They say the third time’s a charm, so I’m putting that claim to the test.

It’s the third year of the Top Tier Product Awards, and, if the saying’s true, then I’m hoping to see a flood of submissions that make it almost impossible for the judges to pick a winner.

What makes this year exciting from the start is that we are joined by a new industry member, Sarah Harding, group publisher of Mission Critical magazine. Of course, this means we have to say goodbye to our long-time leader, Mike Murphy. But, Harding comes to us with an extensive and impressive publishing career behind her and the passion to drive exciting things ahead of her (and us!).

So, please join me in sending Murphy off to enjoy his retirement with the best golfing advice you’ve got. I tried golfing once: I was afraid to swing the club and horrible at it, so we decided I would just putt on the green. I swallowed a fly while talking on the golf cart. It was the first and last time I ever went golfing. But, I do know from my days of teaching yoga that you want to keep your hips square and twist from the torso, not the legs.

More importantly, though, help me give Harding the same welcoming experience from the industry that I received just a few years ago. She will be at Data Center World in Austin with me. If you see her at our booth, be sure to stop by and say hi, or email her at to arrange an appointment ahead of time.

Let’s show Harding how innovative the industry is with this year’s submissions for the Top Tier Product Awards.

The Top Tier Product awards recognize manufacturing excellence in mission critical equipment that embraces safety, energy efficiency, and innovative solutions to ensure reliable uptime for the data centers of today and tomorrow. Products will be judged by a panel of third-party industry experts who have pledged to volunteer their time to research the new technologies and share their findings with our readers.

Winners will be awarded across 10 categories:

  • Batteries
  • Cabinets
  • Cables/Cable Management Systems
  • IT Equipment
  • Power Systems/Products
  • Racks
  • Security Systems
  • Software
  • Thermal Management Systems
  • UPS Systems

We are looking for more judges to join our advisory board in taking a deep-dive look at the products of today and the footprints they leave behind on their way to the data centers of the future. If you are an expert in one of these categories and would like to serve on our panel of judges, contact me at Manufacturers interested in putting the spotlight on their products should apply now. To find out if you’re eligible, visit Early bird entries are due March 15 at a discounted rate of $119 per product. All other submissions are due April 30 at a rate of $149 per product. The judges rate the products on ease of installation, use, and maintenance; reliability; competitive difference; design flexibility; energy efficiency; security features; and other defining characteristics unique to each category/application. Mission Critical will reveal the winners of each category in the August issue of our eMagazine.