Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System
January 15, 2007
We are still awaiting a written recommendation from the data center regarding how best to avoid a repeat of the problem described last week of an unauthorized party causing excessive bandwidth use and running up our fees. It appears this was an attempt by the third party to use our server as a pass-thru and conceal their identity. There was no evidence of any attempts to access data within any of the applications on the server, which are also password protected. Although this was the secondary backup server and not active at the time, it doesn't appear this third-party activity would have had any affect on the ability of the system to perform the intended function for the client. The data center's preliminary recommendation is to generally tighten up our firewall configuration.
January 8, 2007
We still have a problem with the alarm notifications. The client selected a software program to do the job which seems very capable. It required a modem sound card and a phone line. With no modem or phone line available, we decided to go with a well known VOIP network and a modem recommended by the software provider. We initially were told that we would not need a sound card, but the software provider later revised that and said we would need one after all. Integrating the three together has been a challenge. Having them at a remote, secure site complicates and prolongs matters. We hope to finally wrap this issue up in the next week or so, depending on scheduling.
Once in November and once in December our bandwidth use spiked abnormally high, resulting in additional bandwidth charges from the data center. This week it happened again, but we were monitoring the situation. It turns out this assault on our bandwidth was the result of attempted hacking by someone who was concealing his identity by using the IP address of a well known online auction company. The attempt was shut down and we are currently reviewing security methods and procedures. More on this next week.
January 2, 2007
Happy New Year to everyone.
The biggest obstacle to moving this project forward is getting the City comfortable that our selected open project architecture will integrate well with what is being planned for the overall $600M 15-year sewer improvement program. That program is not fully defined, however, with the initial study and consultant recommendations expected in March.
The city basically has 3 alternatives to choose from: re-bidding the Phase II contract, incorporating the Phase II work into another contract, or scrapping the project and starting over.
Re-bidding the Phase II contract would ensure a delay of the project of another 6-9 months. It would also increase costs significantly since contractor prices are way up from the original pre-hurricane Katrina prices of the last bid.
Of course, scrapping the project isn't very palatable as it would further extend the project completion and return no value for the hundreds of thousands already spent.
Delays cost money: oversight of the re-bidding process, modification of specifications, material and labor rate increases, new studies, more drawings. The fastest and most cost-effective option for the City will be to continue the project by incorporating the Phase II work into another contract and continuing the project mostly as planned.