A single keyboard, mouse and monitor can be used to monitor and control more than one computer using a KVM Switch. These devices save money, time, equipment and power in addition to giving network administrators the flexibility to remotely manage machines in their network. A single switch can allow control from 2 32 machines, and by cascading them, an even greater distribution can be achieved. Equipped with the ability to control both USB as well as PS2 peripheral devices, these switches provide multi-platform support and can be used with Windows Vista/2003/XP/2000, Linux and UNIX operating systems. Specific models of these devices support user terminals at both ends allowing local and remote access to all connected computers or servers.
Available in a variety of ranges, styles and functionality, the most popular switch is the CAT5 KVM Switch. This switch allows the peripherals to be placed at a distance of about 40m from the host device. Additional features include creation of enhanced data center layouts, better cable management by avoiding bulky cables and higher density. The switches also have a multilingual interface giving users the option to select from a variety of languages including English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Japanese and Simplified Chinese. Equipped with security features, they allow enabling and disabling of passwords and creation of multiple user profiles for accessing ports. These out of band solutions support a resolution of up to 1600 x 1200.
KVM switches also cater to computers with DVI based video. The DVI KVM Switch enables users to control and monitor DVI based video signals from different computers simultaneously with just one set of peripherals. Working on plug and play fundamentals, once connected and powered on, a user can switch between source devices using RS232, IR remote control or front panel push buttons. These switches are perfect for applications that require mixed analog/digital operation but they also face distance limitations since the placement of peripherals is still restricted by the cable lengths.
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