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KVM Switch Boxes

Posted on 2004-08-18
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I am looking for information regarding KVM Switch Boxes, which will help me choose the right one:
1. What specs are important to look for,
2. What are the differences between companies,
3. What should be included aside from the actual switch box,
4. What significant problems are there?
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Question by:fabiemdf
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5 Comments
 
LVL 69

Assisted Solution

by:Callandor
Callandor earned 75 total points
ID: 11835093
1. Good, solid, construction and good switches (buttons); powered is good; when switching, should have an indicator to tell which one is selected; unselected machines should continue to operate as if nothing happened
2. Cheap ones break after continued use (I like D-Link http://www.comready.com/kvm.html)
3. Transformer, if powered, and some KVM cables
4. Some boxes don't maintain the circuit which you switch and thus make the machine think the keyboard, mouse, or video is missing
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LVL 4

Assisted Solution

by:novacopy
novacopy earned 50 total points
ID: 11835125
make sure they are good kvm cables, i have a couple and they come with very hard and stiff cables that frustrate you tryin to deal with.
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LVL 7

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by:crazijoe
crazijoe earned 75 total points
ID: 11835656
There are alot of different ones depending on application. There are small 2 port KVM's with USB or PS2 connections and there are ones with audio connections. Then there are large ones for controlling up to 16 servers. It really depends on what you are looking for.
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Accepted Solution

by:
debuggen earned 200 total points
ID: 11837826
1. What specs are important to look for,
This really depends on what you are looking to accomplish.  I am going to guess that you just want to narrow you current setup down to one monitor,keyboard and mouse like most people do when considering switchboxes.  Now you can get them with some great features so I would look for one that has the ability to share printers, scanners, digital cameras, PDAs, audio and other USB devices.  I would also look for one that can be flashed if an upgrade is needed.
Now on specs I would look for the following..
1) PS/2 and USB
2) Check that the maximum resolution is around 2048 X1536@ 85Hz or above what you currently have as your setup.
3) Make sure it supports whatever type of mouse and keyboard you have.  Most support
PS/2 Keyboard, PS/2 Mouse, IntelliMouse (PS/2 only), IBM Scroll Point, Logitech 2 Button, Logitech Trackball Scroller, Microsoft Trackball Scroller, Microsoft Scroller, Microsoft Intelleye Five Button,. Logitech Scroller

2. What are the differences between companies,
Price, features etc..etc.  I personally have had very good luck with both Cybex and Avocent.  Avocent eventually bought Cybex.

3. What should be included aside from the actual switch box,
Most include cables, but some do not.  They will also have a cd that comes with them.  There really is not too much to the install.  Just plug in and you are ready to go for the most part.

4. What significant problems are there?
I have had problems with some ports going bad over a long period of time.  I have also had some problems with the video display not working properly when switching between machines that had different resolutions.


Hope that helps
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LVL 3

Assisted Solution

by:Magistus
Magistus earned 100 total points
ID: 11838527
Here is a sugestion:
We've been using KVMs from MINICOM for a long time and it has a major feature, which lack in other manufacturers - the ability to connect distant computers with LAN cable, while each PC is connected to a personal KVM switch with linking abilities. Each KVM can support up to 60 machines.

Check this out: www.minicom.com

Enjoy.
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