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RFID is a technology that uses radio frequencies to transmit and receive signals. This technology is often leveraged in business to associate and track assets. There are several components that make up an RFID solution, the tags, the readers and software.
How you use them. There are many types of scanners on the market that will read both Barcode and RFID tags. Barcodes are optical (line of sight) while RFID is radio frequency. Tags come in varying sizes and shapes but Barcodes must be read by placing the scanner directly in front of a tag and it has the ability to read a single tag within a couple of inches of a barcode while RFID can be read over a much wider area and you can read hundreds of RFID tags concurrently.
Where you use them. There are many different applications for RFID but the two (2) main types of RFID tags deployed in the data centers are Active RFID TAG (battery powered) and Passive RFID TAG (no battery power – these tags get low energy power from a transmitter). These tags used in data centers range from the size of a small fingernail to boxes similar to the tags used for tolls in an automobile.
Famous IT answer… It depends. There are several types of tags. There are many considerations such as the type of surface you are affixing the tag, the type of racks you use and expected results of the tags performance. There are some tags manufactured for specific areas of the world on different frequencies. Evaluating your situation and objectives will help determine the best tag for your needs.
No. There are many devices in data centers today that already have RFID tags embedded in them such as security cameras and technology equipment. The FCC in the US (and their counterparts in other countries) keep tight control over the acceptable frequency ranges. At Asset Vue we have over 1,000,000 assets under management in data centers today.
A lifetime. A ‘Passive RFID Tag’ solution can last the lifespan of the equipment. An ‘Active Tag’ solution requires battery replacements periodically. Some require a complete change out of the tag. An active tag lifespan depends on the amount of use the tags gets but the average life of a battery is estimated at between 2-5 years.
Yes. The solution has the ability to leverage either barcode and/or RFID. The real advantage of the RFID solution is it allows the user to read multiple tags via radio waves rather than having to scan each barcode to obtain critical information.
Yes. We can leverage existing information to build the database and validate information. In addition the data structure is configurable by the customer which allows flexibility to adapt to your business, not the other way around as it is with other tools.
The difference is in where you may want to use them. Our cart solution allows the user to roam throughout a large data center scanning assets with the wand attached to the base of the cart and the master control box. This wand is intended solely for the purpose of reading RFID Tags and transmitting the information to the cart for presentation on the screen. The mobile handheld scanner allows a customer the ability to scan devices in the same manner as the cart. It is not connected directly to any device so there is no visual, only data presented on a single device until the information is downloaded for a visual presentation at a later time.