KVM Switch Selection Guide

KVM Switches: What is best for you?

KVM switches are used to connect users to their computers. There are many types of switches to meet a wide variety of customer needs, but choosing the best kvm switches can be a challenge. 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 to find the best kvm switch. 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 are a government or military worker who needs access to systems at different classification levels, then a Secure Desktop Switch is for you. If you have a smaller server room or rack within close proximity to the users, then look into a KVM Matrix Switch. 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
Cat5 Matrix SwitchCat5 KVM switches supporting analog and digital video from 8, 16, and 32 servers for 1 to 2 users.Supports local access for small labs, server rooms and data centersUp to 1000 foot distancesMasterConsole® Digital*
*supports both analog and digital devices
Desktop & Secure DesktopSupports a single user accessing 2 to 16 servers per switchDesktop or small rack use. Secure Desktop to access classified systems.5 to 50 foot distancesCompuSwitch
expreZo Ezswitch
Raritan Secure Switch
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 HD

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
Cat5 Matrix Switch
  • Cat5 access for Analog and Digital Video
  • Labs, server rooms and small data centers
  • Supports 1 or 2 users
  • Supports 8, 16, or 32 servers per switch
  • Scales via switch tiering/stacking
*supports both analog and digital devices
Desktop & Secure Desktop
  • Supports a user in close proximity to computers
  • Supports 2 to 16 servers per switch
  • High speed analog or digital access
  • Scales via switch tiering/cascading
  • Secure access of classified information
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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