Blog

Why DCIMs Need a Single Source of Asset Management Truth

Posted by David Haut
A single source of asset management truth serves as a central tool for all stakeholders in the data center to have complete visibility. Instead of operating blindly, you can track assets through their lifecycles and monitor their environments and power usage. Learn more about how to achieve this here.

It’s a well-known fact that a data center infrastructure management (DCIM) tool helps companies manage their facilities, but it’s dependent on the information input it receives. The foundation of a best-in-class data center IT asset management program relies on 100% accurate data: a single source of truth.

The best way to develop a single and complete source of asset management truth for DCIMs is to automate the collection and synchronization of the most accurate and real-time data between your DCIM and a proven asset data source that tracks location, environmental conditions, and power use at both the rack and server-level. This precise approach empowers data center operators to make better-informed and confident decisions in real-time.

A single source of asset management truth serves as a central tool for all data center stakeholders. From engineers and DCIM managers to facility and senior data center operations. A single source of asset data truth provides precise and real-time visibility of all tagged critical assets that are at the loading dock, sitting in inventory, in use on the data center floor, and being decommissioned. There is nothing more empowering to know that this superior level of real-time access and knowledge can keep your DCIM automatically up to date while doing so with fewer resources to achieve better asset management outcomes.

Asset Lifecycle Tracking

Lifecycle tracking is a comprehensive approach to asset management, covering each IT asset from acquisition to disposal. RF Code active RFID is the only solution that automates complete asset lifecycle tracking.

a computer optimizing its asset lifecycle tracking

The Pilot Program “Cook-Off”

One major global financial institution found the difference for themselves when they had a “pilot cook-off” to compare RF Code’s platform against barcodes and other passive RFID alternatives. The company chose RF Code’s solution due to its ease of use and continuous, real-time data.

With RF Code 100% accurate asset tracking technology, the financial firm resolved lifecycle tracking challenges, automating chain of custody tracking and documentation at every step from when a critical asset arrives from a manufacturer through the asset’s end-of-life. The winning solution delivered on the bank’s desire to automate asset inventory receipt, arrival, storage, placement, decommissioning, and timestamping at each location. The system was able to document the manual movements of assets by specific personnel throughout the data center.

The success resulted in a three-year relationship that’s still going to this day. Meanwhile, the passive solutions were abandoned at the early stages of testing because the banking giant learned first-hand from their tests that passive RFID solutions are unable to deliver on the most critical data center use case outcomes:

  • Boost DCIM performance
  • Create more efficient operational workflows
  • Reduce capital at rest
  • Eliminate costly human manual errors

Unacceptable Input

A large national healthcare provider also discovered the advantages of RF Code’s lifecycle asset tracking. They had a DCIM solution, but it received obsolete data because employees manually recorded the data from a passive RFID. Passive RFID collects “point-in-time” versus actual real-time data. Once an asset is moved, passive RFID data is for the most part useless. RF Code customers have shared that misleading passive RFID data has led to misinformed decision-making thus the desire to invest in a more accurate and reliable source of asset management truth.

While the company thought its DCIM received 96% accurate data, it only validated 65%.

This Fortune 500 healthcare organization then tried RF Code’s active RFID solution. The system automatically produces highly accurate data and sends it to the DCIM, working faster and more precisely. Considering how the healthcare company’s data center helps to serve over a hundred million people through medical, clinical, pharmaceutical, and complex care offerings, automated and precise asset lifecycle tracking is a necessity.

Environmental Monitoring

In addition to knowing where IT assets are, another important element of total asset management is 100% accurate and automated monitoring of an asset and rack environmental conditions. This involves measuring properties like temperature and humidity, plus detecting possible leaks that might endanger servers.

a data center with great asset management tactics

Environmental monitoring lets you take action before risks turn into costly problems. Another global banking institution uses Nlyte as its DCIM platform. It works well for asset management but relies on an accurate source of data—just what RF Code provides.

Did you know? RF Code includes a range of environmental monitoring tools that detect temperature, humidity, and pressure at the rack level. You can also connect third-party sensors. RF Code’s unique wire-free solutions save time and money on network setup—it’s simple and secure while delivering real-time information around the clock.

Colocation companies also make use of RF Code for temperature and humidity monitoring. Colocation facilities rely on sensor data to assure their customers they meet service level agreements (SLAs) for these metrics—again, down to each rack. And with data more accurate than a BMS, you can trust active RFID as your source of truth.

Power Monitoring

Electricity ranks among the highest costs in a data center. It’s of growing importance as facilities grow larger and processors draw more power. Thus, power monitoring is critical for the safety and functionality of modern data centers.

Optimization of Power Use

The same North American banking institution that used environmental monitoring started using RF Code to improve its power monitoring. In preparing to consolidate resources, they wanted to know how much power each rack used, integrating the information into their data center software tools.

RF Code’s power monitoring sensors detect electrical conditions in IT facilities. One product detects the presence or absence of AC voltage. RF Code also offers an easy-to-install sensor that plugs into rack power distribution units (rDPU) to monitor metrics like active power and amperage. It captures information on a per power port level to determine the load and capacity of each circuit–among other components of a complete picture of power use.

The rPDU data is sent wirelessly through RF Code’s infrastructure, so you can see it in CenterScape and other software. You can also receive alerts and scheduled reports. The intelligent system automatically configures multiple rPDUs connected together without network administration, substantially cutting total costs.

a graphic showing how asset management helps with sustainability

Previous tools had made monitoring a giant exercise in spreadsheet management, lacking a central place to store all the data. RF Code automates data collection, combining it into a single source for asset management truth. This solution helped the banking company better understand their power needs at the rack level for over 25 data centers.

Now the financial company can pull reports when needed. The data is trustworthy and up-to-date; no more inconsistencies, inaccuracies, or stale data. And, of course, it costs less to have the active RFID system send the data to you instead of paying employees to walk around collecting data.

Did you know? RF Code power monitoring tells you whether the electricity in your racks efficiently delivers IT services to customers. It’s more accurate than the alternatives and sends real-time data into your DCIM. The wireless devices also save ports and cable expenses while reducing the environmental impact of unnecessary resource use.

Active RFID Sensors Are the Clear Solution

Active RFID solves many problems facing data centers when practicing asset management. The wireless technology enables automation to collect and visualize data throughout the facility. You can then feed the data into a DCIM platform as the single source of truth.

RF Code’s asset monitoring can pair with DCIM software from Nlyte or other providers or with your homegrown DCIM. It also integrates with IT service management (ITSM) software such as Service Now and building management systems (BMS).

Find Your Data Center Essentials With RF Code

A single source of asset management truth facilitates running an efficient and safe data center. RF Code’s active RFID is the premier solution for unifying asset data. It automatically detects and sends information from anywhere in your data center throughout the entire asset life cycle.

two business leaders discussing asset management

RF Code’s unique solution also features environmental monitoring and power monitoring. This way, you not only know where your expensive hardware is at all times, but you also know that it’s protected against threats.

Companies that deploy RF Code’s solution as their single source of truth see much higher inventory accuracy—over 99% data accuracy, to be exact. The financial savings from not having to replace lost equipment more than cover the system’s costs. There are also savings from automated audits and reconciliation, further sweetening the deal.

If you are interested in discussing your unique DCIM use cases or want to learn how RF Code can empower your DCIM with real-time data on asset location and environmental conditions, let’s set up a casual discovery call.