The Raritan Blog

Three Signs It’s Time to Upgrade Your Current KVM Switch

Richard Dominach
April 1, 2015

KVM trade-in program

KVM switches have evolved from simple devices that allowed users to connect to a handful of computers within close proximity to powerful devices that offer IP access to thousands of multiplatform servers and serial-based devices half-a-world away.  If you’ve owned your current KVM switches for longer than five years, you may be missing out of some marquee features that can increase your MTTR, uptime, and productivity; and boost your security.  Here are three signs it’s time to upgrade your current KVM switch. 

Your Current KVM Switch Lacks Virtual Media over IP

What is virtual media over IP? Virtual Media lets administrators perform tasks such as installing software, transferring files, backing up data, diagnostics and rebooting without having to be physically present at the target server location.  Admins have the flexibility of utilizing a variety of media such as CD, DVD, USB, internal and remote drives and images.  So if you’re finding that your budget and productivity are being used up on onsite visits for routine tasks, it’s time to upgrade your current KVM switch.

The KVM Switch You’re Using Doesn’t Support Modern Security Protocols

Security breaches are a major concern in nearly every industry nowadays.  According to a 2014 study by the Ponemon Institute and IBM, the cost of a data breach to a company is on average $145 per affected individual and $3.5M per incident. So consider whether your KVM switch supports features like:

  • FIPS 140-2-certified cryptographic module.
  • Smart card / CAC authentication – local and remote.
  • Strong 256-bit AES encryption.
  • Data encryption for all data, including video transmissions and virtual media.
  • Centralized authentication with LDAP, RADIUS, or Active Directory
  • Dual-stack networking: IPv4 and IPv6.
  • Configurable user and group permissions.
  • User-configurable TCP ports.
  • Strong password protection.
  • Customizable security banner.
  • Uploading customer’s digital security certificate.

If your KVM switch is lacking support for these security protocols, it’s time to upgrade.

DVI, DisplayPort, and/or HDMI Are Not Supported By Your KVM Switch

Once the standard port of all computers and displays, VGA is rapidly fading.   In order to support digital video standards, manufacturers have moved to DVI, DisplayPort, and most popularly - HDMI.  Unfortunately, many KVM vendors have not upgraded their switches and leave end users unable to take advantage of the key features of digital video: high definition video resolutions like 1920x1080 or 1920x1200, and high frame rates that support dynamic applications used in broadcast and entertainment applications. So if your current switch only supports VGA, it’s time to upgrade your KVM switch.


It’s time to boost your MTTR, uptime, productivity, and security. Upgrade an old Raritan or Avocent® KVM switch with our limited time Trade-In Promotions.