10 Reasons KVM Is Better Than Software

 Dec 19, 2019   |    Black Box Corporation

Remote server access is being used today to solve the issue of sharing costly hardware and licenses, to declutter and optimize workspaces, and to increase overall operational flexibility. While KVM systems traditionally have been the solution of choice for enabling remote access, the advent of software-based remote access solutions presents a tempting alternative. If you’re evaluating the two options, consider these 10 reasons why KVM is still a better solution than software.

1. No Delay and Fast Switching Time

Speed! KVM solutions can provide zero-latency transmission of video and peripheral signals across multiple end points by converting the signals into proprietary or IP-protocol-based data packets over copper, fiber, or IP connections. With switching as fast as a few frames, operators don’t perceive any lag in mouse movements and or the on-screen display.

2. No Additional Software or Drivers Required

Eliminating the lengthy test and validation times typically required for software installations, the hardware-based, OS-agnostic design of KVM solutions makes deployment fast and simple.

3. Lower Bandwidth Requirements

Software solutions for remote access require a substantial amount of network bandwidth, and this can have a negative impact on the performance of other critical applications and processes. Because KVM solutions often run on either a proprietary or IP-based dedicated network, their connections do not detract from performance or productivity. Even if you do run it on the enterprise network, you can configure and manage the IP-based KVM system to ensure that its bandwidth usage does not affect mission-critical processes.

4. Advanced User Access and Management

Unlike software-based solutions, which typically provide single-user access to remote systems, KVM solutions can support shared access and control over remote systems — even virtual machines. Sophisticated KVM management tools simplify monitoring of user activity and other events while making it easy for you to deploy additional endpoints.

5. Reliability

While no system — hardware or software — is immune to failure, KVM over IP features built-in redundancy with no single point of failure. Your KVM solution can be set up to leverage resource pooling and/or redundant network connections if a particular computer goes down or connection is lost.

6. Enhanced Utility

Robust KVM systems go beyond the switching of peripherals (keyboard and mouse) to offer functionality such as using multiple screens when switching between multiple PCs or extending and switching bandwidth-intensive video and USB peripherals. Unlike software solutions, hardware-based KVM systems can support these demanding tasks while maintaining a seamless desktop experience for users.

7. Rigid Security

Because it is much harder to tamper with a physical KVM connection than with software protocols and authentication, a KVM system offers greater protection against cyber threats. Out-of-band access and secure point-to-point connections and desktop switches further protect your organization.

8. Advanced Features

KVM systems offer an array of capabilities that software-based solutions simply cannot provide. Your operators can use multiple-monitor setups, view multiple sources and desktops on a single screen, access virtual and physical servers from the same platform, and share simultaneous access with other users, local and remote.

9. Access on a BIOS Level

Working with a KVM system, you can maintain remote access to servers even if the OS is down. Access on a BIOS level allows for continued remote management of devices, including maintenance and troubleshooting from a remote site.

10. Flexibility and Compatibility

Unlimited system scalability and future-proof design allow you to expand your KVM network to meet your needs. Whereas software solutions typically limit the total number of connections on a single network, IP-based KVM systems support growth through the addition of multiple transmitter and receiver types. You can expand the number of endpoints, add support for higher resolutions up to 4K, or take advantage of various small form factor transmitters. All of these options give you flexibility in addressing the current and future demands of daily operations.

Hardware-based KVM systems have clear benefits over software solutions, but software still has its place! New solutions that marry hardware and software to create hybrid KVM networks give you even more options in establishing and leveraging remote server access.

To learn more about the advantages of KVM over remote access software solutions, download our free white paper Is There Software for KVM?.

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