Monday, July 2, 2012

Building out DC Insight - Asset Management

I have been nerding-out over the weekends busy building out our solution for Asset Management. The ideas is to combine RFID technology, centralized software, and import/export capability with excel help data center operators manage their IT assets.
From my experience with working on DC Insight Monitoring solution working on the Active RFID hardware, integrating the hardware into the solution was a relatively straightforward process.
Over the pass few weeks, I focused my energy in building out the integration with the Passive RFID hardware, which requires a little bit more work.

After some hard work, I am proud to provide the first screenshot of the handheld software.

The idea is to allow the user to quickly scan the server rack and find out whether all the equipment are there. What this requires is a RFID tag for each server equipment and a RFID location marker tag. Here is what happens when a use scans the rack:

  • Handheld software picks up the tag id scanned and call out to the centralized software through the WIFI connection to retrieve the tag information, i.e. is it an Asset tag, Location marker tag or a tag not in the system at all.
  • Once a location tag is identified, the software checks to see whether current asset tags are at their expected location. Again, the expected location are stored in the central software.
  • Pull the list of expected asset at this location from the central software and see whether their are equipment missing.
  • Sort and color code the result, e.g.
    • Location tag (blue): place at the top of the list
    • Unexpected tags (various color in the middle): place in the middle to allow user to quickly see all the issues.
    • Expected tags (green): at the bottom.
If all goes well, the user should see just one blue row at the top and all other rows are green. Checking your asset status should literally just take seconds.