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KVM Basics
Analog and Digital KVM
KVM for the Enterprise
KVM for the Data Center
KVM for the Small or Mid-sized Business
KVM for the Home Office
Remote Access
Success Stories

Analog and Digital KVM:
Which is Right for Your Business?

There is no right answer to the question. Analog switching solutions with modular KVM over IP capabilities and digital switching solutions with integrated KVM over IP both have advantages. An "out-of-band", analog KVM solution is generally best suited for small to mid-sized data centers. Whereas an "in-band", digital KVM solution is best for supporting large, national or globally distributed data centers.

The following table summarizes some of the key differences between analog and digital KVM.

Analog KVM Digital KVM


  • Out-of-band
  • Network-independent

  • In-band
  • Network-dependent


  • Better video performance / usability
  • Unblocked access
  • Requires less network bandwidth

  • Less cabling
  • Easier and cost-effective scalability
  • Leverages existing LAN infrastructure


  • Greater number of Cat5 cables required
  • Greater number of components
  • Video quality degrades with distance

  • Users suffer from KVM Over IP limitations:
    - Latency
    - Artifacts
  • Consumes network bandwidth
  • Access Blocking (limited console availability)

Typical Application

Data center with up to ~300 servers, and up to 32 simultaneous users

Enterprise (500+ servers, 50+ simultaneous users or multiple locations / lights-out environment)

Digital and analog solutions can be used independently or in conjunction to meet the needs of your business. You can connect to a small number of servers with one or two switches integrated through analog KVM. You can connect a large number of data centers in multiple locations with digital KVM, or you can design a solution that combines analog and digital KVM.
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