Santa “Un-friends” Coal

Naughty children all over the world are breathing a sigh of relief at the news that Santa Claus has decided not to place lumps of coal in their stockings on Christmas Eve.

The long standing tradition of coal in naughty children’s stockings has been the proverbial “stick” in the Christmas carrot-and-stick behavior equation for as long as anyone can remember.  Nevertheless, Santa’s spokeself has confirmed that this year Saint Nick will be leaving the North Pole without a sack of coal for delivery to a few egregiously underperforming children.

It appears that Santa is bowing to a relentless campaign by environmental activists.  An anonymous elf source stated, “The environmentalists really ratcheted up the rhetoric this year.  Greenpeace’s “Coal Isn’t Tinsel” campaign really stung the old man.”

Representatives from Greenpeace commented, “We believe that Santa’s association with the filthy coal industry needed to end.  By delivering coal to children, Santa continuously reinforced dependence on fossil fuels with each succeeding generation.  We are proud to have helped stop the cycle of violence against the Earth.”

2011 has been marked by significant victories for Greenpeace.  Earlier this year they chalked up a major win against Internet giant facebook by forcing them to “unfriend” coal.  It seems that facebook had the audacity to build a major data center in the state of Oregon which generates a slight percentage more of its electricity from coal than other states.  The environmentalist group was not dissuaded from their campaign by the fact that facebook’s data center is a model of energy efficiency and sustainable design.  They were equally unimpressed by the fact that if the data center had been built in a different state it would have consumed more electricity and contributed more greenhouse gases because it would not have been able to take advantage of the cool Oregon climate for “free cooling.”

Santa was equally unsuccessful when trying to reason with Greenpeace.  Tensions peaked earlier this year when Santa thundered, “The lump of coal a symbolic gesture you nitwits!”  Greenpeace responded with a well crafted marketing campaign that equated giving fossil fuels to naughty children with giving loaded weapons to known criminals.

Santa quickly caved to demands after Greenpeace pointed out that Santa is operating a workshop at the North Pole.  An activity the Greenpeace characterized as “a harsh, polluting industrial facility located at the vulnerable center of Earth’s most pristine and sensitive wilderness.”

Santa is reportedly working with representatives from Greenpeace to find an alternative to lumps of coal for naughty children.  Greenpeace has suggested biodiesel producing algae.  Santa has suggested reindeer manure.  In either case, environmentalists will be hanging their stockings with extra care this year.

(PS Thanks to soniacarreras for the elf!  http://soniacarreras.deviantart.com/#)

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Peak 10 Breaks Ground On New South Florida Data Center. A Word About Data Center Standards and Compliance

Data center hosting and cloud services provider Peak 10 has broken ground on a new data center in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Some of the vital statistics on the new facility include:

  • Peak 10’s 22nd data center
  • 11,000 square feet (Peak 10’s presence in south Florida will total 33,000 square feet.)
  • Multiple levels of security
  • Uninterruptible power
  • HVAC systems
  • Fire suppression
  • Around-the-clock monitoring and management.
  • Interconnected with Peak 10’s private network
  • SSAE 16 and PCI compliant

For those unfamiliar with SSAE 16, this is the new version of SAS70.  For those unfamiliar with SAS70, SAS 70 is an auditing standard that was developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).  SAS 70, when applied to data centers, demonstrates that the data center operator has adequate controls and safe guards in place to host or process data related to their customer base. SAS 70 is not a certificate, but an opinion on the nature of those controls.

SSAE 16 is becoming a pretty big deal in the data center hosting industry.  It should provide Peak 10 with a competitive advantage in the marketplace for a couple of reasons;

  • The south Florida hosting industry caters to businesses located in the Caribbean, Central and South America.  SSAE 16 is an internationally recognized standard.
  • SSAE 16 is especially important to the healthcare, insurance and financial services industries.  You can’t swing a cat in South Florida without hitting a healthcare, insurance or financial services firm.

The Peak 10 data center will also be PCI compliant.  The Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standard is another important standard for financial services, e-commerce and retail industries.  This is an information security standard for organizations that handle cardholder information for the major debit, credit, prepaid, ATM, and POS cards.

The Peak 10 corporation is also compliant with a number of other important standards including:

  • Sarbanes Oxley (SOX)– A Federally mandated accounting standard important for auditing of publicly traded US companies.
  • HIPAA/HITECH– A Federally mandated standard that addresses the privacy and security concerns associated with the electronic transmission of health information
  • Gramm-Leach-Bliley (GLBA)-A federally mandated standard that is important to commercial banks, investment banks, securities firms, and insurance companies.

The Florida data center is one of many growth moves announced by Peak 10 in 2011.  Others include completion of data centers in Nashville, TN and Louisville, KY and ground breaking in Nashville, TN.

Congratulations to the good folks at Peak 10 for quickly becoming a major player in the Southeast data center hosting and cloud marketplace.