Instructor's Guide to Requesting SD-Branch Workshops

Modified on Sat, 20 Apr 2024 at 01:17 PM

In April 2024, the Fast Track group launched the SD-Branch r2 workshop.  The following article will outline key points, things to consider, and how to request an SD-Branch r2 class.


Limitations and Considerations


With the r2 version, there is one major limitation that needs to be taken into consideration when scheduling a class.


  1. Only 32 workspaces, globally, can be running simultaneously across all active classes.


Due to this limitation, you must be careful not to request a class that would exceed the global 32 workspace limitation.  If too many workspaces are requested, student environments will fail to spin up leaving your class, or someone else's, without enough workspaces for all students to participate.  There are three factors you must account for when submitting your class request.


  1. You must include all instructor workspaces in addition to the number of requested student seats.  For example, if an instructor requests a class size of 10 with one additional secondary instructors, you must account for 12 total workspaces being provisioned (10 students + 2 instructors).


  1. You must account for the 2-hour provisioning time prior to the start of your class.  If an instructor requests a class to begin at 10AM, workspaces could start their provisioning process as early as 8AM.  If another class hasn't ended yet, and the new class tries to provision, but there aren't enough resources available, some workspaces in the new class will fail.


  1. A feature has been introduced to the LMS prohibiting instructors from changing the class size for SD-Branch r2 workshops.  This was implemented to avoid the potential over-subscribing of available workspaces if an instructor changed the size of their class after it was approved and reserved in the various tracking systems.  Be accurate with your initial request and, if changes need to be made after the class has been approved, open a ticket by emailing and the team will review if there are available workspaces to accommodate your request.


Google Calendar


The Google calendar will continue to be used by instructors to identify available time slots and the number of available workspaces.


When viewing the calendar, you will see all classes that have been requested and approved.   The calendar events will include two pieces of information - the course ID and the number of reserved workspaces (students + instructors).  If a course has been requested, but not yet approved, such as in the event the request is more than 30 days from the scheduled start time, the course ID will not be available yet.  In this situation, the event will be identified with PLACEHOLDER followed by the number of workspaces in the request.


To determine if your class will be approved, you must calculate the number of concurrent workspaces during the entire 7-hour window (2-hour provisioning + 5-hour run time).   Let's take the following screenshot as an example to determine a suitable time from to request a class.


Scheduled Class #1:

Provisioning Start Time: 5 AM

Class Start Time: 7 AM

Class End Time: 12 PM

Reserved Workspaces: 10 (e.g. 9 students + 1 instructor)


Scheduled Class #2:

Provisioning Start Time: 9 AM

Class Start Time: 11 AM

Class End Time: 4 PM

Reserved Workspaces: 15 (e.g. 13 students + 2 instructors)


Available Time Slots and Workspaces:

Before 5 AM: 32 workspaces

5 AM - 9 AM: 22 workspaces

9 AM - 12 PM: 7 workspaces

12 PM - 4 PM: 17 workspaces

After 4 PM: 32 workspaces


Given the available workspaces, the instructor wanted to request a smaller class of 5 students, any time during the day would work but a larger class of 15 would need to end by 9 AM (class start of 4 AM) or start provisioning after 4 PM (class start of 6 PM).


Lab Scheduler

When scheduling your class on the Training Institute portal, you only need to set the start time of when you want the workspaces to be available for your students to access.  This is the start of your 5-hour run time.

Using the above screenshot from the Google calendar, the second class, #49991, shows the workspaces will be provisioned at 9 AM for 15 seats.  This means the class will officially begin at 11 AM with 13 students and 2 instructors.  Below is a screenshot of what the lab scheduler would look like for this class.

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