I would be remiss if I did not mention the year’s biggest news story (so far): the weather. The winter, for most of the country, was brutal. Record snowfall (my hometown of Toledo topped The Weather Channel’s “Worst Winter Cities”) and record cold temperatures kept most of the U.S. in a perpetual state of emergency these past few months. Hopefully by the time this issue hits the newsstand, the winter misery will be behind us and we can all look forward to warmer temperatures.

This issue we are looking at data center design, lowering PUE, and monitoring solutions and we have a great lineup. Peter Panfil of Emerson returns to our pages to write about power and management best practices for data center design. Tanuj Khandelwal of ETAP writes about using tools and metrics, like PUE, to maximize data center efficiency. We have two articles on automation. Carlos Petty of the Syska Hennessy Group joins us to talk about using a BMS/PLC network design approach for data centers while Carlos Beasty talks about automating IT within the data center using an architectural approach. And rounding out the features is Patricia Matwijec of Eaton who writes about harmonics in the data center.

But that is not all. We have two guest columnists this month. Peter White of GlassHouse writes about the challenge colocation service providers face and what to look for when choosing a colocation provider, and Mark Hirst from Cannon Technologies writes about protecting your data center from thermal runaway.

And, of course, we have our regular great lineup of columnists to provide you with the latest trends and topics in the data center world.