What is a KVM Switch?May 5, 2020
A KVM Switch is an electronic device that allows you to control multiple computers or servers with a single keyboard, mouse and monitor. KVM Switches can usually be found in IT departments or server rooms where space is limited and a keyboard, mouse and monitor cannot be connected to each individual server or computer.
Most KVM Switches require you to purchase cables unless they include them in the box. Some 2 port KVM’s have built-in cables which are ideal for home users. No additional cables are required and you have the ability to manage 2 computers or servers easily with one KVM. When purchasing a KVM Switch you should always check what kind of cables are required. Some KVM’s require proprietary cables which are only provided by the same manufacturer of the KVM.
KVM Switches can come in different styles and include various features. They can be as small as a 3″ by 3″ box which allows you to control 2 PC’s, to large rackmount units which allow you to control 64 or 128 servers or computers. KVM’s can also be daisy-chained which is done by connecting one KVM to another. This allows you to control an even higher amount of servers and computers.
Multi-monitor KVM’s have also been designed which connect to servers or computers with multiple built-in video cards. This allows two monitors to be connected to a single KVM which would then display video from both video cards in each server or computer.
Another functionality of some KVM’s is DVI support. If your computer or server supports DVI (Digital Vision Interface) which provides you with a clearer image, some KVM’s like the KVM712DV can control up to 4 DVI server or computers. This is especially ideal for graphic designers, web designers and engineers.
KVM Switches can also come equipped in a Console like design. The KVM would include an LCD monitor along with a built-in keyword and touchpad mouse. External mice can usually be connected as well via a port on the front or back of the console. The KVM Console can then be installed in a rack that allows the IT department to cut back on valuable space in server rooms.
With many servers and PC’s turning from PS/2 connectors to USB, KVM’s have also adapted to meet these standards. USB mice and keywords can be connected to some KVM’s. The KVM614UP is one such model which allows USB peripherals to be used.
KVM Switches can help your IT department to save valuable space in server rooms and allow each server and computer to be easily maintained from one location with one keyboard, mouse and monitor. They can include a wide variety of benefits to all PC users in any industry. With units starting as low as $20 USD, they are an ideal solution for home users, small business and even corporate businesses.