Passive and Active RFID tags are different technologies that are often evaluated together.

Both types of RFID tags use Radio Frequency (RF) energy to communicate between the tag and readers. Passive RFID tags receives radio waves from a reader and, powered by that, transmits information to the reader. Active RFID tags, on the other hand, have their own battery power source to continuously transmit data to a receiver.

Bannor_oneActive RFID tags are a good fit for tracking some kinds of assets, specifically those that are dispersed widely or potentially are unreachable by a human with a tag reader. They are more expensive because each tag has its own power source, but this type of RFID tags allow for a wider range of additional features, such as their own LED light.

However, active RFID tags are not a good fit for other applications, and in fact, the cheaper and simpler passive RFID technology is a more functional and economical fit for any data center. The key is real-time asset tracking capabilities.

Real-time asset tracking is not tenable with active RFID solutions


There are some ingrained myths out there about the limitations of passive RFID technology, but the truth is this can absolutely be the best solution for any data center. With new developments in technology, the passive RFID tags provide long-range tracking capabilities along with a dependable solution that will last the lifetime of the asset.

For example, you might think your active RFID tag battery will last 5 years, but that can vary wildly depending on how often the tag is polled. The more often data is requested from the tag, the more energy is used and the faster the battery drains.

So trying to get real-time data on the location and status of an asset via an active RFID is going to drain your battery much faster than you might think. The loss of battery signal means the tag goes down and your visibility is gone. IOn order to get asset tracking back online, you’ll need processes to follow to track tags as batteries are drained and tags go down, and replace those batteries as needed.

Would you want to make a solution acquisition, only to lose the capability of that solution as a result of battery failure?

Passive RFID tags provide real-time tracking visibility

While passive RFID tags have limitations as outlined above, they are the only realistic solution for implementing an asset tracking system that gives your team real-time visibility into data center asset statuses.

Tag readers installed at doorways and throughout aisles can ping a passive RFID tag anytime to get instant insight it its location and status. When an asset is moved from one room to another, doorway portals log that activity, powering the passive tag with another ping.

In a data center, there’s no need for individually powered active tags that may or may not run out of power as you try to continuously monitor location and status. Passive RFID tags allow you to achieve the real-time tracking results you want while removing the liability of losing power across your asset tracking solution.

Real Time Rack from Asset Vue leverages Passive RFID technology to give our clients immediate, real-time visibility into every corner of their data centers. Find out how your data center can benefit from Real Time Rack today – get a free 30-minute consultation with an expert from Asset Vue today.