HP Tracks Servers With RFID Chips
October 18th, 2006 By: Rich Miller
Hewlett-Packard has developed technology to track servers and other data center equipment with radio frequency ID chips (RFID, and has tested the system at Meijer, a grocery chain with almost 200 stores.
HP’s RFID solution was used to track several hundred of the company’s servers in its data center, said Cyril Brignone, a project manager for HP, which is based in Palo Alto, Calif. “We have created the first real-time automatic asset tracking solution for the data center,” Brignone told eWEEK. “We were able to track any asset down to the rack where it was located.”
HP said the technology isn’t ready for commercial use, calling the Meijer installation a “proof of concept” test. HP said it has also been using a similar solution in its own internal supply chain. I could see this technology being really useful during data center migrations and relocations, particularly in a move like that undertaken by Bloglines when it relocated from California to Massachusetts last December.
Curtis Stuart, EV1′s data center manager, had the same idea when I used to work there. Even before merging with ThePlanet, they had 25,000+ pieces of hardware plus an enormous inventory of parts. RFID totally makes sense. I think Curtis found it cost prohibitive though.
SBC deployed a RFID tag tracking system in their IDCs in 2000. They stuck a tag on all incoming equipment at the loading dock so it could be accounted for until the customer picked up the equipment. If they wanted to leave it on, they could…but servers don’t usually move once they are racked. They also stuck a tag in the badges of every customer so they could be tracked from the security station using the same system.