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How to Obtain Access to the Virtual Environment

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How to Obtain Access to the Virtual Environment

This document covers two major topics:

  • A description of the Email Template that contestants will receive from the Veterans Affairs (VA) Evaluation Team.
  • A description of the mechanism for logging into the Virtual Machines (VMs) assigned to the contestant.
Email Notification Template

As part of the process of registering for the contest, every contestant should provide the following “point of contact” (POC) information:

  • POC Full Name
  • Organization
  • Business Address
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address

Once the registration has been verified by the VA, the contestant will receive two separate emails with the following information:

Email #1:

This email will contain three domain names along with their matching IP addresses. They will look like:


The first two characters of the server name (ca, al, ga) represent the states: California, Alabama, and Georgia.  They are used to illustrate time zone scenarios.

The six characters following the “dash” are a random hash that will be unique per contestant.

The Platforms of these Virtual Machines will appear similar to the following, which shows one particular possibility chosen by a contestant at the time of registration for the contest:

  •           Windows Server 2008
  •           Linux Red Hat 6.1
  •           Linux Red Hat 6.1

Email #2:

This second email will have four passwords as follows:

  • Administrator password for the Windows VM (ca-######) “California”
  • Root password for the RHEL Linux VM or Administrator password for the Windows VM (al-######) “Alabama”
  • Root password for the RHEL Linux VM or Administrator password for the Windows VM (ga-######) “Georgia”
  • User password for the user “contestant” that will exist in each one of the three VMs.

It is the contestant’s responsibility to protect the confidentiality of these passwords and to enforce the security settings of the assigned VMs.

Contestants will be required to change each of these passwords once they take control of the VMs.

Upon submission of their solution, they must unveil all machine passwords to evaluators, to allow them to take control of the VMs. This should include the passwords and usernames of any new accounts created by contestants during the preparation process. Once the VMs and passwords are handed over to the evaluators, contestants will no longer have access to the machines.

Confirmation Requirements:

Contestants will be required to acknowledge receipt of both emails within three business days, to confirm the receipt of server names and login information. The emails that the contestant will receive will have a “no-reply” address. Contestants must communicate back only via the  site in the same manner that they posted their initial registration.

Representative Access Package


Dear Contestant:

Welcome to the Veterans Affairs (VA) Scheduling Contest Testing Environment.

You have been assigned three virtual machines, in which you will install your scheduling package and integrate it with three different versions of VistA.

The three Virtual Machines (VMs) are set with three different time zones.

The login information is as follows:

  •      Windows
  •      Linux
  •      Linux

The Administrator and root passwords for your machines will be sent to you in a follow up email.

You can login to the Windows machine(s) using Remote Desktop.

You can login to the Linux machine(s) using SSH.

Additionally, each VM has a user with the following login credentials:

  • username :      **********
  • password :       **********

You are required to change the root, Administrator, and contestant passwords before you start integrating with scheduling solution in this VM.

You are required to install SSH keys for secured login and to disable password login as soon as you take control of a Linux VM.

At the moment of submitting your solution, you will be required to communicate your updated passwords to the VA Evaluation Team.

If you have created additional accounts, then the login credentials for those additional accounts must also be provided to the VA Evaluation Team.

It is your responsibility to make regular backups of the content that you install in your VM.