How Data Centers Automate IT Asset Tracking and Inventory With RFID Solutions

Recent industry surveys show that RFID-automated data center asset tracking can increase productivity 15 times while reducing the time used to inventory assets by as much as 90 percent.

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Comprehensive IoT Solutions are available for data center automation to track and secure IT Assets with very little human intervention, hence addressing the challenges of increasing inventory accuracy and decreasing time and physical labor.

Limitations of Barcodes For Automation

IT Assets case studies show how different inventory technologies compare when it comes to 10,000 IT Assets in a data center:

 

  • Paper: 50 hours

  • Barcode: 16 hours

  • RFID: 4 hours

Barcodes often start with solve supply chain issues, such as reconciling incoming equipment. But they provide only limited improvements compared to paper inventories. This is due to the labor-intensive nature of the technology being used, which requires establishing a focused line of sight for each barcode to be read individually, one at a time.

 

These limitations make barcodes unsuitable for more advanced automation such as identification and tracking in server racks and have pushed data center managers to look to RFID along with their IT Vendors.

Enabling Real-Time IT Asset Visibility

RFID allows for accurate batch reading, scanning across critical areas such as storage, inventory room, server racks, to collect identification information in bulk and at a distance, without any line of sight required.

 

Beyond faster and more accurate data center inventories, RFID enables real-time asset visibility that translates into improved service agreement management and simplified compliance reporting. Asset utilization is improved with real-time data across locations used for effective scheduling. Security benefits from getting real-time information on equipment moving in and out of specified locations.

 

Item-level traceability, audit trails, and automated reporting, all contribute to enhancing compliance, throughout an IT Asset life cycle. Regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley and the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) mandate that companies maintaining sensitive data such as financial and health records prove they own their equipment and have complete control over equipment content security.

Deploying RFID Asset Tracking For Data Centers

RFID and IoT systems are designed to manage many IT Assets, devices, and equipment throughout their life cycle. A typical IT asset tracking solution consist of RFID Tags and Labels, a mix of fixed and handheld RFID readers, and software to enable essential features in the field and interoperability with existing processes and systems, such as enterprise IT Asset Management (ITAM).

 

One of the biggest challenges for RFID deployment in the data center is tag size and tag placement: Does it go on the front of the rack-mounted equipment? Will it fit? What is the read range? Can you attach something to the back of the chassis?

 

Xerafy’s experience with data center environments is born from the many options available relative to tag size and performance. The XS Dot and Dash RFID Tags allow the customer to use a very small footprint tag and provide many placement options. At the same time, the Xerafy Data Trak II is an ideal form factor for attaching tags to the equipment using a zip tie or wire hanger.

 

Form factors, mounting options, and tag performance stand out together to solve the most challenging data center tracking problems.

Xerafy is a pioneer in Industrial RFID, bringing to market several innovations that enable advanced industrial identification and automation capabilities. 

 

In addition to a complete range of field-proven RFID tags available off-the-shelf, Xerafy offers Custom RFID Tags services, covering everything from a personalization service bureau to custom-design engineering capabilities.

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Asset tracking, identification, counting, analyzing, monitoring: Businesses get the data they need to drive performance and flexibility with Xerafy’s passive UHF RFID tagging and sensing solutions, available for all types of enterprise assets ranging from small tools to large equipment.

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