CCIE Pursuit Blog

August 18, 2008

Internetwork Expert: Graded Labs Introduces Workbook Scaffolding

Graded Labs (an Internetwork Expert partner) recently announced a new feature: Workbook Scaffolding.  So what exactly is workbook scaffolding?

Starting with the labs in Internetwork Expert’s Routing and Switching Workbook Volume 2, you will be able to one-click load the starting configurations for any task in the workbook. The purpose of this scaffolding is to increase your productivity by giving you the option to by-pass content that you have already mastered.

You now have the ability to load the configuration for any task in the IE Volume II workbook labs.  This is pretty handy.  Say that you really want to work on mastering BGP.  Usually you would need to complete switching, IGP, and Frame Relay before you could start to do the BGP tasks.  With workbook scaffolding you can simply load a lab to start at the BGP section.

Graded Labs - Lab Scaffolding

Graded Labs - Lab Scaffolding

This is also great for lab continuity if you use a home rack as well as rack rentals.  I have a rack at work which I use on the weekends.  During the week I rent rack time from IE.  In the past if I did not complete a lab, I would either need to alter the configurations to work with IE’s interfaces or just wait until the next weekend to complete the lab.  After a week the details of the lab are much more fuzzy.  Now I can stop at any point in a lab and start again at the same task on an IE rack.

One other use for this feature is when you just can’t get your output to match the output in the solution guide.  You may have misconfigured something earlier in the lab and it’s now messing you up to the point of frustration.  While troubleshooting is an important skill, there are times when you just need to move on with your lab.  You can load the task on a rented rack and continue on with the lab or even save out the working configurations and compare them with your configuration to see where you went off the tracks.

I haven’t tried out this feature yet, but I am pretty excited and think that it’s another great tool for CCIE candidates.

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