What is KVM Switch and How to Use it

Oct 06 , 2021

Due to the increase of data center equipment, the utilization rate of the equipment room racks and cabinets space are getting continuously lower, thus, limiting the storage space required for multiple monitors and keyboards. In order to alleviate this pressure, KVM switches gradually become the ideal choice for data center administrators.

Do you know what are KVM switches is and how to use the KVM switches? 

  • What is KVM Switch 

KVM stands for "keyboard, video, mouse," and allows you to control multiple computers from a single keyboard, mouse, and monitor. These switches are often used to manage racked servers where a number of servers are placed in a single rack. By pushing a single button on the KVM switch, the administrator can change control from one server to another, easily accessing each one.

Some KVM switches are for local use and can control nearby servers and computers from within the room, in another room, or on another floor. IP KVM switches offer IP-based remote access, which means that you can control multiple servers and computers from potentially anywhere in the world that has an internet connection.

Local KVMs allow you to eliminate the cost of a dedicated keyboard, mouse, and monitor for each computer. This also eliminates the clutter of excess devices and cords in your server room, allowing for a safer and cleaner space.

These switches allow you to perform functions such as rebooting the computers. A KVM switch provides a direct hardware connection that allows you to display the BIOS of a computer on reboot to make adjustments as needed.

The use of Keyboard Video Mouse (KVM) switches in the data center effectively avoids the clutter caused by many keyboards, monitors and mice, thereby reducing energy consumption, saving space in racks and equipment rooms and effectively helping data center managers.

Furthermore, it helps to streamline workflow and increase productivity. KVM Switches are often used in home office, small and medium-sized enterprises, laboratories, local area networks, and other computer or server environments.

  • The difference between A KVM Switch and VGA KVM

The essential difference between a KVM switch and a VGA KVM switch is that a KVM switch shares a set of display monitors and a mouse and keyboard, while a VGA KVM switch only shares a single display monitor.

  • The difference between A KVM Switch and an Optical Terminal

The KVM optical terminal is composed of a KVM transmitter and a KVM receiver and is mainly used for signal transmission in a multimedia application system. The KVM switch is mainly used to monitor and manage multiple computers and multiple servers. They are very different by nature.

  • What is the difference between a KVM extender and KVM over IP?

There is often a misconception of the difference between a KVM Extender and KVM Over IP. The general definition of a KVM Extender is a device that allows you to extend the distance between your console (Keyboard, Monitor, Mouse and other peripherals) and your computer.

  • How to install KVM Switches

The KVM switch can be used to remotely manage the computer if used correctly. As it relates to installation, let's take a 6-port Cat5 KVM switch as an example to explain how to use the KVM switch.

  1. For the sake of safety, first make sure that the console of the KVM switch is grounded;
  2. Connect the KVM connector to the host;
  3. Connect the female port of the power cord to the KVM power socket and the male port to the 220v AC power socket;
  4. With the power turned on, you can remotely control the KVM switch via IP.
  5. At the same time, an external keyboard, mouse, and display can be connected to the KVM switch.
  • KVM Switches Usage Precautions
  1. Do not directly power off. To prevent the internal motherboard and display from being burned out, you should first press the power switch on the display. When the monitor power indicator turns from green to red and then goes out, close the display panel.
  2. Do not use the KVM switch for a long time without interruption. When not in use, power off the machine correctly.
  3. Ensure to use it in the environment allowed by the KVM switch; pay attention to dust, moisture, heat and fall prevention.
  4. The KVM switch should not be placed in places prone to fire, chemicals, and direct sunlight to avoid accidents.
  5. Do not try to repair the KVM switch; repair should be handled only by professional maintenance personnel.
  6. Do not open the cover without authorization to prevent electric shock.
  • KVM Switch Control Computer /Server Solution

The KVM switch is an all-in-one design that allows you to control multiple computers from the KVM console locally and remotely with a single keyboard, monitor and mouse. This is a convenient and economic liberation solution, especially when you can't store many monitors and keyboards.

  • How many devices can a KVM switch share?

This basic KVM switch allows two computers to share up to four USB 3.0 peripheral devices. Simply press the button at the top of the device to swap your keyboard, mouse, printer, USB flash drive, or other peripherals between two computers.

Usually, a LCD KVM switch can control 2-32 computers. If you want to control more computers, you need to use a VAG KVM switch to control the computer in a cascade mode using a cat5 Ethernet cable and a special KVM cable kit. This will facilitate controlling up to 256 computers.

The KVM switch is divided into two types: the ones with display and keyboard and the ones without. For the KVM switch that is with display and keyboard, we can use buttons, hotkeys, OSD menu and the mouse on the KVM switch control to switch from controlling one computer to another.

However, for the KVM switch that is without display and keyboard, we can control the computer directly via buttons, OSD menus, and mouse on the KVM switch front panel.

KVM switches have become one of the most popular devices in today's data centers with the advantages of space and cost savings, energy efficiency and economy. Thanks to the use of the KVM switch, the server can be accessed at any time without geographical restrictions. It is believed that in the future, a KVM switch will become one of the necessary devices in the data center.

Looking for the right KVM switches?

LCD KVM Console    KVM Over IP Switches     KVM Switch Accessories    

From data center to outdoor telecom infrastructure products, AZE has the right product for you. AZE designs and manufactures Server Racks and Enclosures, Outdoor Telecom Cabinets and Electronic Enclosures, Power Distribution (Basic Rack PDUs and Smart PDUs), KVM Switches and Fiber optics products to globe customers in the market.

Make IT Connected, AZE can support you to make IT happen with affordable cost.

Contact AZE  to customize your KVM Solutions.

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