Six Questions to ask before you buy a KVM switching system

A KVM switch enables you to control multiple servers and other equipment from one keyboard, monitor, and mouse workstation. KVM switches give you the flexibility to access servers that are down the hall or across “the pond.” How you access your servers depends on a number of things. Before you choose a KVM switching solution, you need to consider some important issues…

What type of connection does the controlling keyboard, video display, and mouse have?
Depending on whether they are PS/2®, USB, or some combination of both, your connections determine what type of cabling you need.

If you are using USB devices, like keyboards and mice, make sure to purchase a KVM switch with USB support. Older KVMs usually only support PS/2 connections.

Do your CPUs require keyboard or keyboard and mouse emulation?
Keyboard emulation and keyboard and mouse emulation are enhanced features of most KVM switches. They enable each CPU to communicate with the switch as if it were directly attached to the controlling keyboard or mouse.

What operating system (OS) software do your computers use?
Are all your computers running the same OS? Or, like many organizations, do you have multiple CPUs running different OSs? With the right KVM switch, interconnecting multiple CPUs running different OSs is easy.

How close are your users to your servers?
If servers and users are physically close to each other, an analog KVM system will meet your needs. On the other hand, if users require access from remote locations because they travel, or if an IT manager needs to manage a distant data center, a KVM over IP (KVMoIP) system is going to be the best fit for your organization.

How many ports do you need? What will your future needs be?
It is advisable to purchase a KVM switch with more ports than you currently need. This way, when you expand your server room or add users, you don’t need to completely replace a small KVM switch with a larger one with more ports. Also, although many KVM switches are cascadable, a KVMoIP system simplifies configuration, usually requiring the addition of IP addresses and updating the authentication database. KVMoIP makes adding servers fast and free of complications (to learn how to do more with less, listen to our recorded webinar on KVMoIP).

What are your security needs?
Network security must never be compromised, yet authorized personnel need access. KVM switches use a combination of user authentication, an operating system’s internal security, and Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption—among other security features—to ensure that users receive access to those devices to which they are allowed.

We have KVM switches that support both USB and PS/2, as well as USB-only models. We also provide multiplatform KVM switches so you can interconnect multiple CPUs that are running on various OSs.  Pick and choose what you need/want with our KVM Selector. Or, call our 24/78/365 Tech Support.


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