What is a KVM switch? We talk about it very often, but sometimes it is also good to review the fundamentals. In this article we offer you an overview of this type of product, very useful in the work of system integrators.
KVM switches are among the most widespread products of the ATEN brand. But what is it about? In short, a KVM switch is a productivity-enhancing, space-saving (and money-saving) device by allowing you to use multiple computers with a single keyboard, monitor, and mouse set. KVM stands for “keyboard, video (monitor), mouse”. The main function of a KVM switch is to allow the operator to easily switch from one computer to another and manage multiple PCs or servers via a single keyboard, complete with monitor and mouse.
The KVM switch has hardware, software and other integrated technologies that ensure a smooth transition between all connected computers, and essentially arises from the need to save space (by reducing the equipment needed to control a system) while simultaneously providing increased efficiency.
Therefore, the main advantages of using a KVM switch are:
• control of multiple computers/servers: users can quickly and easily access two or even many more PCs or servers from the keyboard, monitor and mouse configuration;
• reduction in footprint: fewer keyboards, monitors and mice mean more free space on the desk;
• cost savings, as there is no need to invest in additional IT equipment;
• peripheral Support: Some KVM switches support convenient USB peripherals, eliminating the need for separate USB hubs for charging devices such as tablets or smartphones.
But how exactly does a KVM switch work? Quickly said: when a PC is started, the operating system automatically attempts to detect the input signals from the keyboard, mouse and monitor. Since the primary function of a KVM switch is to use a single set of keyboard, monitor, and mouse to boot multiple PCs, the switch ensures that the emulated keyboard and mouse signals reach each PC and that there is no effect on PC CPU operations. In addition, the KVM switch provides stable video resolution, supports multiple computer platforms and operating systems, and is capable of interfacing with many different brands of keyboards, mice and monitors. KVM switches offer models from 2 to 64 ports, allowing you to connect 2 to 64 computers to a single device and, in turn, to a single set of keyboard, monitor and mouse. Of course, the amount of ports must be determined according to the application: a 4-port KVM switch, for example, is ideal for a desk, while a model with 8, 16 or 64 ports is more suitable for a server room.
There are, however, various types of KVM switches for various applications. To name just the main ones, we have KVM over-IP for remote server management, KVM Matrix or KVM over-IP for control room applications, KVM multi-viewer for control and video editing centers, multi-display KVM for offices. financial, banking and commercial, protected KVMs for government and military agencies and, finally, special KVMs for production lines. In short, there is a switch for all tastes, which explains why ATEN offers a huge selection in its catalog.
This post is also available in: Italian