Automated data centre inventory tracking

22 February 2022

A worldwide ICT-company needed to automate how their servers were tracked and managed. With thousands of high value ICT assets in play, the ability to report without error on real-time asset whereabouts proved essential for both commercial success and compliance. In addition, the company was looking for ways to enhance cable maintenance intervention speed and accuracy.

Solution: custom on-metal UHF RFID and NFC labels

Custom, passive RFID labels on every asset, combined with fixed scanners at all datacenter exits provide accurate, real-time tracking. Print-and-program printers in a central location enable the company to label any new assets immediately with reliable, custom RFID labels to maintain a complete overview at the click of a button.

Brady can customise its RFID labels entirely so they can fit the needs of any customer. The L-2588-25C on-metal UHF RFID label with a 3 metre read range can be supplied to label all servers and flat surface assets. The label is equipped with an insulation layer to avoid interference between metal surfaces and its RFID antenna. The label is constructed using a reliable polyester that will stay attached and remain legible in datacenter environments.

Scanner gates were set up at all exits and entrances to help track server movement from a central location. Captured data are automatically added or removed from datacenter inventory lists.

The UHF RFID labels are printed and encoded on site using specialised UHF RFID print-and-program printers. These enable the ICT-company to equip each RFID label with a unique number for automated, accurate tracking of any labelled asset.

A custom HF RFID, or NFC, flag label can be added to identify cables with a smartphone or NFC pin point reader in close proximity. It enables datacenter technicians to quickly verify which cables to replace, to switch equipment smoothly, and to access complete source & destination information as well as cable history. In addition, Brady offers NFC enabled printers to encode and print HF RFID, or NFC, labels.

Results: Automated inventory management with custom RFID labels

Relevant asset locations, time-stamps, and other data are available in real-time at the click of a button. Staff no longer have to manually count assets and can assess a site’s entire ICT inventory in a couple of hours, instead of weeks. The data also enable the company to prevent errors in asset movement through automatic alerts generated via the supporting software. This increases overall efficiency and decreases labour cost. Additionally, compliance with various regulations worldwide is easier when whereabouts on the entire ICT inventory are available almost immediately in a central location.