Participants in the rapidly changing computer networking arena face the significant challenge of keeping up with technologies that are often expensive to deploy, making it particularly difficult to gain hands-on experience. A survey of current job descriptions indicates that Microsoft systems continue to experience strong interest among employers. Learning alternatives are considered with a focus on a new solution to the problem of hands-on experience that has been provided by Microsoft, a virtual server lab that is available on-line and is free. Features of this virtual lab are explained, and the results of an experiment to integrate this lab into a networking course are discussed.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kent_webb/7/