this company?

  • Phase 1
  • Phase 2
  • Phase 3


If phase 1, then why?

  • No requirement for spoke-to-spoke traffic
  • It’s the newest version
  • It’s recommended in the CVD


If phase 2, then why?

  • No requirement for spoke-to-spoke traffic
  • It’s the newest version
  • It’s recommended in the CVD


If phase 3, then why?

  • No requirement for spoke-to-spoke traffic
  • It’s the newest version
  • It’s recommended in the CVD

Over which transport mechanism should the CEO town hall traffic be sent, primarily? Ignore any challenges in multicast routing/RPF adjustment for now.

  • MPLS private WAN
  • Internet based WAN


If MPLS, then why? Choose two.

  • The Internet WAN doesn’t have enough bandwidth right now
  • The Internet WAN is not secure
  • The Internet WAN would become congested as new branches come online
  • MPLS packets are faster than IP packets thanks to label switching technology
  • All remote sites are connected to MPLS, so everyone sees the broadcast


If Internet, then why?

  • The MPLS network is subject to brownouts for the CEO town hall application
  • The MPLS network is not capable of transporting multicast
  • More sites are connected to the Internet than to the MPLS carrier
  • Adding another overlay to protect CEO town hall traffic across MPLS is unnecessarily complex
  • The company is migrating off MPLS, so Internet should be used for critical applications to reduce downtime


The company has chosen to use the MPLS network for video transport.

How would you classify the CEO town hall meeting application?

  • High throughput data
  • Broadcast video
  • Multimedia streaming video
  • Low latency data

What congestion management tool is most appropriate for this deployment?

  • Expedited forwarding
  • Assured forwarding
  • AQM (WRED)
  • Shaping

The MPLS PE-CE link between R1 and the PE has failed (Diagram below). What is the most significant problem that might arise from this failure?

  • Increased latency
  • Bandwidth contention
  • Packet loss
  • Increased jitter


What is the most rapidly deployable solution to restore network operation, keeping in mind the business/technical requirements and constraints?

  • Statically switch the HSRP active router to R2 for all DC VLANs temporarily
  • Enable IP redirects for ICMP and HSRP on R1, enable OSPF on the DC VLANs, and originate a default route on R2 into OSPF
  • Add a new P2P circuit between R1 and R2, enable OSPF routing on it, and originate a default route on R2 into OSPF
  • Configure a new VLAN on the carrier Ethernet provider along the DCI to create a P2P virtual circuit between R1 and R2 (reuse the EV-LINE service). Enable OSPF routing on it, and originate a default route on R2 into OSPF
  • Use 802.1q-tunneling to re-use an existing VLAN by carrying an inner tag to create a new P2P virtual circuit between R1 and R2. Apply the same routing technique as described in option D


What is the most appropriate multicast delivery option for this customer?

  • ASM
  • DM
  • SSM


If ASM, why?

  • The sources have variable IPs; hard to know in advance
  • ASM works natively with IGMPv2 while SSM does not
  • ASM is more secure than SSM
  • ASM will provide superior performance (less jitter, less packet duplication, etc) than SSM


If SSM, why? Choose all that apply.

  • Customer can leverage DNS to easily map groups to sources at the LHR
  • Only SSM can be used for video transport
  • SSM is more secure than ASM
  • SSM will provide superior performance (less jitter, less packet duplication, etc) than ASM

What is the most appropriate combination of tools to secure the CEO town hall over the MPLS private WAN given the security requirements? Choose two answers to construct your solution.

  • IPsec ESP transform
  • IPsec AH transform
  • IPSec ESP + AH transform
  • No IPsec
  • FlexVPN
  • SVTI

The customer has chosen a DMVPN + IPsec ESP overlay atop MPLS after reading some blogs online about it being the most popular choice. What comment would you offer after being told about this decision?

  • This is the best choice for the company’s specific business requirements
  • DMVPN was a good choice, but IPsec was unnecessary since it does not address any requirement
  • Providing encryption is unnecessary as it does not address any requirement
  • Providing encryption provides a constant/fixed encapsulation overhead, simplifying MTU calculations
  • There is not enough bandwidth over MPLS to support this design


It’s Click Bait Time (S3E2) Thu, 03 Aug 2017 14:46:37 +0000 In this episode, sponsored by 2Ring, our contestants will use 2Ring DASHBOARDS and WALLBOARDS to build a call center dashboard for click bait company Buzz Click Incorporated.  Watch now as Josh Warcop and Erik Peterson battle it out to see who will go home victorious!
Don’t forget, you can win fabulous prizes if you find George in the episode. Details can be found at:

Challenge Details are below:

Buzz Click Incorporated is the world’s second largest producer of click bait links on the Internet.  Recently they purchased 2Ring DASHBOARDS AND WALLBOARDS to gain visibility into their lead hotline call center and you’ll never guess what happened next.  Nothing.  You see, even though 2Ring DASHBOARDS AND WALLBOARDS is quick and easy to set up, all of their staff are focused on taking leads and writing articles for stories like, “What happens when a python discovers a kiddie pool? You’ll never guess,” and so no one was able to take the time to deploy it.  They need you to help build a wallboard layout to give them more visibility into their contact center as well as what’s going on outside the contact center.




The gear that you will be using in this challenge includes the following:


Item Location Authentication
2Ring DASHBOARDS & WALLBOARDS Config Tool URL public





  • Create a new layout using your initials (use this for every new content you create)
    • This layout should contain the following frames/elements:
      • A scrolling banner, “A public demo of 2Ring Dashboards & Wallboards is available in the cloud – request it at” – 3 points
        • Make banner continuous without spaces – 1 point
      • Agent State Grid
        • With these 4 columns in this order
          • Agent Name, State, Reason Code, Duration – 1 point
        • Sort the grid by Agent State – 2 points
        • Create a conditional style if state is NotReady – 5 points
      • Create your copy of “Queue Stats (DEMO)” grid and add these two columns
        • Abandoned Rate and Average Talk Time – 2 points
      • ServiceLevel KPI with these thresholds – 4 points
        • Good 85.00%+ = Green
        • Neutral 84.99-70% = Orange
        • Bad 69.99% and below = Red
        • Audible Alert is ON
      • CallsInQueue KPI – 2 points
        • Good 8 and below = Green
        • Bad 9 and above= Red
      • Current weather from Las Vegas using Fahrenheit – 3 points
      • YouTube video – 2 points
    • Create a layout theme with a background type image and assign it to a layout – 5 points


ZertoCon Throwdown (S3E1) Tue, 11 Jul 2017 13:08:54 +0000 Jeff Mckaughan and Paul Murnane have made it through the preliminary round and it all comes down to this.  They will match off against each other to determine who will reign supreme and take home first place at the first ever ZertoCon episode of Engineering Deathmatch.  Watch to see who wins and don’t forget to look for George in our Where’s George? contest!  Sponsored by Zerto and Echostor.  Here’s the challenge that was provided to our contestants!

The Challenge:

Enterprises and Cloud Providers alike can utilize the Zerto Cloud Manager and Zerto Self Service Portal to configure role-based access control and multi-tenancy. In this challenge you will configure the Zerto Cloud Manager (ZCM) and Zerto Self Service Portal (ZSSP), then perform several ZSSP functions as an end user. Next up, you’ll witness some one-to-many protection, with failover tests to the local site. This showcases various use cases such as local file-level recovery, dev/test of software or patches before production deployments, or recovering from single server or application failure.

Environment Information

  • Your laptop password is “ZertoCon”
  • Use the “EDM 1 Site 01” Remote Desktop shortcut on the challenge laptop to connect to your Zerto Virtual Manager server
    • There is also a Remote Desktop shortcut for Site 02 if needed, but shouldn’t be necessary
  • (Local) Administrator / Zertodata!23
  • Once logged into ZVM, you will find shortcuts on the desktop for the environment, including the local folder with challenge files and environment configuration information
  • The first contestant to complete the challenge steps outlined below correctly wins! Race to the cloud!

The first contestant to complete the challenge steps outlined below correctly wins!

Ready, set, go..

Once connected the to ZVM Remote Desktop session,

  1. Login to Zerto Virtual Manager (ZVM) Site 01
    1. Pair site to ZVM Site 02
  2. Install Zerto Cloud Manager (ZCM) (you are installing on this ZVM – Site 02) using the installer shortcut on the desktop.
  3. Login to the ZCM portal (credentials are different than ZVM) by default)
  4. Add both ZVM sites within ZCM
  5. Create a Zorg on each site for the following “tenants”
    1. Zorg 1
      1. Name: Sales
      2. CRM ID: <blank>
    2. Zorg 2
      1. Name: Support
      2. CRM ID: <blank>
    3. Edit each Zorg and perform the following
      1. Add ZSSP credentials
        1. User: user1 (case sensitive)
        2. Password: password
      2. Add vCenter Cloud Resources from both sites — Each Zorg must have at least 1 network, datastore, and Resource Pool assigned from that site.
        1. Select “ZNest….VSAN….” datastore
        2. Select “VM Network”
  • Select appropriate Resource Pool
  1. Login to each Zerto Self-Service Portal (ZSSP) to create VPGs
  2. Create VPGs. VPGs must be created from the source (protected) VM site.
    1. For each tenant, protect all the tenant VMs as a single VPG, with the remote site as the recovery destination.
      1. (This will be 1 VPG for Sales, and 1 VPG for Support)
      2. Sample VPG naming convention
        1. Site01Sales
        2. Site01Support
        3. Site02Sales
        4. Site02Support
      3. Use specific tenant resources
    2. Within each tenant Zorg, create a multi-VM VPG for all the VMs within the “tenant” (i.e. “Sales” VPG; “Support” VPG) and protect to the remote site
    3. One-to-many VM protection: Now switch over and log into ZVM
      1. ZVM Site 01
        1. Protect the Sales VMs, separately, to the local site
          1. (This will be 2 different VPGs)
        2. ZVM Site 02
          1. Protect the Support VMs, separately, to the local site
            1. (This will be 2 different VPGs)
          2. Perform a Failover Test of one locally replicated VPG for Sales, and one for Support.
Cisco Live 2017 Filming Dates! Thu, 22 Jun 2017 02:06:55 +0000 We are just around the corner from Cisco Live and we’ve got a boat load of Engineering Deathmatch episodes that we will be filming there!  Don’t miss out on any of the Engineering Deathmatch action!

Monday, June 26th

When: 1 PM
Where: DevNet Zone
Who: Brad Edgeworth versus Jody Lemoine
What: Join us for the first ever Engineering Deathmatch white boarding challenge sponsored by Cisco Sparkboard. Contestants will use the Sparkboard to draw out a network design for three remote judges who will choose the design that best meets the criteria of the challenge!

Tuesday, June 27th

When: 1 PM
Where: DevNet Zone
Who: Sankar Nair vs. Josh Anderson
What: Our second Sparkboard white boarding challenge has contestants designing an application flow on the Sparkboard for a new Spark bot application!

Wednesday, June 28th

When: 9 AM
Where: Social Media Lounge
Who: Erik Peterson vs. Josh Warcop
What: 2Ring sponsors their third episode. Contestants will race to complete the challenge first in this rapid fire race to configuration.


When: 1 PM
Where: DevNet Zone
Who: Ariel Liguori vs. Gaston Brait
What: Our final episode for Cisco Live brings us back to the Spark Board for a datacenter design white boarding challenge!


All episodes will have portions live streamed on our Facebook page.  Check that out here:

Deathmatch, LLC Challenges Hybrid Cloud Experts’ Disaster Recovery Prowess at ZertoCON 2017 Thu, 09 Mar 2017 15:55:42 +0000 AUSTIN, Texas-March 9, 2017 – Deathmatch, LLC, creator of web TV show Engineering Deathmatch, today announced sponsorship of a new episode of Engineering Deathmatch by Zerto. The episode will be filmed on location at Zerto’s premiere business continuity conference, ZertoCON.

“We’re excited to host the Engineering Deathmatch series at ZertoCON 2017 in an effort to help IT pros challenge their skillsets by outperforming their match opponent, while learning new ‘tricks’ that up their game,” said Gil Levonai, CMO, Zerto. “Though intended to be an immersive and fun experience for attendees to compete for cool prizes, we want to demonstrate the importance of regularly testing your DR capabilities to ensure a high degree of IT resilience that keeps businesses moving forward.”

Zerto provides enterprise-class disaster recovery and business continuity software specifically for virtualized data centers and cloud environments.  They have earned many awards including Cloud Company of the year 2016 SVC Awards, and The Storage Magazine 2016 Products of the Year.  They have multiple times ranked among the fastest growing IT companies according to Deloitte Technology including: Deloitte’s 2016 Technology Fast 500™, and Deloitte’s 2015 and 2014 Technology Fast 50™.

“We are very excited with the addition of Zerto into the Engineering Deathmatch family,” said John Welsh, Founder of Deathmatch, LLC, “We believe that this offers Zerto a great opportunity to raise awareness of their products. Additionally, the new episode will increase the range of technologies featured on Engineering Deathmatch and contribute to growing our audience.”

Additional Resources

Visit the ZertoCON 2017 Website

Visit Zerto’s Website

Zerto’s award winning solution provides enterprises with continuous data replication and recovery designed specifically for virtualized infrastructure and the cloud.  Zerto Virtual Replication is the industry’s first hypervisor-based replication solution for tier-one applications, replacing traditional array-based business continuity and disaster recovery solutions that were not built to deal with the virtual paradigm. For more information, please visit:

Deathmatch, LLC is the creator of unique IT focused videos that help companies promote their technologies to new and focused audiences. For ongoing news and future episodes of Engineering Deathmatch, please go to

Cisco Spark and Megabulk! (S2E5) Fri, 18 Nov 2016 19:01:54 +0000 In this episode, sponsored by Cisco DevNet, the contestants are challenged by warehouse store Megabulk to create an application for them to bulk create and add users and rooms to teams to help them collaborate more effectively.  Chad Stachowicz returns from his loss last year to Anthony Holloway seeking redemption, but Chloe Kauffman wants to make sure he goes home with a second loss.  Who will win?  Watch to find out.

Here are the details of the challenge:

Mega Bulk

Mega Bulk is a new warehouse store that takes bulk buying to a new level.  Ever been to Sam’s Club or Costco and bought three months of toilet paper?  At Mega Bulk, their quantities start at three years!  But ordering all of these mass quantities of goods and getting them to the right place requires a lot of co-ordination between multiple team members.  In order to help with communications, Mega Bulk has decided to use Cisco Spark, but they want a way to easily bulk create new teams as needed.  They need you to help build the application that will bulk add users to teams as they get created for new projects.


In this challenge, the developer will be given a comma-separated template defining the file set up for users (names, email addresses, phone numbers, and assigned teams.)  A program or script should be created that can upload and read in the user info file, then leverage the Spark APIs to automatically create the required teams, rooms and user-association defined in the file.

1. The app will create all unique Teams that appear in the CSV file’s ‘teams’ field

  1. The app will place users into their assigned teams
    3. Each team will have the following same set of rooms created: Organization Chat, Team Chat, Customer Chat
    4. Each user will be placed into the three rooms in each team they are a member of.


Your application will be judged complete when you can take a user file provided and import users from that file into the appropriate teams and rooms defined within the file.

2Ring Cisco Live Edition (S2E4) Fri, 07 Oct 2016 13:38:10 +0000 What happens when you mix 2Ring GADGETS for Cisco Finesse, 2Ring DASHBOARDS and WALLBOARDS, an Elvis Cape, Las Vegas, and Engineering Deathmatch?  The next episode of Engineeing Deathmatch of course!  In our second episode focusing on 2Ring, contestants Brad Clarke and Josh Kittle battle to see who has the configuration chops to help out the National Gasket and O-Ring museum.  Who will come out on top in our first ever timed match?  You’ll have to watch to find out!

Want to see what the contestants had to do in order to win this match?  Read on:



The National Gasket and O-Ring museum in Bucksnort, TN has had such an increase in attendance that they have decided to require visitors to reserve time to visit the museum.  They have created two call center teams, one focused on scheduling appointments of visitors that call in and one that is dedicated to answering calls from philanthropist gasket owners that would like to donate pieces to the museum.  The museum staff need to implement 2Ring GADGETS for Cisco Finesse and 2Ring DASHBOARDS & WALLBOARDS in order to increase the effectiveness of each of these teams and allow a greater level of collaboration and accountability.  They have hired you to configure their 2Ring environment so they can bring the magic of gaskets to the rest of the world.

The gear that you will be using in this challenge includes the following:

Device IP Address Authentication
Communications Manager engdm


Contact Center Express



Pod Computer (to install compact agent) Computer User: Admin

Computer PW: engdeathmatch


Other handy information:

Item Location Authentication
2Ring Files for editing \\\c$\inetpub\wwwroot\deathmatch\administrator

Pw: EngD3athmatch!

2Ring GADGETS URL\administrator

Pw: EngD3athmatch!


Pw: admin

IVR Extension 1111 n/a


Contact Center Agents:

User ID Password Extension
bwayne cisco 1000
dprince cisco 1001


Tasks to Complete:

  • Assign Bruce Wayne to the reservations team and Diana Prince to the curator team within UCCX and then use those teams for different gadgets as defined below.
  • For each team:
    • Create a Finesse tab for 2Ring TEAM Gadget – 3 points
    • Create a Finesse tab for 2Ring BROWSER Gadget – 3 points
    • Set 2Ring infoPANEL Gadget as persistent Gadget – 5 points
    • Add CallHistory view to profile app in TEAM Gadget – 12 points
  • Bruce Wayne
    • TEAM Gadget, only shows agents from his team (no other teams), and only agents who are currently logged in (hide those that are offline) – 3 points
    • Configure button in infoPANEL – transfer to IVR – 6 points
    • Configure CallVariable editor
      • Allow agents to select value for CallVariable X using list of options (dropdown) – 10 points
      • Allow agent edit CallVariable Y using free text box. – 10 points
    • Diana Prince
      • TEAM Gadgets shows all teams – 3 points
      • Configure 2Ring ORCHESTRATOR (workflow) so on an incoming call it would do:
        • Take user to BROWSER tab in Finesse no matter where in Finesse agent is – 3 points
        • Use CallVariable X to create Bing tab and navigate Bing search engine to results – 7 points
        • Show message with caller number in infoPANEL like “Incoming call from 123456789” – 4 points
      • Once agent log ins to Finesse, automatically open/load 2Ring DW layout – no login required – 10 points
    • DW tasks


When all of the requirements above are met, you have successfully completed this challenge and can ask the Deathmatch proctor to validate your work.

It’s Tropo Time! (S2E3) Thu, 08 Sep 2016 14:47:11 +0000 Brony Time is the premiere party bus company for Bronies.  They have had a huge influx of customers and are asking the engineers to create a fully functional reservation for their party bus system.  Jeffrey Gisin and Robert Shade match up to see who can help the Bronies get to where they are going.

In this episode, sponsored by Cisco DevNet, contestants will create scripts that interact with the Cisco Tropo API to provide an application that leverages phone and SMS interactions to create reservations IVR.  Want to see if you can compete with our challengers?  Sign up for a free developer account at

Here are the challenge details:

Brony Time

Brony Time is Las Vegas’ premier party bus for adult male fans of the show My Little Pony. With demand at an all-time high and a high profile Brony convention coming to town, they have an urgent need to deploy a reservation system to keep up with demand. They are asking you to develop a Tropo application to automate the reservation process and take calls from customers to reserve their spot on one of their buses. If you can get this done in time for them, they will even offer to get you a costume of your favorite character and entrance to the convention.


Build a reservation system with Tropo that allows callers to schedule a ride on the bus. Brony time has two buses that run every hour and seat up to three people (those costumes take up a bit of space!). Reservation system should do the following:

  1. Ask callers if they want a reservation for today or tomorrow, currently Brony Time does not schedule further out than that, but even though the system asks for today or tomorrow, it should record the date.  (“Welcome to Brony time, what time would you like to schedule a ride on the bus?”)
  2. Ask what time the caller would like to schedule a pickup for (Brony Time picks up every hour from 6PM to 11PM)
  3. Check the schedule of available bus seats.  If no seats are available during that time, check the hour before and hour after and if seats are available, offer them those times instead.
  4. If any seats are available at that time, ask the caller for the costume that they will be wearing.  Valid options will be from a list including:
  • Twilight Sparkle
  • Applejack
  • Fluttershy
  • Rarity
  1. If someone else is wearing the same costume on one bus and seats are available on the other bus, schedule them to ride on the second bus, otherwise schedule them for any available seat.
  2. Confirm their reservation and offer to tell them what other characters they are traveling with (if anyone else is on their bus)
  3. When they are done, text the caller back with reservation details.