Control 256 Computers from One Station

May 15th, 2009

Many homes and businesses need to operate multiple computers or servers to accomplish daily and operational tasks. The challenge is when one needs to monitor and use many computers in one location while conserving space and increasing efficiency. Even with today's thin flat panel monitors, putting a dozen in one location can be overwhelming, not to mention keyboards and mice sprawled all over the desk. The solution for this problem is rather elegant, a keyboard video mouse switch, often referred to as a KVM switch for short. 16-port-usb-kvm Pictured: GCS1716KIT KVMs consolidate many computers to run off one common monitor, mouse and keyboard, switching between computers via a pushbuttons on the front of the device, an On Screen Display (OSD), or with hotkeys on the keyboard. IOGEAR offers this solution with an added advantage. Cascading, with the 16 port KVM you can cascade 2 levels and connect up to 16 KVMs to centrally control up to 256 computers from one station (a.k.a. console). Custom ASIC provides auto-sensing of computer positions; so no manual DIP switches need to be set. This KVM can control legacy equipped units with PS/2 ports or modern computers with USB ports and is fully cross-platform compatible, supporting Windows, Mac, Linux and Sun Solaris systems. It's also rack-mountable and will only take up a 1U spot in your rack. The GCS1716KIT's additional value is its included cables which make it a complete out-of-the-box solution. LED lights on the front panel indicate what computers are powered on and what the active computer is. A USB port on the front of the KVM can be used for system upgrades or to easily share a peripheral, such as external hard drive. The KVM provides a maximum display resolution of 2048 x 1536, meaning even graphic designers can utilize this switch. In cramped server closets, utilizing a KVM is essential; IOGEAR's solution requires the least amount of space with the most expandability. Mounting this in a standard 19” 1U rack slot means keeping the unit right in line with your other servers. For home users running several computers on one desk, a KVM would create desk space by removing the number of duplicate peripherals (keyboards / mice) taking up space. Added benefits include a reduced energy bill since only one monitor is needed, increased productivity and an easier, more efficient way to streamline computer management and operations.

About the Author



IOGEAR enjoys long walks on the beach and romantic getaways. While not traveling, IOGEAR enjoys a great game of shuffle board whilst playing the banjo.