KVM Selection Guide

Which KVM Switch is best for me?

KVM switches are used to connect users to their computers. There are many types of KVM switches to meet a wide variety of customer needs. Here are the major questions to consider:

  1. How many users and computers are there?
  2. What are the distances between the users and the computers?
  3. What type of cabling will connect the users and computers?

Here’s some quick advice. If you want point-to-point access to a single computer, then look into KVM Extension. If you have a few computers in close proximity, then a Desktop Switch may be right for you. If you have a small server room or lab within 1000 feet of the users, then look into Analog Matrix Switches. KVM-over-IP Switches provide flexible, local and multi-user IP access of 8 to 64 computers, that scales to thousands of computers via Raritan’s Centralized Access and Management System.

The table below summarizes the types of KVM switches, from enterprise wide IP access to the extension of a single computer. Look at the Typical Applications column for the type that best matches your application.


Types of KVM Switches Table

The table below further explains the types of remote access available with the corresponding Raritan products. Click on a Raritan product for more information. 

Type of KVM SwitchesOverviewTypical ApplicationsUser to Computer DistanceRaritan Products
Centralized Access & Management SystemCentralized IP access to hundreds or thousands of servers across multiple locationsScales to world-wide, enterprise access for hundreds of users and tens of thousands of serversUnlimited distances via LAN, WAN, InternetCommandCenter Secure Gateway
Dominion Switches
KVM-over-IPScalable family of KVM-over-IP switches from 1 user/8 ports to 8 users/64 ports.IP-based remote access for small labs to the largest, enterprise data centers via CommandCenterAt-the-rack access plus unlimited distances via LAN, WAN, InternetDominion KX III
Dominion LX
Dominion KX2-101-V2
Analog MatrixScalable family of analog matrix switches from 1 to 8 users and 32 to 64 portsSupports local access for small labs, server rooms and data centersUp to 1000 foot distancesParagon II MasterConsole CAT
DesktopSupports a single user accessing 2 to 16 servers per switchDesktop or lab use. Can cascade switches to access hundreds of servers5 to 50 foot distancesCompuSwitch
expreZo Ezswitch
KVM ExtensionPoint-to-point access of a single computer. Scales to access from multiple locations.Extended access to a single computer from one or more locations.Up to 500 feet. Can daisy chain via Ethernet switches for longer distancesCat5 Reach DVI

Characteristics Table

The final table provides detailed information on each Raritan product family, specifying the distances, cabling and the number of users/computers supported. Click on the Raritan product to view the product spec sheet.

TypeCharacteristicsRaritan Products
Centralized Access & Management System
  • Centralized IP access to thousands of computers
  • Provides enterprise level access
  • Manages Raritan KVM devices
  • Provides multiple types of access
KVM-over-IP
  • Flexible, web-based IP access from PC/Laptop
  • LAN, WAN and Internet Access
  • Supports 1 to 8 remote users per switch
  • Supports 8 to 64 computers per switch
  • Enterprise access via CommandCenter
Analog Matrix
  • High speed Analog Matrix access up to 1000 feet
  • Labs, server rooms and small data centers
  • Supports 1 to 8 users per switch
  • Supports 32 to 64 computers per switch
  • Scales via switch tiering/stacking
Desktop
  • Supports a user in close proximity to computers
  • Supports 2 to 16 servers per switch
  • High speed analog access
  • Scales via switch tiering/cascading
  • Economical and simple solution
KVM Extension
  • Point-to-point extension of a single computer
  • Scales to access from multiple locations
  • 500 feet distance
  • Daisy chain via Ethernet switches
  • DVI or VGA with USB, IR and audio

 

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