Critical IT assets have evolved from paper and pen through spreadsheets to modern cutting-edge solutions for the asset management lifecycle. But despite the advancement in technology, many organizations remain stuck in the past. In fact, nearly half of businesses still use spreadsheets to track their assets!

With the fast pace of data centers, devices can easily get misplaced. For example, a tech takes a server offline for maintenance, deploys new equipment, or de-provisions a device. Poor asset management practices cause the loss of sensitive information, but active RFID protects against such loss. RF Code's solution tracks practically all assets accurately whether for a data center, a micro data center, or a colocation facility.

Even passive RFID cannot compare with modern active RFID. Passive tools such as bar code readers that employees must wave over assets only reach up to 85% accuracy due to human error, while RF Code active technology reaches 99% accuracy. That difference of 14% matters! For data centers with hundreds to thousands of servers, it can equate to hundreds of thousands of dollars in unaccounted-for equipment.

Organizations that have evolved from manual or passive techniques to active RFID asset management with RF Code have seen dramatic improvements to their bottom line. This results from smarter asset utilization, greater risk mitigation, and superior operational efficiency. They have measured sizable performance boosts.

Real-time asset tracking is more important than ever in an era where enterprise downtime is now more expensive than ever. A quick look at the numbers and the reasons become compellingly clear.

  • 85% is the average accuracy of data center assets. That means, for every data center with 1,000 servers, around 150 servers will be reported missing.
  • 2% savings of energy costs can be realized per degree increased. Measuring granular environmental conditions in real-time increases confidence in raising temperatures safely.
  • Some 44% of firms indicate that hourly downtime costs range between $1 million to over $5 million, exclusive of any legal fees, fines, or penalties. Know where your assets are in real-time, all the time, to mitigate risk and quickly resolve issues if/when they come up.

Over half of businesses lack asset management capacity at some stages of their asset lifecycle. Valuable time spent (read: wasted) reconciling assets with outdated tools cost money could be invested in activities that boost the bottom line. In today’s world, smart data center asset management is increasingly seen as the key to unlocking cost savings and realizing a better return on investment (ROI). Through an effective asset management solution, organizations can better manage their big investments while also reducing risk.

Here are 3 tell-tale signs that your data center is in urgent need of a modern asset tracking system.

1. Your Employees Lost Track of a Key Server... Again

asset tracking

Whether you’re the owner/operator of a data center or if your equipment is installed at a colocated facility, there remains a degree of risk that your assets will disappear, either through negligence or downright theft.

A 2016 Information Security & Data Breach Report by Navigant estimates that between “66-75% of information breaches stem from more ‘hands-on’ activities including the outright theft of servers and hardware, unauthorized access or use of computers and servers, and damage caused by the loss and/or improper disposal of equipment.”

Theft is difficult, near impossible to manage with older methods. With only manual tracking, it’s all too easy for someone, perhaps an employee, to walk off-site with equipment. Not only do you have to replace the stolen goods, but you have to contend with concerns about data breaches and lost customer data. The compromised data may include sensitive financial or medical information and opens you up to fines or other penalties.

In ensuring the security of a data center, it’s important to verify several physical measures. It should have backup power, additional cooling capacity, and protective measures in case of fire, flood, or other disasters. These precautions can prevent a lost or stolen server from causing more serious problems.

Data centers implement extensive security measures to guard against intrusions, but these do not protect against inside jobs. It’s not just theft, but also unauthorized access and damage. If you only have older asset tracking methods, then there’s not much you can do about these violations. On the other hand, with active radio frequency tags and live video, you can prevent crimes because you know exactly where each and every asset is at any time, and you access this critical information from anywhere.

Regardless of how you lose track of a server, it can result in unplanned and costly downtime. Real-time asset tracking is an effective way to mitigate this. As soon as an asset moves, you’re alerted. With RF Code's CenterScape automated asset tracking, you know precisely where your assets are, down to each individual rack. Real-time status reports mean precise knowledge of the location and condition of your assets. This includes temperature and humidity, which affect equipment functionality.

The hustle and bustle of a data center make it easy for expensive servers (and their data) to disappear. RF Code’s CenterScape software gives you complete oversight and control over your IT infrastructure through accurate and automated updates. It’s like turning on a light. You’ll spend fewer resources tracking down misplaced devices, and register higher efficiencies.

2. Your Employees Walk Around With Clipboards or Handheld Scanners.

Back in the day, IT staff moved through data centers with clipboards, or more recently with handheld devices to scan the barcodes on equipment. Those were the available tools. They worked well enough for the demands of the time, so they’re what organizations used.

We’re in a different era now, and technology is marching on relentlessly. Across an estimated 7.2 million data centers worldwide today, there‘s a range of technologies being rolled out to make processes more efficient, and a smart easy-to-deploy solution to track and manage assets is proving priceless. With server densities increasing and large volumes of expensive equipment moving in and out for maintenance or reconfiguration having a system in place that is 99% accurate and reliable is paramount.

Can a factory afford to have its processes fail due to a data center misplacing a server? Can a hospital afford to have its repositories go down? Reliability is key. If a spreadsheet or a handwritten note states that the servers are there, but the last count came over a month ago, the specter of missing assets looms large and your assets might be gone before you even know they’re missing. Deficient and outdated asset and tracking management systems will result in reduced asset utilization, lost revenue, and regulatory compliance concerns.

With an effective automated asset tracking system, such as RF Code’s easy to deploy CenterScape solution in play, there’s really no excuse for laboring with archaic approaches. CenterScape alerts you about power consumption, temperature, humidity, and many other important variables critical to your data center operations. It also lets you maintain core workflows to ensure the data center operates efficiently and in compliance with regulations.

Some organizations have over a hundred racks full of mission-critical servers to audit! That makes it downright foolish to plod away with manual asset tracking. The size and speed of data centers have outgrown old approaches. Move over clipboards, spreadsheets, and passive RFID. The time has come for active RFID.

Active RFID for Asset Tracking

New data centers, with their ever-expanding range of use cases, can greatly benefit from active RFID tags. With active RFID, you simply add tags that automatically transmit the status of the respective equipment. The asset tracking system analyzes the incoming data, producing a complete picture of your data center inventory while enhancing your overall asset management strategy.

Active RFID makes audits essentially automatic. Digital audits are more objective, accurate, ensure regulatory compliance. RFID cuts out literally days of employee time for asset tracking in comparison to auditing manually or with barcodes. Smarter asset management through active RFID decreases downtime. Relying on manual asset management means the very real risk that a human error will leave a server out of place. And as we know, human error is one of the main causes of downtime.

With active RFID you’ll see the progression of equipment throughout its lifecycle, enabling you to maximize asset use. Servers, battery backups, and other parts gradually wear down, and having ongoing status reports lets you predict and manage the transitions. You can also cut out unnecessary servicing of equipment that would cost money and add to downtime.

With real-time information on assets and who is accountable for those assets, you can respond to issues as they happen. Furthermore, for planning and budgeting purposes, IT managers, administrators, and technicians can draw insights from the asset tracking system to make data-driven decisions.

For transparency and compliance, you can instantly identify the location of any asset at any given time. The data center management software and hardware work together with open APIs to fit into your organizational workflow, regardless of how the business environment evolves.

Wireless active RFID sensors work effortlessly regardless of where you want to install them. You can connect thousands of them to hardware throughout your data centers to fine-tune operations. Ongoing sensor data will then feed awareness of the precise conditions of your installations, supporting optimal performance.

3. It Takes You Longer Than a Second to Locate a Device.

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Spending more than a second to locate a device? That’s too long because the technology available today makes instant reporting on all of your assets possible. You can nail down exactly which rack a server is in from the convenience of your app.

You’ve spent big money on IT equipment, but how well are you tracking it. If you’re spending precious hours or days looking for assets, you’re wasting your time and your money. RF Code’s real-time asset tracking alerts you right away where your devices are, no waiting. Smart asset tracking is an investment that earns you money by preventing lost time and lost equipment. You can increase your ROI through real-time tracking. In fact, businesses have covered their costs in just six days!

The savings also accrue over the long term, as you make smarter use of your resources, purchase fewer unnecessary parts, and avoid unnecessary downtime. Some of the bigger cost savings, though, derive from wiping out expensive manual audits to find devices.

With our powerful CenterScape software, you can identify an asset’s location in mere milliseconds. Plus you can connect CenterScape with any of your other data center software to speed up those functions too.

Upgrade to the Latest Asset Tracking Technology with RF Code

Powering the booming telecommunications, manufacturing, retail, healthcare, and financial sectors, data centers are the backbone of many businesses in this digital age. Composed of highly dynamic and critical environments; environments that are valuable assets in themselves, IT assets store sensitive information like customer data, financial and accounting records, as well as other proprietary company information.

The big question: Are your asset tracking and management systems dynamic, nimble, precise?

Critical IT assets that store sensitive information constantly travels throughout your facility – assets sitting on loading docks or placed in storage; devices being taken offline for maintenance; equipment being deployed and decommissioned. This means the very real possibility that your valuable IT assets can be misplaced or go missing due to inaccurate physical asset management practices. In fact, companies that use outdated manual asset tracking and inventory processes like passive RFID technology, bar code scanners or clipboards, and spreadsheets routinely report an annual average of 15% inventory inaccuracy.

You do not want to be part of that stat and you don’t have to be. IT asset visibility is key to effective IT asset management. By monitoring and maintaining an accurate inventory of your assets, you avoid negative business outcomes that impact productivity, customer service, and network performance... did we mention your bottom line?

When you upgrade to RF Code automatic asset tracking, you’ll no longer have to worry over lost or stolen equipment. Instead of employees lumbering around with outdated tools, you have instant and total visibility on all of your valuable assets. Find a server anywhere on the planet in under a second! In addition to having real-time inventory oversight, your employees will be more productive as they are now free to focus on the functions they’ve been hired for.

Hundreds of large enterprises and smaller organizations already trust RF Code to track and manage over a million of their core assets. Leverage the most advanced technology on the market to boost your uptime and compliance while lowering operational costs. A dynamic and responsive asset tracking solution that solves a range of challenges affecting data centers today, whether edge computing or enterprise locations.

Chat with our team now and find out more about how RF Code’s cutting-edge solutions consistently deliver 99+% asset location accuracy across the entire lifecycle of each and every IT asset.