[WEBINAR] Bulletproof: How Today's Business Leaders Stay on Top

Keyboard, Video, Mouse (KVM)

Definition - What does Keyboard, Video, Mouse (KVM) mean?

A keyboard, video, mouse (KVM) switch is a hardware device that connects a keyboard, video display and mouse to multiple computers. It allows a user to control more than one computer using only one input/output (I/O) device.

The KVM switch is typically used to support terminals at both ends of the connection, allowing remote and local access to all computers. A KVM can also be used to regulate numerous groups of servers in a data center. There are several benefits to a KVM that may include the following:

  • Saves space
  • Reduces cost
  • More convenient
  • Decreases desktop clutter
  • Moderates cabling requirements

In addition, a KVM switch can connect a single PC to multiple keyboards, video displays and mice. This can be helpful when a user needs to access a PC from two or more locations.

Newer KVM switches can be comprised of other switching functions that share audio as in speakers or USB devices between various PCs.

Techopedia explains Keyboard, Video, Mouse (KVM)

The connection of a KVM depends on the port density and type of connector. There are a variety of ways that a KVM switch can be connected:

  • USB connectors for USB ports
  • Devices with native connectors using standard cable
  • Older models may include PS/2 or serial ports connectors
  • IP-based KVM switches are cabled to the network and to the computers over an IP network
  • Monitors may connect via a digital video interactive (DVI) port, video graphics array (VGA) port, or both
  • Single DB25 using a 25-pin electrical connector for serial and parallel ports on PCs that connect to a special cable

To change from one computer to another, a switch is used on the KVM unit. The KVM device transmits a signal between the PC and the intended module such as the keyboard, monitor or mouse. Some high-tech switches also permit a user to change PCs by using hotkeys or keyboard shortcuts.

One of the most common and cost-effective KVM switches allows access to two PCs. However, a local remote KVM architecture can support over 256 access points with communication to more than 8,000 PCs using a closed-loop, high-bandwidth bus. In addition, IP KVM support is used for local remote KVM systems that need to be managed off-site.

Oftentimes, the KVM is used in databases that have multiple servers on a rack using just one keyboard, mouse and monitor. It is also used in home environments using a PC with a keyboard, monitor and mouse that extends to a laptop, PDA or additional PC that has a different operating system.

Share this:

Connect with us

Email Newsletter

Join thousands of others with our weekly newsletter

The 4th Era of IT Infrastructure: Superconverged Systems
The 4th Era of IT Infrastructure: Superconverged Systems:
Learn the benefits and limitations of the 3 generations of IT infrastructure – siloed, converged and hyperconverged – and discover how the 4th...
Approaches and Benefits of Network Virtualization
Approaches and Benefits of Network Virtualization:
Businesses today aspire to achieve a software-defined datacenter (SDDC) to enhance business agility and reduce operational complexity. However, the...
Free E-Book: Public Cloud Guide
Free E-Book: Public Cloud Guide:
This white paper is for leaders of Operations, Engineering, or Infrastructure teams who are creating or executing an IT roadmap.
Free Tool: Virtual Health Monitor
Free Tool: Virtual Health Monitor:
Virtual Health Monitor is a free virtualization monitoring and reporting tool for VMware, Hyper-V, RHEV, and XenServer environments.
Free 30 Day Trial – Turbonomic
Free 30 Day Trial – Turbonomic:
Turbonomic delivers an autonomic platform where virtual and cloud environments self-manage in real-time to assure application performance.