RFID and IT Sustainability?

What does RFID and IT Sustainability have to do with one another? Intel IT is using RFID to track our assets in order to help us lower our carbon footprint. I asked my colleagues Rob to share the detail behind using RFID and some of the success we have had:

Asset Accuracy with Location Based Services

Is there sustainability value to be gained from upgrading your data centers  to track assets with a Location Based Service (LBS) such as RFID? The answer is a resounding "YES". As we have begun proliferating RFID within our DC's and increasing our tracking accuracy to 100%, we are now able to use the visibility that LBS is providing us to add solid numbers that can be used for accurate capacity planning. Prior to implementing RFID, our audit system was a very manual process and a difficult burden on the employees. They would print out documents and walk the floor to validate the location of a sample set of assets within the Data Centers. 100% validation was rarely done, and was only done in spot cases where accuracy levels were suspected to be below an 80% "target". Also important to note is that our audits were book to floor only, and did not identify or correct any EOL assets that were still plugged in pulling power.

After re-vamping our DC and introducing Location Based Service tracking, we have transformed our process from a simplistic tracking mechanism into a powerful visibility resource that provides us direct actionable information. We now can do 100% floor to book and book to floor validation without burdening the employees. To give some examples of the numbers we pulled right after install that are relevant to planning DC power:

  • 17% of our assets were documented in an incorrect DC and are now correct.
  • 28% of the assets we expected to see in the DC weren't there, so their association was removed.
  • 2% of our assets were expected to be retired, but were still found to be in the DC pulling power.

Obviously the variability in these numbers make used to make any actual planning difficult. Our DC planners had been forced to use general plan instead of actual plan numbers. But now that we have upgraded to an LBS methodology for collecting actual numbers, we are managing DC planning (including power planning) much more efficiently.

Location Based Services is definitely a growth opportunity for IT for a multitude of reasons, and I’m very interested in collaborating with other companies that are doing any work in this space.
---- Rob Colby - Intel LBS/RFID Architect.