Browse Prior Art Database

Method for automated indication of the physical location of computer systems

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000022121D
Publication Date: 2004-Feb-25
Document File: 5 page(s) / 57K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for automated indication of the physical location of computer systems. Benefits include improved functionality.

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Method for automated indication of the physical location of computer systems

Disclosed is a method for automated indication of the physical location of computer systems. Benefits include improved functionality.

Background

         Conventionally, systems do not have an automated means to discover physical location.

         Asset identification is an important issue for information technology (IT) departments and data centers. They service and support many compute systems servers, networking systems, and storage systems. For example, one large IT group estimated it has 34,000 to 45,000 servers. However, it could not specify the exact number of servers with more accuracy and was not sure about the physical location of many of these servers.

         Lack of automation makes asset identification error prone and expensive. Systems are tagged with an asset number, and the physical location of these systems is tracked manually. These processes take considerable amounts of valuable time. Errors, the lack of quick updates, and downtime spent locating a failed system cause tremendous expense to IT departments that already have limited resources and stretched budgets.

         The system’s physical location is required for maintenance, upgrades, and support for a failed system. Immediate knowledge of geographical location of system is key for a short downtime and mean time to repair (MTTR). For many systems involved in e-commerce, downtime can be measured in terms of millions of dollars in lost revenue. Many systems have management software and operating systems sophisticated enough to indicate failure, but without the geographical location of a failed system, service cannot be deployed in a timely manner.

General description

         The disclosed method provides the geographical location of a computer system to an administrator or management software. The time required for asset identification and the identification of a failed system or a system that requires upgrade or support is reduced.

Advantages

         Some implementations of the disclosed structure and method provide one or more of the following advantages:

•         Improved functionality due to automatically providing the physical location information for a computer system

•         Improved functionality due to supporting the asset identification process

•         Improved functionality due to enabling the timely maintenance, repair, and upgrading of computer systems

Detailed description

         The disclosed method identifies the physical location of a computer system using several pieces of hardware, including:

•         GPS locator

•         Barcode reader

•         Optical signal

•         RFID system

GPS locator

         In many places, the universal global positioning system (GPS) signal may be available. A system may have an integrated receiver for the GPS signal. However, several issues occur with this method. The GPS signal m...