Asset Tracking

Raritan Introduces Intelligent Asset Tags and Sensors

September 1, 2011

Tags, sensors keep track of data center servers and supporting IT infrastructure for accurate, automated, real-time inventory.

SOMERSET, NJ -- Raritan announced the general availability of the first intelligent Asset Management Tag and Sensor solution for improving data center asset management by providing accurate, real-time information on all IT assets and their locations.

With a large number of IT devices and a great variety of equipment, data center moves, adds, and changes are challenging. Accurate records on where servers are located in racks and the power chain associated with servers are not always available. In fact, in larger data centers up to 25 percent of IT assets can go missing because of difficulty tracking IT assets. This translates into underutilized rack space and capacity, contributes to ghost servers, as well as wasted time locating equipment.

To more efficiently manage IT assets, Raritan developed an easy way to add more intelligence and infrastructure management capabilities to data center racks. Raritan's new intelligent Asset Management Tag (AMT), the size of a small mailing label, adheres to a server and connects to an Asset Management Sensor (AMS) attached to a rack rail. The solution tells operators the unique ID of the server and exactly where that server is located in the data center, down to the 1U level in a rack. The solution also indicates any moves or changes. If the server is moved to a new location in the same rack or to a different rack, its new location is automatically recognized when the tag is connected to the sensor at the new location.

Raritan's new asset management solution also provides visual guidance to help with equipment adds, moves, changes, reconfigurations or repairs. The sensor has RGB LED lights at each one rack unit (1U) to indicate what action should be taken. For example, a green light might indicate the available location for a server installation. This location could have been chosen by asset management software, such as Raritan's dcTrack DCIM which takes into account not only open space in a rack, but also sufficient electrical power, cooling and network connections. An installer can quickly find the correct space by looking for color-coded indication lights among rows of racks. Different colors can be used for other change-management processes. For example, a red blinking LED could be used to indicate a server maintenance request.

According to Director of Raritan's Energy Management Business Herman Chan, "Even modest-size data centers have an enormous number of IT assets, from servers to storage to networking equipment, that need to be tracked. Often this is done ad hoc, using Excel spreadsheets and Visio diagrams, and becomes very labor intensive. There are some software programs available that are designed for the purpose of tracking IT equipment. However, if just a few moves, adds or changes are not recorded it can make the asset tracking system inaccurate and not useful. It quickly becomes challenging to know which assets exist in the data center and where they are located. Efficient data center management begins with smarter racks. Our new intelligent Asset Management Tag and Sensor solution automatically detects asset moves, adds, and changes, which improves accuracy and minimizes the hours needed to track IT assets or conduct audits."

How Raritan's Intelligent Asset Management Solution Works
Raritan Asset Management Tags (AMT) adhere to servers and other IT devices. Each tag contains a unique ID chip and scannable ID barcode. Associated with the unique ID is the IT device's asset record—where a variety of information can be stored, including serial number, repair records, maintenance agreement and lease terms. At the rack, the Asset Management Tags are connected to Asset Management Sensors (AMS), which "senses" the tag's unique ID, as well as the connected asset's physical location within a rack, and provides that information to Raritan's dcTrack DCIM software or third-party asset management tools. A SNMP-based communications protocol is available for standards-based open communications. AMS bars support a variety of rack sizes, and can be installed on the left- or right-hand side of a rack without tools.

Inventory information collected by the new Asset Management Tag and Sensor system can be updated in Raritan's dcTrack database (CMDBs). dcTrack not only tracks data center assets, but it also maps physical relationships between devices to easily see how everything in the data center is physically connected. With its new "Search, Place and Reserve" capability, dcTrack users can quickly and easily search for and reserve space, power and network connectivity for all IT assets.

About Raritan
Raritan is a proven innovator of power management, infrastructure management, KVM and serial solutions for data centers of all sizes. In more than 50,000 locations worldwide, Raritan's award-winning hardware and software solutions—including intelligent rack PDUs; energy management software; DCIM software solutions to effectively manage data center capacity, assets and change; KVM-over-IP, and Serial-over-IP access products—provide IT and facility directors, managers and administrators with the control they need to increase power management efficiency, improve data center productivity and enhance branch office operations. Based in Somerset, N.J., Raritan has offices worldwide serving customers in 76 countries. Raritan is an active member of the Green Grid, Climate Savers Computing Initiative, and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design associations. The company was recognized by the EPA for its contribution to the agency's data center initiative.

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