rackmount touchscreenA keyboard-video-mouse (KVM) switch is a hardware device designed to allow users to control multiple computers using a single keyboard, monitor, and mouse. While most individual computer users may not need these functions, it’s a different story in the business sector. Today, you will never see a company that has only one computer. Usually, the bigger the company is, the more computers it needs. As the number of computers in a business grows, the increasingly imminent problem is how to effectively operate all of them. A quality KVM switch provides a solution for this concern; with different types of these devices for specific situations.

KVM over CAT5 Switch

An analog KVM switch operates using a direct cable connection. This type of KVM utilizes a closed loop network of CAT5 cables to allow users to control computers from up to 1,000 feet away. The KVM over CAT5 switch is a secure system that protects your company’s data from any outside threat such as hackers. Because it works in a closed loop network, the only way to access information stored in your system is through the KVM console within your facility.

KVM over IP Switch

In contrast with the KVM over CAT5, a KVM over IP switch allows a user to operate computers hooked up to the switch using Internet connectivity. Most user interfaces for such a system are browser-based; but some KVM over IP switches come with a software-based interface that enables better operation. Depending on the model, a KVM over IP switch can enable access BIOS boot functions, allowing a user to have as much control over the whole system as with operating the system personally.

Multi-User KVM Switch

kvm switchThis type of KVM switch allows multiple users to simultaneously access the entire system. Usually, an Over-IP access, KVM extender, or a combination of both is used to enable access by multiple consoles.

Integrated KVM Switch

Also called rack consoles, integrated KVM switches are mostly used for space-saving purposes. As the name suggests, the display, keyboard, and mouse units are all integrated into the switch to form one console. The console is then positioned into the server rack along with all the servers and computers. Many rackmount monitor solutions, such as Crystal Image Technologies Inc., even offer rackmount touchscreen consoles which eliminate the need for a touchpad or trackpad.