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APPLICATION OF VIRTUAL PRIVATE NETWORK IN ELECTRICITY INDUSTRY



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APPLICATION OF VIRTUAL PRIVATE NETWORK IN ELECTRICITY INDUSTRY



ABSTRACT

The project describe the application of VIRTUAL PRIVATE NETWORK in electricity industry case study Kano Electricity Distribution Company, While this chapter provides the introduction, aim and objectives, Chapter 2’ discuss about the development and emergence of the technology (Virtual Private Network), its Cost and the market trends with the changes of time, the Virtual Private Network Infrastructure and the Security it provides to safe guard the company data or information. Chapter 3 will describe the approach used for the findings and the reason for choosing the type of approach. Chapter 4 aims to supplement previous chapters by a detailed questionnaire, which is designed to target Kano Electricity Distribution Company. Chapter 5 will provide an analysis of the practical information i.e. findings of the research from chapter 4 and the primary research done in the previous chapters. A list of recommendation will be suggested after the detailed analysis. Chapter 6 will give a brief summary on the result and the recommendations; it will also have a critical self-evaluation on the work done, the drawbacks of the project, the problems faced during the study and any future work on the subject.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

TITLE PAGE. i

 

DECLARATION. ii

 

CERTIFICATION. iii

 

DEDICATION. iv

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT. v

 

ABSTRACT. x

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

OVERVIEW OF THE PROJECT

 

1.0 Introduction. 1

 

1.1 Background of the Study. 1

 

1.2 Concept of the Internet 3

 

1.3 Reason for Choosing the Topic. 4

 

1.4 Aim and Objective. 5

 

CHAPTER TWO

 

LITERATURE REVIEW

 

2.0 Virtual Private Network (VPN) & Kano Electricity Distribution Company (Kedco) 7

 

2.1 The Emergence of VPN. 7

 

2.2 What Is VPN?. 8

 

2.3 The Need to Develop VPN. 9

 

2.4 Types of VPN. 10

 

2.4.1 Layer 2 VPN’s. 10

 

2.4.2 Layer 3 VPN’s. 10

 

2.5 VPN Architecture. 11

 

2.5.1 Site -to-Site Intranet VPNs. 11

 

2.5.2 Remote Access VPNs. 13

 

2.5.3 Extranet VPNs. 13

 

2.6 Tunneling. 14

 

2.7 Tunneling Protocols. 15

 

2.8 VPN Firewall and Gateways. 16

 

2.9 Investigation of Broader Context. 18

 

2.9.1 VPN’S and KEDCO In View. 18

 

2.9.2 Application of VPN In Kedco. 19

 

2.9.3 Site-To-Site VPN Via Interswitch. 19

 

2.9.4 Remote Access VPN in KEDCO. 20

 

2.10 Industrial Use OF VPN. 20

 

2.10.1…………………………………………………….. VPN Market Trends. 20

 

2.10.2………………………………………………. Products Based On VPN. 21

 

2.10.3…………………………………………………………… Interoperability. 22

 

2.11 Communication Approach and Network. 22

 

2.11.1………………………………………………. Internal communication. 22

 

2.11.2………………………………….. Selected external communication. 23

 

2.11.3………… Communication with public and external audiences. 23

 

2.12 Outlining Electricity Industry Requirements. 23

 

2.13 Overview of VPN For Kedco. 25

 

CHAPTER THREE

 

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

 

3.0 Introduction. 27

 

3.1 Research Approach. 29

 

3.1.1 Deductive Research Approach. 29

 

3.1.2 Inductive Research Approach. 29

 

3.1.3 Implemented Research Approach. 30

 

3.2 Research Strategy. 30

 

3.2.1 Quantitative Research. 30

 

3.2.3 The Questionnaire. 30

 

3.2.3 Advantages and Drawbacks (Questionnaire) 31

 

3.2.4 Qualitative research. 31

 

3.2.5 Interview.. 32

 

3.2.6 Target audience. 32

 

3.2.7 Advantages and drawbacks (Interview) 32

 

3.2.8 Ethical considerations. 33

 

CHAPTER FOUR

 

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS

 

4.0 Questionnaire and Response. 35

 

4.1 Questionnaire Design. 35

 

4.1 Interview and Response. 36

 

4.2 Data Analysis And Findings. 36

 

4.2.1 Data collected. 37

 

4.3 Participant / Audience Type. 38

 

4.4 Research Analysis. 38

 

4.4.1 Benefits of VPN: 39

 

4.4.2 Limitation of VPN. 40

 

4.4.3 Innovative Solutions for Electricity Industries. 41

 

4.4.4 Drawbacks in Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) 42

 

4.4.5 Overcoming the drawbacks. 44

 

4.5 Critical Success Factor 46

 

4.6 Conclusion of Project 47

 

4.7 Recommendation & Suggestions. 48

 

CHAPTER FIVE. 50

 

CRITICAL EVALUATION. 50

 

5.0 Critical Evaluation. 50

 

5.1 Research Approach. 50

 

5.2 Time Management 51

 

5.3 Problems Faced. 52

 

5.3.1 Project dimensions. 52

 

5.3.2 Critical phases in research. 52

 

5.3.3 Report formation. 53

 

5.3.4 Personal Issues. 54

 

5.4 Learning Outcome. 54

 

5.5 What Could Have Been Achieved With More Time?. 56

 

5.6 Project Deliverables. 56

 

5.6.1 Usefulness of research. 56

 

5.7 Limitation /Drawbacks. 57

 

5.8 Resources. 59

 

5.9 Future Work. 60

 

5.10 Short Summary and Conclusion. 60

 

REFERENCES. 61

 

APPENDIX I 63

 

QUESTIONNAIRE. 64

 

 

 

LIST OF FIGURES

 

Fig.1 Casio Calculator(Cash Receipt Machine…………………………………………….……2

 

Fig.2 VPN “Virtual Private Network”…………………………………………………………….8

 

Fig.3 Site-to-Site VPN’s……………………………………………………………………………11

 

Fig. 4 “Remote Access VPN” ……………………………………………………………………..13

 

Fig. 5 “External VPN” ……………………………………………………………………………..13

 

Fig 6 “Tunneling” ……………………………………………………………………………..……14

 

Fig 7 “Gateway and Firewall” ……………………………………………………………………17

 

Fig. 8 ‘Site topology overview’ source Huawei.com………………………………………….20

 

Fig 9 “Research Process Models for How VPN might benefits the electricity industry adapted from Source: Saunders (2003).” …………………………………………………….28

 

Fig.10 “Research approaches: socialresearchmethod.net” ……………………….……..29

 

Fig.11 “Table of Implemented methodology” ………………………………………….……..33

 

Data collection fig.1……………………………………………………………………….……….37

 

Data collection fig.2……………………………………………………………………….………..37

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

OVERVIEW OF THE PROJECT

 

1.0     INTRODUCTION

1.1     BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The business of electric power distribution in Nigeria began in 1896 under the Public Works Department (PWD) by the colonial government. Electricity Corporation of Nigeria (ECN) was then established in 1950/51 later merge with Niger Dams Authority (NDA established in 1962) to form Nigerian Electric Power Authority (NEPA) in 1972.

Characterized by total industry inefficiency, such as, inadequate supply and low revenue generation, the Federal Government unbundled the monopoly of NEPA and signed into law the Electricity Sector Reform Act in 2005. The then NEPA metamorphosed in to Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) which was unbundled vertically in to Generation, Transmission and Distribution and further horizontally in to eighteen different Successor Companies. Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) which is mandated to distribute electricity in Jigawa, Kano and Katsina States is one of the Eleven Distribution Companies (Disco) out of the eighteen successor companies.

Some of the challenges facing the whole industry is the inadequate supply, in other words, the wide gap between the energy supply and demand, as well as lack of revenue generation. According to Engr.Eyo O. Ekpo, Commissioner (Market, Competition & Rates) at the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in a paper presented at the 6th Business Law Conference, that less than 50% are having access to electricity supply in Nigeria. It should be noted that even those having access to electricity supply are getting less than 50% of their demand.

Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) was not having a network connection at its early stage i.e both the head office and its branches (Business Units) where on their own and no any form of network connecting them together. There was no centralized database or server. A Casio calculator was the only machine used in collecting electricity consumption paymentfrom customers at end of every month. During the use of this machine, a lot of fraud and theft were encountered. As a result, revenue drive was very poor. For example, someone can pay an electricity bill of N55,950 (fifty-five thousand nine hindered and fifty) and only N5,950 (five thousand nine hundred and fifty) will be credited to the company’s account and theremaining N50,000 gets lost as a result of fraudulent activities.

Fig.1 Casio Calculator(Cash Receipt Machine)

Handwritten bills were also accepted during the use of this machine but the company later installed servers at all branches (Jigawa statebranches, Katsina state branches, and other branches in Kano metropolitan).Even after this initiative, a lot of errors, fraud, theft and insecurity were still encountered because the system was not centralized i.e. each and every server stands on its own.

As technology was improving, the company installed computers which were used as a medium of communication between all of its branches. It was quitean impressive approach consideringthe fact that the company had been using crude methods of operation for a while.This same system is used even by banksas their main medium of communication, and is still in use at KEDCO.As a result of the problem encounteredthrough the use of casiocash receipt machinealong with decentralized servers,I hereby suggest the use of a centralized serverover a VPN (Virtual Private Network) network.Like this, a centralized server should be locatedat the head office.Other traditional cash offices/branches can thenmake use of a VPN to connect to thehead office.This type of connection allow all branches toconnect securely over the internet to thecentralized server via VPN.This paves way for the use of secured paymentsystem over the private network, such as:

Pay direct

E-channel via banks interswitch

POS

1.2     Concept of the Internet

The concept of the ‘Internet’, a private network was made public in the early 1990’s, this is believed to be an ‘online revolution’ by Derfler Jr. and Freed (2005). The Internet had vast information which lead millions of users to flock onto the network within a cluster of days. As the Internet started growing in size, its importance also increased simultaneously.

Derfler Jr. and Freed states that “Today’s Internet is an important part of business and daily life for millions of users, and those users want faster, more reliable Internet connection”.

As the Internet started growing and businesses began exploring it for their use and profits. Murhammer et al. (1998) describes that businesses started promoting themselves, their products and services over the Internet, allowing their markets to conduct busniness globally.

 

Shelly, et.al (2010) also supports that the Internet became the best medium of sharing information and also a cost effective method in today’s world. The problem discovered was that the Internet is not a secured medium of information transmition and hence the need of  Virtual Private Network (VPN) came into development.

 

Communication is one of the main ablilities of humans and there is always a need of keeping certain conversations private. Technologies have been invented to hide content from unwanted listeners, no matter what the medium is. The VPN is one such technology in which different networking technologies have been applied together, to achive the aim of providing a private communication over a public infrastructure medium called the Internet.

The VPN is a secured connection over an unsecured network i.e. the Internet.

This Technology is been implemented by large organisations due to its various factors benefiting the organisation in many way. This investigation will focus the factors of the VPN which might benefit the Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO).

 

1.3     REASON FOR CHOOSING THE TOPIC

Within the lesson period of this course (Computer Network) as one of the major course of study for the award of Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at the University (B.U.K) Computer Networking has played a vital role in communication, thereby providing a faster response on communication within a short period of time, minimize cost of mass communication, transfer of data e.t.c .Therefore, this has provide a more solid background in the field of Virtual Private Network which is as well as a developed existing technology.

 

 

 

 

1.4     AIM AND OBJECTIVE

The aim of this research is to study the application of Virtual Private Network (VPN) in electricity industry and to analyze the concept of the Virtual Private Network in detail and check if this technology matches the requirements of the Kano Electricity Distribution Company.

The objectives as set out to achieve this aim are:

Making a research study at KEDCO

Providing a secure network access

To increase accuracy in revenue generation

Making an online research about VPN

Further to this, a detailed investigation and analysis will be carried on the Virtual Private Networks and Kano Electricity Distribution Company which will cover several chapters.

While this chapter provides the introduction, aim and objectives, Chapter 2’ discuss about the development and emergence of the technology (Virtual Private Network), its Cost and the market trends with the changes of time, the Virtual Private Network Infrastructure and the Security it provides to safe guard the company data or information.

Chapter 3 will describe the approach used for the findings and the reason for choosing the type of approach. Chapter 4 aims to supplement previous chapters by a detailed questionnaire, which is designed to target Kano Electricity Distribution Company.

Chapter 5 will provide an analysis of the practical information i.e. findings of the research from chapter 4 and the primary research done in the previous chapters. A list of recommendation will be suggested after the detailed analysis. Chapter 5 will give a brief summary on the result and the recommendations; it will also have a critical self-evaluation on the work done, the drawbacks of the project, the problems faced during the study and any future work on the subject.

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APPLICATION OF VIRTUAL PRIVATE NETWORK IN ELECTRICITY INDUSTRY


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The project describe the application of VIRTUAL PRIVATE NETWORK in electricity industry case study Kano Electricity Distribution Company, While this chapter provides the introduction, aim and objectives, Chapter 2’ discuss about the development and emergence of the technology (Virtual Private Network), its Cost and the market trends with the changes of time, the Virtual Private Network Infrastructure and the Security it provides to safe guard the company data or information. Chapter 3 will describe the approach used for the findings and the reason for choosing the type of approach. Chapter 4 aims to supplement previous chapters by a detailed questionnaire, which is designed to target Kano Electricity Distribution Company. Chapter 5 will provide an analysis of the practical information i.e. findings of the research from chapter 4 and the primary research done in the previous chapters. A list of recommendation will be suggested after the detailed analysis. Chapter 6 will give a brief summary on the result and the recommendations; it will also have a critical self-evaluation on the work done, the drawbacks of the project, the problems faced during the study and any future work on the subject... Click here for more

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