ITEM:††††††††††† CONSENT CALENDAR†††

 

3.†††††††† CONSIDER AUTHORIZATION TO HIRE CONSULTANTS FOR FIREWALL CONFIGURATION, SETUP, EXCHANGE AND BACKUP MAINTENANCE

 

Meeting Date:†††††††††† May 19, 2003†††††††††††††††††††††††† MPWMD Budget: N/A

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Program/Line Item No.:N/A

Staff Contact:†††††††††††† Inder-Mohan Osahan††††††††††† Cost Estimate:$8,000.00

 

General Counsel Approval: N/A

Committee Recommendation: The Administrative Committee reviewed this item on May 12, 2003 and recommended approval.

CEQA Compliance: N/A

 

 

SUMMARY:†† The Board will consider retaining CJM Networking and Cyber Dragon Consulting to assist staff with Microsoft Exchange 2000 maintenance, backup/disaster recovery maintenance, and firewall security configuration, respectively, for the Districtís computer systems.

 

The key consultant tasks include:

 

ō      Assist staff with the maintenance of the Microsoft Exchange 2000 server

ō      With oversight of staff, help set up backup and disaster recovery for the Districtís computer systems network.Consultant will focus on technical, email and data file recovery related information.

ō      With oversight of staff, help evaluate the firewall configuration. Re-configure and support the configuration to maintain a high level of security. Consultant will use security standards to ensure that the Districtís network and systems are completely secure.

 

RECOMMENDATION:Staff recommends that the Board authorize the General Manager to contract with CJM Networking for a not-to-exceed amount of $5,500 and Cyber Dragon Consulting for a not-to-exceed amount of $2,500.00, respectively.The Administrative Committee discussed this item on May 12, 2003 and voted 3 to 0 to recommend approval.This item will be approved if adopted along with the Consent Calendar.

 

BACKGROUND AND DISCUSSION:The Districtís computer network and systems have always been protected from external attacks by a firewall; a daily backup also has been set up to ensure that data can be restored in case of system failure.

 

In July 2002, the Districtís computer systems and network were upgraded. A new backup system was installed along with the already existing and functional firewall. To date, all of the equipment has performed well. In the past few months numerous changes have been made to the network to respond to security challenges that affect the Internet as a whole. Therefore, steps need to be taken now to ensure the reliability of the entire system. During the system upgrade and new workstation installations, CJM Networking had been responsible for the MS-Exchange 2000 server configuration for email services and for Veritas Backup Exec for disaster recovery. Cyber Dragon had been responsible for the firewall and network security configuration.

 

In April 2003, the I-Net (Institutional Network) that links all the colleges, K12 schools, City of Monterey and other municipalities went alive, meaning that these institutions can now be linked to each other via their computers. This network will provide services to the Monterey area for data sharing among these institutions, for video conferencing, advertisements, meetings and school classes over the new fiber optic network. Being a part of this network mandates the Districtís network configuration and systems be protected. As the I-Net grows to other towns and counties around the Monterey Peninsula, it will need to be secured even more.

 

Over the past two months, staff has been evaluating new firewalls and disaster recovery tools to keep up with the changes to the entire network. To have a fully recoverable and secure environment, assistance from CJM Networking and Cyber Dragon is needed to enable District staff to focus on on-going staff requirements. In addition, the consultants will setup monitoring tools and provide back up assistance to staff as needed. For example, CJM networking provided backup from December 10, 2002 to Jan 13, 2003 when staff was on emergency family leave.

 

IMPACT ON STAFF AND RESOURCES: Outsourcing for disaster recovery and security was not included in the FY 2002-2003 budget. However, the relatively modest expenditure for the two consultants significantly increases the level of reliability and secure computing that is valuable to the District. To maintain low operating and maintenance costs, staff will work very closely with the consultants and train with them to provide on-going technical support in-house.

 

 

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