Media, entertainment and communications company Comcast Corp. has begun employing radio frequency identification to manage nearly 6,000 IT assets at a 20,000-square-foot data center, with installations currently underway at two additional data centers, located in Colorado and Illinois, expected to be completed this year. The solution manages location data regarding all IT assets within the center, as well as provide alerts to those conducting inventories, thereby indicating when a server is not at its expected location.
Asset-management accuracy is of high value at Comcast, explains Richard Werner, Comcast Cable's executive director of data-center management, but manual audits of the servers within the data center (conducted quarterly) could take weeks to complete. To accomplish that task, employees would have to open every data cabinet (or rack) and use a magnifying glass and a flashlight to read each serial number, make and model, and then manually record that information, along with each asset's location, on paper. The RFID solution enables workers to simply read the tags, and the read data is forwarded to the software, in which the tag ID is linked to details about each asset. That information is then fed to the facility's existing data-center infrastructure management software.
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