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Device-driven Graphical Rendering of Rack Systems and Physical Assets

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000238328D
Publication Date: 2014-Aug-18
Document File: 3 page(s) / 48K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is an efficient and cost-effective design for an apparatus and method that dynamically generate a graphical representation of a server rack and its contents, via a software data model that is created and updated by the compute assets. The compute assets installed in the rack use several methods to determine the associated physical position within the rack.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 51% of the total text.

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Device-driven Graphical Rendering of Rack Systems and Physical Assets

A critical systems management function within a data center environment is to provide a real time, accurate view of myriad computing assets and other devices. A typical data center consists of physical rack units wherein a collection of computing and related assets is housed. For a data center administrator, having a real time understanding and graphical representation of these rack units and the exact computing assets contained in each is invaluable.

Current approaches to do this employ expensive sensors and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags to facilitate asset location awareness within a rack. This makes existing solutions prohibitively expensive in some cases.

A low-cost and highly reliable system and method of compute device-initiated rendering of the graphical rack view is needed.

The novel contribution is a design for an apparatus and method for dynamically generating a graphical representation of a rack and its contents via a software data model that is created and updated by the compute assets. The compute assets installed in the rack use several methods (e.g., an image scan of the physical rack via a mobile device) to determine the associated physical position within the rack. The compute assets in a rack then use intelligent service processors to provide this information to a data model in a remote software entity. The remote software entity then creates a real-time graphical view of the rack server that is always synchronized with the physical assets. This design is highly efficient and more cost effective than existing designs.

The novel design is comprised of the following:


 A computer rack system, similar to those typically used in a data center


 Compute assets such as a server with an Intelligent Management Module (IMM)


 Optional assets and peripheral devices such as a storage enclosure


 A barcode or quick response (QR) code label indicating each unit (U) position along a typical 42-U rack enclosure. Alternatively, a rail system containing a variation of 1 to 42-pin structure along its sides, each representing the U location in the rack, can be used.


 A camera or scanning device (e.g., a mobile phone) that can correlate the U position with the actual asset installed in that position. Alternatively, the design can employ an appropriately placed 42-dimple pad on the installed asset that connects to the pin structure when the asset is in proper position.


 A remote software application that provides a mechanism whereby the rack mounted assets may establish a network connection and update a data model of the rack


 A remote software application that utilizes the data model to render a graphical image of the rack

In a preferred embodiment, to implement the apparatus and method for dynamically

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generating a graphical representation of a rack and its contents:

1. Within physi...