About the client

Large data centers house 50,000 to 80,000 or more servers, and service providers typically have multiple large facilities. At each site, those servers are refreshed approximately every three to five years, according to the Uptime Institute Global Data Center Survey 2020.

"Servers may be among the components most vulnerable to damage, but even server racks can be harmed - especially if they are moved while loaded."

The stakes were high and the company needed to reduce damages

With such vast numbers of servers, it’s important to ensure they arrive from their manufacturers in pristine condition, ready to be installed.

Throughout the logistics industry, 2-3% of all shipments are damaged in some way. Those costs add up, and trickle throughout the data center.

For example, a typical server rack cabinet can hold 42 1’ servers or 16 2.5” servers each costing $10,000-$20,000 a piece. The value of a crate holding a rack of servers could exceed $250,000. These high-end servers are complex, containing multiple drives, processors (with up to 28 cores per processor), sockets, and power supplies. Therefore, there are hundreds of circuits, connections and solders that may be fractured by impact. Even foam packaging that flakes off because of friction-induced vibrations can infiltrate servers and lead to damage. 

Now imagine a crate of these special servers being bumped by a forklift during transport. Without a way to know the impact occurred, servers with hidden damage may be placed into service, only to fail later. The Uptime Institute’s survey indicated 40% of outages cost their organizations between $100,000 and $1 million. As the survey showed, those costs are rising.

ShockWatch RFID

A future-proof solution was found

With stakes that significant, high-uptime web providers often affix multiple indicators per crate to capture impacts at multiple angles. If impacts occur, having multiple indicators provides overwhelming proof of impacts at specific, selected thresholds that range from 5Gs to 75Gs. In fact, damage often is reduced by 40-60 percent!

By using ShockWatch® RFID passive tags to monitor each shipment of servers, components, and server racks damages were significantly reduced. The company's goals to prevent damage as well as to identify hidden damage before servers are installed, was achieved.

Data centers and web service providers consider the combination of RFID with impact sensors as future-proofing. Even though RFID isn’t evenly deployed throughout their supply chains, they are confident it will be. They expect their partners to be prepared. Therefore, they specify that ShockWatch RFID passive tags monitor each shipment of equipment coming to them from their manufacturing partners, even when the carrier or receiving site isn’t RFID-ready.

Interested in some of the packaging that made our solution a success?

Our customers are number one priority. That's why we only offer the best quality solutions and products. 

Become our next success story and arrange a consultation today.

Speak to an expert