Knowing which assets are still actually installed (and running) as well as where they are located is crucial for optimizing efficiency in a data center. IT Asset Management entails detailed management of inventory, financial records, and contractual data related to IT assets throughout lifecycle.
IT Asset Management is a very complex topic. In this post, we will focus on IT Asset Management in data centers, specifically related to physical inventory verification.
Verasset routinely performs physical inventory verification services for large clients operating data centers around the world.
Below we will address 5 primary issues our clients are looking to address within their data centers;
1. Updating CMDB, CMMS, and operational asset tracking database(s)
Whether you are tracking your data center assets in a central repository, or keep various de-centralized spreadsheets (or both), your data needs to be regularly reconciled and updated. With perpetual build-outs, moves, and refreshes, your data center is a dynamic environment. Performing regular physical inventories will keep your data current.
2. Quickly locate idle and damaged equipment
This is particularly problematic in large, decentralized data centers. Data center professionals manage a large number of assets. When assets are taken offline for any number of reasons, they can very easily become misplaced, out of site, and out of mind. Wall-to-wall cyclical physical inventory audits will help to locate idle equipment and enable data center managers to make informed decisions on what to do with them. A physical inventory of data center assets should include, at a minimum, a detailed accounting of assets that are;
- Racked and In Production
- Racked but are Not In Production
- Unracked (sitting on the floor)
- Unusable (broken)
3. Reconcile financial fixed asset records
Your Finance team can also benefit from the physical inventory. The results can be used to reconcile financial records, such as the Fixed Asset Register. The equipment found in a data center represents a significant investment to your business. Reconciliation will ensure that your books align with your environment.
4. Deployment of Automatic Data Capture Technologies (RFID and or Barcode)
During physical inventory is the ideal time to deploy and/or update automatic data capture technologies, such as bar coding, RFID, CMDB and asset tracking software, if you do not have something currently in place. If you have are already using these technologies, it is a perfect time to ensure they are working as intended and making updates as needed. This can mean tagging new/untagged assets, updating CMDB and asset tracking records, and reporting on discrepancies.
5. Get an accurate and up-to-date inventory of spares
During physical inventory of fixed assets is also an ideal time to get an accurate inventory of spare parts (spares). Spares have a tendency to scatter throughout a data center. While we sometimes find them neatly arranged on shelves and bins in storage, we more often find them on tables, rolling carts, and floors.