The Three Most Common KVM Purchasing Mistakes

The biggest mistake when purchasing a KVM switch is buying on lowest cost as the only factor without considering future needs and understanding any limitations or issues relevant to the switch technology. One of the most common KVM purchasing mistakes is buying a KVM switch that will solve your problems for today only and assuming it is fully compatible with the end user equipment. When this occurs, end users come back to the seller saying that they recently purchased a KVM solution but they bought this new system XYZ that does A, B, and C; however the KVM switch was not designed to support D and E. This type of issue will cause the user to either buy a new separate KVM solution or set the system up as a separate entity. This can be frustrating, especially if they purchased many units and they are not working for the end users or the application usage. Some lower cost KVM switches have limitations on what devices they can support, or how it can interface with other equipment, which can cause a lot of delays upon deployment and issues with expectations.

On more complicated systems that require Server Access Modules (adapters that hang off the back of each PC or server) and various types of accessories for mounting and access, users may mistakenly read a marketing article that tries to sell them a switch only and does not mention that the user is required to have the additional accessories to make it work. If the switch is ordered without these accessories, the installer will get it and be very frustrated. When purchasing the more complicated systems, keep in mind that KVM switches that use any sort of CATx cable will ultimately force you into buying another device that connects to both ends to encode/decode the signals.

Another very common mistake is users purchasing different types of equipment from different manufacturers (KVM switch from vendor A, KVM extender from vendor B, and a KVM tray from vendor C) and being surprised to encounter problems. When performing the initial installation and configuration, 90 percent of these users will realize very quickly that they'll have many compatibility issues on their hands. At Black Box, if we suggest a solution that includes connecting more than one system, we do our best to provide support so you, the end user, will not have to struggle to make it work.

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