1. Active RFID. The oldest and commonest solution in automated assets tracking and lifecycle management. Widely applicable to many industries, the active RFID tag is easy to deploy, the assets with active RFID tag can be positioned within several meters, that range is not 100% precise, but it's enough for low density management. And with the combination of portable scanner and fixed scanner, diverse functions can be realized. However, the fatal flaw of the active RFID is itself. The limited battery life means itself also need regular maintenance. Besides the long-term cost and complexity, the RF interference is also the reason why active RFID can't be accepted in some application.
2. Passive RFID. In DCIM, new generation passive RFID brings new possibility. With the technology to eliminate interference from metal, new generation passive RFID tag is able to be detected within even meters. Some company developed the precise tracking solution, can position the server to the exact rack unit. The precise positioning solution will improve operating efficiency by times. Although passive RFID can give DCIM so much convenience, the disadvantages are obvious too. The first is the inconvenience in deployment. The casing of different device is not the same, then the passive RFID tag has to be pasted on different position, in order to adapt to the detecting range of RFID reader. For every server rack, every server, the deploying process will be different, this is too complex for operator. Moreover, another problem cannot be solved by now is the RF interference. The massive RFID readers are transmitting signals all the time, besides the RF interference to servers, the readers will also interfere each other and consume much power. To summarize, passive RFID technology does have some advantages, but unless the RF interference and operation complexity are solved, it's still too early to enter the massive market.
3. MCRF. MCRF is an emerging solution for IDC assets tracking and management. Unlike active RFID or passive RFID, MCRF is the combination of magnet and RFID technology. The RFID is only used for identification, while the positioning is done by magnet detection. In MCRF Solution, RFID only works when server movement happens, so RF interference is eliminated. Amazingly, the positioning precision is even higher than passive RFID, can position each server to the exact rack unit. MCRF has all the features that IDC operation needs, but MCRF is a new technology, not many DCIM software integrated with it, and it is only applied in data centers by now. After the wide deployment, it's believed MCRF will be cheaper and be applicable to some industries other than IDC.