Research: RFID Moving Into The Data Center

IT managers are increasingly finding value in using RFID within their own IT operations. This is spurring adoption of RFID in data centers and across corporate campuses.

IT assets are key infrastructure for any modern business and IT managers need to be certain that equipment is documented, traceable and secure. Detailed, accurate and regular auditing of IT assets is a necessity. At most companies this still an expensive, largely manual process, but RFID can deliver quicker, more detailed and more accurate day-to-day management of these important operational assets.

“RFID IT asset tracking is starting to gain momentum in data centers. Managing and auditing this equipment is a serious pain point for IT departments, and automating those applications with RFID can drive clear ROI,” said ABI Research principal analyst Jonathan Collins. “The environment also suits RFID: the density of valuable equipment within a restricted area limits the cost and increases the efficiency of an RFID deployment. Once RFID is deployed in the data center there is a base for RFID tagging to extend further within IT asset management across an organization’s IT infrastructure."

IT asset tracking, currently just a fraction of a percent of the worldwide RFID asset tracking market, will grow to take more than a 10 percent stake by the end of 2013. Both passive and active RFID offerings will be used. Some deployments may even employ a mix of both technologies, but improvements in passive UHF system capabilities and the technology’s lower equipment costs mean it will lead shipment volumes and revenues.

RFID vendors and systems integrators are offering a range of products from specialized tags and software to systems design and integration. What’s more, IT equipment manufacturers -- so far including HP and IBM -- are offering RFID tagging as part of their product specification, and tagging will increasingly be an option many IT managers will look for when specifying their new equipment.

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