Friday, April 16, 2004

KVM Extenders

Many people have the need to access a computer from a long  distance away and are looking for a product that will allow them to do this. The exact route to go depends on the distance you need it to extend and exactly what you want to extend. There are four categories of KVM extension products.

  1. Coax KVM Extension Cables
  2. Cat5 KVM Extenders
  3. Fiber KVM Extenders
  4. KVM Over IP

Coax KVM Extension Cables
Coax cables will allow you to extend your console up to 30' but anything past 30' and you may run into some serious video degradation. If you are going just past this distance I would still recommend using a Cat5 KVM Extender

Cat5 KVM Extenders
Cat5 KVM Extenders allow you to extend your keyboard, monitor and mouse up to 1,000' away from your computer using Cat5/Cat5e/Cat6 cable. This is a really good method to extend your console since Cat5 cable is fairly inexpensive and very easy to run. The majority of the extenders out there only extend the keyboard monitor and mouse but Avocent KVM Extenders allows you to also extend your speakers, microphone and serial port Most also only support PS/2 peripherals but there are some that extend USB keyboards and mice. The USB KVM Extenders will only extend the keyboard/mouse and not any other peripherals.

Fiber Extenders
Fiber extenders can go up to 6 miles or 10,000 Meters over standard fiber optic cable. The Rose CrystalView Fiber Extender uses only 2 strands of fiber optic cable using digital video transmission technology for a clear picture to over 33,000 feet or just over 6 miles! The applications where this is most applicable is in campus type settings where there is pre-existing fiber or the wiring is being planned ahead of time.

When you need to extend your console past the capabilities of Cat5 extenders or you simply can not run another Cat5 through the wall you can use KVM Over IP technology. The advances in this technology has come really far over the last three years and it is now the preferred method of controlling datacenters and server rooms. With KVM Over IP you can access your computer(s) from anywhere in the world and you can do it with a web browser. The amount of security built into these devices is really phenomenal as well with 3DES, SSH, and others commonly deployed. There are many different flavors available to choose from to fit your exact situation. There are single user extenders so you can access a single computer or KVM switch and there are distributed models so you can manage thousands of computers from a single screen as well. When looking at this type of solution you will be able to find a lot of information on our site but you probably want to talk to someone to ensure you get the best solution and all the pieces that you will need.

If you need any help with KVM Extension or any KVM problem do not hesitate to contact us at or call us at 1-877-586-6654.