What is a KVM?
KVM stands for Keyboard, Video and Mouse, and a KVM Switch allows you to control two or more computers from a single keyboard, monitor and mouse. KVM Switches are sometimes also known as PC Switches, Server Switches and CPU Switches.
If you need to control multiple PC’s, one at a time, then a KVM switch will:
- Reduce the space and clutter taken up by multiple keyboards and monitors.
- Save equipment costs – a KVM switch is far cheaper than multiple monitors.
- Use less electricity.
- Produce less heat
Why do I need a KVM Switch?
It is becoming increasingly common for users to have a group of servers that they only access infrequently and providing each server with its own keyboard, monitor and mouse requires the purchase of unnecessary hardware as well as taking up valuable space and using power. But anyone needing to control more than one computer will benefit from a KVM switch, savings in hardware alone will cover the purchase price plus the hidden savings in time and energy. There are several other substantial benefits from using a KVM switch: you can access all your computers through your best monitor, keyboard and mouse; KVM makes life easier – you work from one desk simply switching between computers and KVM helps improve productivity by running different applications on different computers simultaneously.
Why not use a manual switch?
Manual switches don’t have a two-way communication with the mouse and keyboard, when the computer powers on it looks for a response from the mouse and keyboard, an intelligent KVM switch emulates the connection electronically and sets their functionality and characteristics. With a manual switch the connection is lost every time it’s switched off, or if you flip the switch, the switches have very limited functionality and are not recommended.
What should I Consider Before Choosing a KVM Switch
There is a considerable choice of KVM Switches designed and developed for different end user needs. The key factors in choosing the right Switch for your needs are:
- How many ports are needed?
- How many users will need access to the connected computers?
- Which platforms need to be supported by the switch?
- Consider which method of selecting PC’s through the switch suits your method of working best. I.E. is the switch going to be close at hand or out of sight?
- How many computers do I want to control?
- Do I need a high screen resolution for my application?
- Do I want the switch on my desk or remotely controlled from a rack?
- Am I likely to increase the number of computers under my control so I’ll need to cascade multiple switches with no loss of data quality?
- Do I need an on-screen display to make channel selection easier?
- How far from my desk will my computers be?
- Do I need a local keyboard, monitor and mouse connection for controlling the computers when I’m in the server room?
- Do I operate in a multi-platform environment and need to switch between systems?
Click here to see our selection of KVM switches.