KVM switches allow you to control multiple computers from a single keyboard, monitor and mouse, increasing productivity, saving space and money. This exclusive feature also provides IT administrators with multiple computers or servers, centralized real-time updates and maintenance.
You may have just established a new home office or started working at a new company. And because of the demands of work, you must use two (sometimes three) computers at the workstation. But setting up three monitors, three keyboards, and three mice would overcrowd your desk, and you'd have to live with the hassle of moving between each computer. Or maybe you're working in a data center where you need to switch hundreds or even thousands of servers in rack cabinets facing servers on a rack. How can this be done? What if there was a device that would allow you to quickly and easily access two, three or even multiple computers using just one monitor, keyboard and mouse? Yes, this kind of device is called a KVM switch.
Introduction to KVM
KVM stands for "Keyboard, Video (Monitor), Mouse". The primary function of a KVM switch is to control, switch, and manage multiple PCs or servers through a single keyboard, monitor, and mouse (also known as a "console").
Basically, a KVM switch is a box-like hardware device that connects a set of keyboards, monitors, and mice to two or more computers. The computer is connected to the switch, and the switch is connected to the keyboard, monitor, and mouse.
To switch between different computers or servers, users can press buttons on the KVM switch, shortcut keys on the keyboard, mouse wheel, or through the monitor program on the screen. Whichever method you choose to switch, you can easily and quickly switch to a different computer using the same keyboard, mouse, and monitor settings.
KVM switch to ensure smooth switching process, keyboard, monitor and mouse can work with each computer in real time.
Benefits of Using a KVM Switch
Usually if you need to control multiple computers or servers, you need to buy multiple sets of keyboards, mice and monitors. Maybe your desk is big enough to hold 2 or even 4 computers, each with its own monitor, keyboard and mouse. But what if you need to control 6, 8, or even dozens of computers? Or, in a server room, it would be very impractical to have a console for each server because it would take up a lot of rack space - so it wouldn't be the most efficient arrangement. Also, having a large row of monitors, keyboards, and mice on a desk or server rack can be quite cluttered and take up a lot of valuable space. Therefore, the purpose of "inventing" the KVM switch is to save space, cost and improve efficiency.
As you can see, the main benefits of using a KVM switch are:
Control Multiple Computers/Servers
Users can quickly and easily access 2 or more computers or servers through one set of keyboard, monitor and mouse.
Freeing up desk space by reducing the number of unwanted keyboards, monitors and mice.
No need to invest in additional computer equipment, saving you money.
Keep your desktop tidy and save the most needed rack space in your server room.
Support for Peripherals
For example, some KVM switches support USB peripherals, so no additional USB hub is required.
As computer costs fall, many users can afford a second, or even multiple, computer. But for consumers who want to add one or two more computers without investing in more keyboards, monitors and mice, more and more people are choosing to use KVM switches. With desktop KVM switches, users can get a more organized and comfortable work space. As for the server room, KVM can improve efficiency and management.
How Does a KVM Switch Work?
When a normal computer starts up, the operating system automatically detects the signals from the keyboard, mouse and monitor. After confirming the connection, the monitor will display the splash screen. Therefore, a computer (CPU/Server) contains complex keyboard, mouse and monitor startup operations. Through signal simulation technology, KVM can switch the correct signal every time. (Signal Simulation Technology)
Because the main function of KVM switch is to use only one set of keyboard, monitor and mouse to start multiple computers. Therefore, the KVM switch must ensure that the analog signal of the keyboard and mouse can reach each computer without affecting the operation of the computer's CPU during the switch.
The KVM switch must also provide stable video resolution, support multiple computer platforms and operating systems, and connect to a variety of different brands of keyboards, mice, and monitors. Each KVM switch can only support a certain number of computer connections (that is, the total number of ports). A single KVM switch can provide up to two ports, and multiple KVM switches with expansion capabilities can be installed to expand up to thousands of ports.
KVM switch: for desktops and server rooms
Different KVM switches can connect to a different number of computers. It all depends on the number of ports the KVM switch has. Typically, KVM switches contain 2 to 64 ports, meaning that 2 to 64 computers can be connected to a single KVM device, but only one set of keyboard, monitor, and mouse is required.
As for KVM switches that support expansion capabilities, the more ports a KVM switch has, the more devices can usually be installed. For example, 4-port KVM is great for desktops, and 8-, 16-, or up to 64-port KVM KVM switches are best for server rooms.
In addition to keyboards, monitors, and mice, KVM switches have built-in audio and USB peripheral sharing capabilities.
There are other types of KVM switches that can be used for various applications, such as:
Over-IP KVM for Managing Remote Servers
Matrix KVM or Over-IP KVM for Control Room Applications
Multi-Window KVM for Control Center and Video Editing
Multi-Monitor KVM for Finance, Banking, Trading Desks
Security KVM for Government and Military Agencies
Special KVM for Production Lines
All in all, KVM is a device that allows people to quickly and easily switch between multiple computers or servers from a single console (keyboard, monitor, mouse), thereby increasing efficiency, management, and saving cost and space.
Common situations where KVM switches are used include:
Computer and Server Room
The above may seem like a lot of information at first glance, but it's more important to determine why you're interested in a KVM switch: Do you want to use it in your home office, small business, or even gaming? Are you looking to increase the cost efficiency of your server room and save space? Do you need to monitor your data center from anywhere, even on the other side of the world?