Sorry to hear of the issues you encountered. First, I should openly state that I am not a SANS employee, but a contractor. I am one of the OnDemand Virtual Mentors that provides backend content support to 560 amongst other courses. I also regularly teach, once a month, for SANS (401, 504, 560, 542)...
Needless to say I am biased towards SANS and have a vested interest in the students/clients being happy.
That being said, I can answer any technical questions you might have regarding the 560 class or the OnDemand delivery.
You mentioned asking about the format of the labs. One thing I think you will very much appreciate about the OnDemand delivery method of 560 is that you have access to the normal course labs for the entire duration of your course access (4 months). Should you have any problems, questions, or just want a bit of extra practice with any one exercise you can practice at any time day or night throughout the entire 4 months of access.
You will connect to the lab network via an OpenVPN connection. There are actually two different lab networks: the first network/connection is used for all labs encountered during days 1-5 of the course; the second is used exclusively for the capture the flag event.
Please let me know if you have any additional questions regarding this course, OnDemand, or anything else. Sorry again for the sour taste your initial customer service interaction left in your mouth. If there is anything that I can do to help, please contact me.
Feel free to PM me or email me at first initial + last name @sans.org should you have any additional questions (should be pretty easy to grep given my obscure handle SethMisenar
). Also, if the questions might benefit others at EH then please feel free to respond to this post with additional questions, though I admit that the frequency with which I monitor these forums seems to wax and wane with how busy my schedule is.
One last note... If you ever have customer service issues with SANS always feel free to email Stephen Northcutt, president of SANS, at firstname.lastname@example.org
. Do keep in mind that he is incredibly busy and travels throughout the world teaching, but he is always available to ensure that SANS provides quality customer service.