KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) switch is hardware device that can ease local or remote monitoring on multiple computers/servers via a single keyboard, video monitor and mouse console. Best KVM switch is not typically the most expensive but the one that has the exact features you need, not more or less. Before buying a KVM switch, ask yourself the following questions to figure out the best KVM switch that suits you.
How many computers/servers do I want to monitor?
This is the key factor in choosing the best KVM switch. It is like buying Christmas gifts for your kids, one gift for one kid and the number should not be less than the kid. Since the KVM switches are available with different port counts, you can choose the one the can connect all your computers/servers while having no ports wasted, unless you have near plan for adding more networking devices. A single KVM switch can usually connect directly 2 to 32 computers/servers. It should be noted that though multiple devices are connected to the KVM switch, you can only access one device at a time.
Which type of KVM switch do I need?
After a brief search you may find there are various types of KVM switches in the market. They are grouped into desktop KVM, rack-mount KVM and rack-mount console KVM. If you have no more than four computers to be controlled and have your own keyboard, monitor and mouse, the desktop model is the best KVM switch for you. Rack-mount KVM switch and rack-mount console KVM switch are commonly used for controlling multiple servers in data centers. They can save space of the rack by simplifying the one-server-one-keyboard to multi-servers-one-keyboard. A user can locally control all the servers in the rack. In addition, a rack-mount console KVM switch is equipped with a built-in keyboard, LCD (liquid crystal display)display and touchpad in a single console that collapses when not used, taking up only 1RU space.
Should I choose KVM switch with IP access or not?
Some KVM switch are just for local users while some KVM switch designed with network port allow users to control far-distance computers/servers. If it is just for controlling computers/servers locally, you can choose a KVN switch without IP access function.
Which port is for connecting the computer and which is for the monitor?
A KVM switch are designed with colorful KVM connection ports or/and copper RJ45 ports. You should choose the best KVM switch with the ports that fit your computer/server connectors.
The KVM switch has different ports for connecting keyboard and mouse, like PS/2, USB, Sun (DB13W3), Mac.
Also there are different ports for the video monitor like VGA, HDMI, DVI, display ports and ADC (Apple display connector). Rj45/DB9 serial port and network LAN port for local and remote control.
To directly connect the computers/servers being involved, you can use KVM cable, Cat5/5e/6 Ethernet cable and SIU (server interface unit). Since KVM switches are designed with different port type for computers/servers.
There are different forms of cable kit for connecting the computer/server to the KVM switch, some manufacturers make products that combine several cable types in one unit.
What is the best KVM switch for controlling hundreds of devices?
A single KVM switch have limited number of ports to control devices. Some enterprise KVM switches have daisy chain port that allows several KVM switches to be cascaded together to control hundreds of computers/servers.
This article sums up some common questions that are asked when buying a best KVM switch for controlling multiple computers/servers. The primary question is based on your existing computer/server number and type. If you have more questions about buying or using KVM switches, welcome to discuss.