Using AssetTracker

AssetTracker is an RFID asset tracking solution specific to data centers that provides asset detection at the rack U-level. AssetTracker also provides a mobile friendly web application that allows users to receive assets into the data center as well as easily tag assets already in RAMP and in racks.

AssetTracker is installed automatically with RAMP. For information on installing AssetTracker hardware please contact support.

AssetTracker has several components:

  • AssetTracker rack module - this is a hardware module that is installed in the rack that receives asset tags
  • AssetTracker tag - this is the RFID tag that is placed on the module
  • AssetTracker data collector - this is the component that is installed with the data collector to manage communications to the AssetTracker modules
  • AssetTracker web application - this is the application that allows users to quickly and easily onboard assets into RAMP
  • AssetTracker manager - this is a dedicated page in RAMP to manage AssetTracker modules and view their status
  • AssetTracker ID field - this is a new field available for all physical assets which AssetTracker uses to track tags

Getting Started

After the AssetTracker modules have been installed and configured you will need to add AssetTracker ID’s to racks and assets.

  • For Racks - The AssetTracker ID field must match the AssetTracker’s module ID which is found on the side of the module and can be either scanned via a barcode scanner or entered manually.
  • For Assets - The AssetTracker ID field must match the ID of the tag affixed to the asset. The ID can be read by a QR reader.

Tagging Assets

When tagging assets, place the adhesive part of the tag onto the asset and make sure it is secure then place the tag itself on the AssetTracker module. You must place the tag on the topmost U-location occupied by the asset being tagged. For example, if you are tagging a 4-U device placed between locations 20 and 23, place the tag on location 23.

As soon as racks and assets have their assigned AssetTracker ID’s and tags placed on modules RAMP begins to track the location of tagged assets. Based on what tags are detected in which rack, RAMP will move the assets into the appropriate rack U location and log that in the asset’s changelog.

Handling Asset Collisions

Occasionally RAMP will not be able to move an asset into the location where it is detected. This could be due to:

  • Placing an asset tag in the incorrect location on a module
  • Incorrect model information for either the incoming asset, the existing asset or both
  • Non-tagged asset already exists in the location where the issue is detected

In the case where RAMP cannot move an asset to its detected location, it will issue a warning in the rack where the issue is detected. The warning will detail both the incoming and the existing asset so that the user can take the appropriate corrective action.

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Special Cases

RAMP will not be able to move an asset if the destination location is occupied by a cable management system, a shelf, or another non-tagged asset. If the destination location is a blanking panel or panels, the panel(s) will be deleted and the asset placed. If the destination location is occupied by a reserved asset, RAMP will try to determine if it is appropriate to merge the reserved asset with the incoming asset. If it can do so, the assets will be merged. Otherwise a collision warning will be issued.

AssetTracker Manager Page

AssetTracker Manager page is available in the RAMP settings menu. The AssetTracker Manager page provides an overview of the health of the AssetTracker subsystem and details any issues that require user intervention.

AssetTracker shows all modules in the AssetTracker subsystem and displays modules with warnings at the top in order to solicit user action. There are several cases where warnings are issued for modules:

  • Unknown module - this warning is issued when AssetTracker detects a module that is not associated to a rack
  • Unknown tag - this warning is issued when a tag is detected that is not associated with an asset
  • Heartbeat lost - this warning is issued when a module has not reported its status for more than 5 minutes
  • Collision detected - this warning is issued when AssetTracker cannot place an asset in its intended destination
  • Size mismatch - this warning is issued if a module reports a size that does not match the rack it is associated with

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Additionally, when a module is retired or replaced, a user can delete a module from the AssetTracker system.

AssetTracker Web Application

AssetTracker Web Application is available via the URL http(s)://ramp-server-url/AssetTracker

The web application requires a user with either “Admin” or “Power User” roles to login.

The web application provides two functions:

  • Add asset to RAMP - this function allows a user to very quickly add an asset to RAMP by providing basic information and scanning an AssetTracker QR Code and an asset serial number. Non-rackable assets can also be added to allow for a complete asset receiving function. If an asset is a newer model not available in RAMP, a new model can be created from within the web application. In this case the web application will require a few fields to create the model. Once the model is added it can be used to add the new asset. Because not all model information is required, a warning will be issued in RAMP to remind users so that the remaining model information is entered.
  • Tag assets - this function allows a user to quickly tag assets that already exist in RAMP and are placed in racks. To perform this function, a user selects a location and a rack and is presented with the rack’s elevation view detailing all the assets in the front. Using a QR Code scanner, the user can scan AssetTracker tags to each asset in the rack with ease.