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22
Nov
2012

NationalNet Offers Our Thanks

by Administrator

I thought I would share with you the Holiday Wishes that was sent to every NationalNet Web Hosting for in celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday…..

Even though NationalNet is a Global Company with Clients spread to every corner of the planet, our Operations and Employees are solely on American soil and, with that, sometimes we blindly celebrate our own Holidays without taking time to stop to honor our friends and customers own holidays and traditions. To that end, I wanted to take a moment during the Thanksgiving Holidays and give thanks for ALL of our clients no matter their home. For our friends and family in America, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! To those of you in the many countries that have already celebrated your “Thanksgiving” or “Harvest Festival” or “Sukkot” we give thanks for you too. 

In this industry, more than most, we realize that the world is getting smaller every day but in so many ways we are becoming more and more beholden to technology. PLEASE take just a few minutes this weekend to put down the smart phone, the tablet, the laptop, the game controller and tell those that you care about how you really feel. Whether it is your spouse, your partner, your kids, your parents, your siblings or your neighbors let them know what they mean to you. It won’t take but a minute and it will make you BOTH feel great!!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS!!!!

Tony Morgan

Chief Executive Officer

NationalNet, Inc.

 

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24
Aug
2011

We’re Amping Up Our Security

by Administrator

During our process of achieving the SSAE 16 Attestation, we’ve decided to upgrade to a more advanced layer of security for our facility. Previously, our main entrance had a rotating door that was badge activated, now we have double man trap doors leading from the lobby into the facility. While this may not seem like much to some, it is definitely a plus when considering that it adds another touch point for screening individuals before they enter the data center. This brings us up to 6 access points with increasing levels of restriction. Another upgrade to our facility has taken place with our outside break area by installing a robust 10 foot fence. We felt that our customers and employees would like a secured place for their breaks without having to leave the facility entirely. Check out the pictures below of the new door construction process!

New high level security man trap doors at NationalNet

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05
Jul
2011

SSAE 16: A Statement on Standards, Part. 2

by Administrator

by Tony Morgan, CEO of NationalNet

Since our first article on NationalNet’s SSAE 16 Attestation process, we’ve kept up the momentum and are now well on our way to the testing segment. We’ve not only given the auditors a list of all of our data center commitments, but we’ve gone into detail on how we control them to ensure a high quality of service is continually given to our customers.

As I explained in Part 1 of this series, we spent many weeks committing all of the things that we do on behalf of our customers to paper. Along with our contracted consultants we wrote step by step documentation for everything from the process one uses to gain access to the data center all the way through the smallest details of how we evaluate our employees on an ongoing basis. These processes are also known as “controls”. Step two of the audit process is where we define how we will “test” all of the controls.

From the outside looking in, one could only assume that a student writing their own final exam would be easy, but in this case, it is not. Because the CPA firm has their license on the line, they will not accept anything less than the best form of testing that is available. For example, as a company we choose to test our generators once per week by firing them up and running them to make sure that they are reacting appropriately. This is common among most Data Centers, but in our Attestation we stated that we also test the generators under a full load at least once per year because we know that they can react differently under load than they do with no load. You would be surprised at how many of our competitors choose not to do the last step. So, in our test simply stating that we do it is not enough. We agreed to provide logs from the system showing the tests, invoices from our vendor showing the tests were performed and the contract that we have signed with the vendor to complete this on an annual basis. In addition, if the auditor so chooses, we may be asked to actually pull up video from our security cameras around the generators showing the exact date and time that these tests were performed. This is just one of literally dozens and dozens of controls that are tested.

 

In addition to the obvious tests there will be some that are not so obvious, as well. For an example, the auditors will be gaining access to the facility at different times throughout the audit period. Each time they will be watching to make sure that the security policies and procedures are being followed to the letter. One of the things that we state in our Attestation is that all visitors must have their badge displayed prominently while inside the facility. We also go on to state that it is every employee’s responsibility to challenge anyone found inside the building without credentials displayed, as opposed to most facilities where it is simply left up to the security force. The auditor may choose to simply remove their badge and walk around the halls in the secured areas to see if employees challenge their access. Our customers need to know that when we say that we are a secure facility that it is not just lip service…we really mean it.

In the coming weeks, we will be finished writing the tests of the controls and will be moving onto the next step of the “walk through”…..call it a “pre test” if you will. This step will complete two steps…first, it will give us a chance to see how we perform under the tests, but it will also be a chance for the consultants to make sure that the tests are solid and do not need to be tweaked prior to the audit. More on that in Part 3 of this series coming soon…

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21
Apr
2011

Press Release: NationalNet Makes a Statement on Standards, Begins SSAE 16 Attestation

by Administrator

SSAE 16 LogoATLANTA, GA – April 19, 2011 —   NationalNet, a web hosting and data center solutions company, announced today that they have begun the process for attaining a Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements No. 16, Reporting on Controls at a Service Organization, otherwise known as SSAE 16. While the SSAE 16 attestation is new to the web hosting industry, it will supersede the Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS 70) by June 15, 2011. NationalNet is choosing to remain ahead of the curve in the industry by beginning this process with the Atlanta based CPA firm, Windham Brannon.

As stated by the American Institute of CPAs, “This section [SSAE 16] addresses examination engagements undertaken by a service auditor to report on controls at organizations that provide services to user entities when those controls are likely to be relevant to user entities’ internal control.”

NationalNet has made the commitment to continuing its high level of customer satisfaction and growth within the data center and hosting industry. As part of that mission, attaining the SSAE 16 attestation is just one step toward making sure our customers understand the company’s focus on providing the best services and controls needed to maintain a reliable data center.

“Deep down in our hearts, we know that we do everything necessary to guarantee our customers’ satisfaction every single day” said Tony Morgan, CEO of NationalNet. “Based on what we’re hearing within the data center Industry, we’ve decided to begin the SSAE 16 attestation process.  My team and I have spent the first quarter of this year in meetings with Windham Brannon committing what NationalNet does every day to paper.”

As yet another affirmation to provide outstanding service, NationalNet will complete the SSAE 16 attestation and many other goals within the 2011 calendar year.

About NationalNet

A leader in innovative web hosting and data center solutions, NationalNet is changing the way businesses manage their connectivity.  Whether it’s fully managed hosting or a custom configured colocation space, NationalNet has solutions that exceed expectations and can fit any budget.  NationalNet’s success is built on superior customer service customized to meet the needs of every client.  For more information, please visit www.nationalnet.com, call 678.247.7000, or email sales@nationalnet.com.

About Windham Brannon

We believe Windham Brannon is Atlanta’s premier CPA firm. They offer comprehensive accounting and advisory services, proactive tax consultation and compliance. Windham Brannon serves many of Atlanta’s most successful local companies as well as large, publicly-held corporations. For more information, please visit www.windhambrannon.com.

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12
Apr
2011

SSAE 16: A Statement on Standards, Part 1.

by Administrator

by Tony Morgan, CEO of NationalNet

Over the next 8 months NationalNet will be undergoing an extensive audit known in the industry as SSAE 16 (formerly known as SAS 70 Type II Certification).  This article is the first in a series explaining the audit, what we are actually doing, and keeping you updated on our progress.  I chose to write this article myself as it is an important part of the growth of our company and we take these milestones very seriously.  I will try to keep it light by being informative without boring you to death with all of the geek-speak.  As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns feel free to address them to me, directly, at ceo@nationalnet.com

Let’s start with the basics, shall we….. 

What is SSAE 16?  Well, since you asked, get ready for this…..it is a “Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE) No. 16, Reporting on Controls at a Service Organization”.  Wasn’t that a mouthful?  While that may seem like a long name that really means nothing, pay close attention to the last 7 words, “Reporting on Controls at a Service Organization”.  At our core, NationalNet is simply nothing more than a service organization and one of the things that you pay us for is to have controls (or systems) in place to handle any eventuality.  This audit is really nothing more than a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) coming into our facility and “testing” these controls and certifying that we have them and we follow them.  The controls cover everything from the actual physical security of the Data Center, to the logical security of the network, to the  training of our employees, to the inner workings of our Customer Portal, MyNatNet. 

Why would NationalNet want to be SSAE 16 Certified?  For many customers, before you choose a hosting/collocation provider, you take an opportunity to visit the facility and talk with key people and get a warm feeling about the provider and the level of service you may expect to get from them.  However, in many other cases, the decision may be made at the Home Office in Grand Rapids, Michigan, (to quote David Letterman).  Having this certification allows us to send documentation to the Home Office (in Grand Rapids, Michigan) that shows the controls and that a licensed, outside party has certified that the systems were in place and functioning during the audit period.  In addition, many Government Agencies, Fortune 500 Companies, and Foreign Governments require the certification before they will do business with a data center at any level. 

So, what was SAS 70 then and did it go away?  First developed in 1992 the Statement on Auditing Standards No. 70 (SAS 70) has been the undisputed leader in testing the security and controls of a data center to assure clients that it meets some level of assurance.  After nearly 20 years, however, this system has become dated and inadequate to handle the next generation of data centers that are dotting the landscape in today’s market. The AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants), has mandated that all SAS 70 Certifications cease on June 15, 2011 and be upgraded to the newer SSAE 16.  In a nutshell, it’s time to retire the old Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) and upgrade to the 24″ HD flat screen monitor. 

What is the first step to achieving SSAE 16?  This is the hard part for us.  Deep down in our hearts, we know that we do everything necessary to guarantee our customers satisfaction every single day….but now we have to write it down…..in detail…..lots and lots of detail.  You may think it sounds easy but I assure you it is not.  Let me use this example….if I asked you to write down IN DETAIL how a human walks one step you would think it should be easy.  Did you know that the human body uses over 200 muscles to walk a single step?  Now think of having to write a procedure for each and every muscle, in detail, noting every move and every signal from the brain.  Finished?  Not yet, my friend.  Then write, in detail, what each of those 200 muscles and another 300 more muscles that have to deploy in the case that you tripped over the curb.  Now you are starting to get the idea.  My team and I spent the first quarter of this year in meeting after meeting committing what NationalNet does every day to paper and we are almost done with this step of the process. 

What’s next?   In our next article we will begin getting into the actual controls and the testing of those controls.

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15
Dec
2010

Press Release: The Atlanta Falcons hand the ball to NationalNet

by Administrator

logoATLANTA, GA – December 12, 2010 — The National Football League’s Atlanta Falcons Football Club, currently 11-2 and tied for the best record in the NFL, has partnered with world class hosting and colocation provider NationalNet to provide managed hosting and data center solutions for the team’s core web properties. Under the terms of the agreement, NationalNet will provide the football club with its total suite of fully managed hosting solutions. The main Atlantafalcons.com website and a variety of high-profile ancillary websites will take advantage of NationalNet’s fully managed hosting solutions and be housed in their brand new cutting-edge Atlanta Data Center.

“We sought out a hosting provider that could not only handle our intense in-season traffic spikes but also manage a complex server configuration that ingests content from a variety of third-party sources,” said Dan Levak, Director of New Media for the Atlanta Falcons. “After a visit to their state-of-the-art data center in Marietta, Georgia and meeting with a diverse cross-section of their organization’s employees, it became clear that NationalNet was the perfect partner. The personalized support we’ve received throughout our engagement with them reinforced their reputation for unparalleled customer service.”

The Falcons re-launched their award-winning main website in September, and the franchise has been relying on NationalNet’s managed solution throughout a season that has seen huge crests in site traffic due to the team’s success and their preponderance of thrilling, last-minute victories.

“Our newly-launched website has performed flawlessly, even during times of intense traffic,” Levak said.

NationalNet CEO Tony Morgan has always approached his business in a similar fashion to Falcons Owner & CEO Arthur Blank, intensely focusing on superior customer service as a means to providing the highest quality product possible.

“Being born and raised in Georgia, I have been a lifelong fan of the Atlanta Falcons, having watched them play through the good times and the bad for more than 35 years”, said Morgan. “I have been so impressed watching the team’s current ownership and management with their strategic moves, both on and off the field, to bring to my hometown a world class football team. Nothing makes me any happier than to be able to put my professional team to work for their professional team.”

About NationalNet

A leader in innovative web hosting solutions, NationalNet is changing the way businesses manage their connectivity. Whether it’s fully managed hosting or a custom configured colocation space, NationalNet has solutions that exceed expectations and can fit any budget. NationalNet’s success is built on superior customer service customized to meet the needs of every client. For more information, please visit www.nationalnet.com, or call 888.4.NATNET.

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05
Oct
2010

NationalNet: A Step Toward Sustainability

by Administrator

NationalNet is proud to join the ranks of other eco-friendly data centers by installing an Eaton Energy Saver System. The new system is built to run our UPS units more efficiently and cut down the amount of unused power. This is a common problem with data center structures, and Eaton has developed a way to minimize the loss; which translates into 99% of usable power. NationalNet - green web hosting, green datacenter

In an excerpt from their case study, “Eaton is changing the game with the revolutionary Energy Saver System. UPSs equipped with this technology deliver 99 percent efficiency or better without sacrificing reliability… The intelligent power core continuously monitors incoming power conditions and balances the need for efficiency with the need for premium protection, to match the conditions of the moment.” You can read more of their case study here.

So, that’s all fine and dandy, but how does it translate to the green initiative? By following the logic of increasing our own power efficiency from 94% to 99%, a data center critical load over 2,000 kW, there is a five-year energy savings (kWhrs) of more than 8,897,000. That equals saving 6064 metric tons of CO2 over a five-year period, or taking more than 1897 cars off the road for a full year!*. Now, that realization is impressive. And as we continue to grow, we will consciously be minimizing our carbon footprint and doing what we can to improve the environment in the data center scheme of things.

This eco-conscience step for NationalNet is one of the biggest that we’ve taken so far. With a history of green internal practices, such as recycling plastics and using high efficiency chillers for our air conditioning units, installing Eaton’s new program just makes sense.

*Figures used in study have been extrapolated based on Eaton’s Energy Saver System report

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NationalNet, Inc., Internet - Web Hosting, Marietta, GA
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