The Raritan Blog

Why Choose a KVM with BIOS-Level Access

Paula Alves
June 9, 2014

Laptop BIOS Access

There are multiple remote access tools to make an IT administrator, Lab or Network Manager’s jobs easier.  Options include Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), Virtual Network Computing (VNC), and KVM-over-IP, as well as many others. But only KVM switches provide the reliability you can depend on in the event of an emergency. 

One aspect that sets IP KVM solutions apart from all the other options is that they are dependable.  In contrast to remote software solutions, which tend to use unsecured, terminal servers to remotely access these ports and their IT infrastructure, the KVM switch doesn’t use these network connections (in-band access) to access servers.  Instead, they use the keyboard, video, and mouse connections (out-of-band access). 

KVM-over-IP switches provide reliability, dependability, and security as they are

  • Not dependent on “software agents” on the PC or server that may not work in emergencies.
  • Not dependent on the underlying operating system and networking.
  • Not dependent on platforms vulnerable to viruses and worms.
  • Work in heterogeneous server environments.

Because of this, a KVM switch can access a server that doesn’t have a functional operating system and access the server while it is still in a BIOS-level state. Some of the benefits of accessing the BIOS include the ability to see whether there is a hardware malfunction, or if the operating system software has become unstable.  With a virtual media feature, the server can even remotely load operating system software through the network KVM connection.  This allows you to troubleshoot what is wrong with the server and get it back up as soon as possible.


If you’re interested in learning more about how KVM-Over-IP stacks up against other remote access tools, download our Remote Server Management eBook today!