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How to Manage Your Inventory With Data Center Asset Tracking

By: Kaylie Gyarmathy on May 1, 2019

Today’s businesses often succeed or fail based on the quality of the information at their disposal. Having better data on hand makes it possible to make better decisions that allow companies to grow their existing market share and develop innovative services that reach out to new customers. A good IT infrastructure, whether as part of an on-premises data solution or through a colocation data center, is crucial to those decisions, but companies first need to make sure they have the right equipment and systems in place. With data center asset tracking, companies can continuously monitor their hardware inventory to ensure that they’re getting the very best performance.

Getting a Better Picture

There was a time when the only way to manage data center inventory was by laboriously reviewing assets by hand. Technicians had to spend a lot of time walking the data floor and checking individual servers to evaluate their status and performance. When it came time to relocate assets for any reason, whether the task involved moving servers from one rack to another or replacing them with newer hardware, documentation errors could easily happen. In some cases, that could mean causing problems by disconnecting certain network systems without realizing how they might impact each other. And in the worst case, it could mean relocating equipment and forgetting to account for where it was installed, causing a mad scramble when someone needed to get specific information about a piece of hardware.

Thanks to modern data center asset tracking technology, these problems are largely a thing of the past. Data center infrastructure management software and business intelligence platforms (like vXchnge’s award-winning in\site) make it possible for data center technicians to manage inventory and gain a comprehensive view of the data center environment at a moment’s notice. Asset tracking technology like RFID tracking tags and asset tracking IoT sensors not only provide the precise location of equipment at any given time, but also deliver real-time notifications when anything about its status changes.

For colocation customers, asset tracking systems allow them to make rapid decisions regarding their equipment based on the most up-to-date information available. Rather than having to visit the facility or call the data center manager, customers can access a software portal remotely to get a real-time picture of where their assets are located and how they’re performing. In some cases, they can even use a mobile app to monitor their colocated equipment and make adjustments to their deployments. As asset tracking IoT technology improves, this functionality may become even more common.

Maximum Visibility For Maximum Performance

Whether a company is managing its own on-premises data solution or colocating assets with a third-party data center, high visibility is critical to getting optimal performance out of its computing equipment. Simply dropping a few servers into a random cabinet rack somewhere on the data floor without any consideration for deployment efficiencies is bound to result in poor performance.

Sophisticated DCIM technology coupled with RFID tracking can create a comprehensive picture of the connectivity and power distribution capabilities of every data center deployment. This is incredibly valuable when it comes to migrating equipment into a facility or when moving existing assets into a new location. With real-time RFID tracking, both technicians and customers can monitor these deployments as they happen, which greatly reduces the chances of human error. Take, for example, the classic problem of someone disconnecting and moving the wrong server from the wrong cabinet. As soon as the door to that cabinet is opened, an alert notification can make it clear to everyone involved that a mistake is about to be made. By minimizing such errors, data center asset tracking can greatly reduce the risks of costly downtime.

These same notifications can also help speed up the process of issuing and resolving IT support tickets and scheduling routine maintenance tasks. A feature-rich asset tracking system makes it possible to monitor the day-to-day needs of equipment and infrastructure remotely. This is especially important for colocation customers who may not be able to physically access their assets quickly. When these features are incorporated into a software platform that also enables them to monitor power thresholds and network bandwidth, customers can realize all the benefits of having an on-premises data center without having to actually walk the data floor every day to evaluate its infrastructure.

Modern data center asset tracking is about so much more than simply knowing where servers are located. Good platforms have the ability to deliver actionable, real-time data that help businesses make better decisions about their infrastructure. Managing inventory is critical to performance, so companies looking to grow need to make sure that whatever asset tracking system they embrace provides them with total visibility into their operations and delivers the control they need to make critical decisions to enhance efficiency and performance.

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