Many times I am asked how we select articles for each issue. At Mission Critical, we try to develop an advance calendar so that each issue has an identifiable theme, a set of articles that provides analysis or coverage of a given topic that we believe will have deep meaning for a set of readers. For instance, in one given issue we might spend a lot of time on power issues and then balance that with a focus on cooling the next time out. Usually coming up with the idea for a theme is not a problem, because of all the initiatives in the mission-critical industry. Some times I use this space to connect the dots of the theme.

Not every article in an issue will fit a given theme, as I have the latitude, indeed the responsibility, to make sure I provide the best coverage I can of new developments. A great case history will not be postponed because it fails to fit a predetermined theme.

However, the articles in this issue seem to defy easy categorization. They reflect the variety of concerns that data center operators face on a regular basis. Of course, we have articles on cooling, but we also have articles that consider the problems of unconventional spaces such as mobile data centers and emergency responder facilities. Finally there are also articles about the shortcomings of Energy Star and how the Uptime Institute addressed industry concerns about its Tier Standards.

Sometimes my columnists write to a published theme: Not this time. They each called upon their years of experience to dig deeply into their areas of expertise, so we have columns on biogas, infrared testing, personnel issues, and the dream data center.

It’s enough to make the head swim, but I suppose that’s what it is like all through the industry where the relatively simple task of keeping power on in relatively small low-density facilities has morphed into a supreme technical challenge with new limits on cost and energy use in large high-density facilities. Simply put, engineering wherewithal is not enough.

Thus, we continue to look at power and cooling plus infrastructure, wiring and cabling, management, new technologies and techniques, and more. Meanwhile take some time to let me know what you think of this issue and offer some suggestions for the future.