Last week Earth Day was honored with an amazingly successful Borathon event at our Palo Alto campus that focused on sustainability as the theme for the event. We enhanced our well-loved hacks so we may continue to grow our community, partner closely with our Fellow and Principal Engineers and present our hackers with new challenges.
This newly added themed Borathon gave some of our creative people the opportunity to work collaboratively on sustainability themed challenges in order to develop new workflows, features, and proof-of-concepts.
Why is this innovation event called Borathon, you ask? When it was first launched, our engineers wanted it to reflect a bit of our history. Instead of simply calling this event a hackathon, they named it after their last code repository island name: Bora Bora. Thus, the name Borathon was born.
At our opening ceremony on the evening of Wednesday May 25th our participants got a chance to socialize, network and form their teams. We were excited to include two teams of high school students who were winners of LA Hacks III , a VMware sponsored external hackathon. These two teams presented their respective winning ideas on Robotany and Envroom.
The high-school hackers demonstrated an impressive level of ingenuity, presentation skill, and technological achievement in each of their projects. It was a great inspirational kick-off for all in attendance, especially for our VMware hackers.
The event featured five different challenges, each chosen by one of the eight teams. Our Fellows and Principal Engineers defined three of our challenges which included: “Green SDDC”, “BrokenBuild Predictor”, and “Power Usage Real-Time Monitoring”. Nicola Acutt, our VP of Sustainability Strategy, sponsored one challenge entitled, “Enable Peer-to-Peer Power Generation and Distribution Through Microgrids Using Blockchain”. The challenges were rounded off by two concepts submitted by our participant hackers, “vSphere EasyDeploy” and “Go Green vSAN”.
Each challenge had a dedicated mentor that offered their expertise and helped their respective team of hackers to stay focused and motivated. We’d like to give a special thanks to our mentors: Steven Taylor, Pratap Subrahmanyam, Petr Vandrovec, Ravi Soundararajan, Amit Barve and Bryan Fink, a Blockchain subject matter experts, who volunteered their time and efforts in mentoring our participants.
This time around the judging format was far less formal, similar to a science fair. The panel of judges included T. Sridhar, Jim Stabile, Andrew Lambeth, Jeff Hu, Reza Taheri, Nicola Acutt, Niranjan Maka and David Tennenhouse. Each judge was armed with a scoring sheet and individually visited each teams’ tables to hear their pitches. This format was more interactive, relaxed and positively charged so that teams focused less attention on getting a concise, time sensitive, formal presentation together and more attention on doing the work and talking informally about the exciting work they were doing.
And the winners
Third Place went to EasyDeploy, led by Renaud Voltz and included Bharath Kumar, Srinivas Koppadi, Murali Obla, Abhay Manandhar, Prashanth Suresh, Shubham Vadhera, Mayur Bhosle, Sage Moore, and Daniel Muller. Their project is looking into vSphere deployments in remote locations, including in areas with low internet bandwidth and unqualified IT personnel.
First Place went to Dashboard Showing Real-Time Cluster/Datacenter Power Usage, led by Ritesh Tiwari and included Ritu Panjwani, Mayank Juneja, Ankit Parmar, Ravi Parikh, and Mrinalini Anand. This project looked at an overall clusters power usage, drilling down to individual ESXi hosts and identifying which machines draw the most power.
Nicola Acutt presented our winning team with our first Sustainability Borathon certificate. In addition, each one of our participants was able to direct a Kiva microloan to help fund an entrepreneur’s dream. Congratulations to all participants!
We will work closely with each of these teams to continue building on the momentum and drive innovation forward though our OCTO Innovation programs.
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