KVM Display Management — the new way to KVM


Where does KVM Display Management come from?

KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) switchers were originally a simple switch box that connected a few computers at the user’s workstation, allowing the user to switch between the computers via a single keyboard, video monitor and mouse. A user could put two or more physical computers at the same desktop and switch among them using a pushbutton on a switch box or use a special keyboard macro (hotkey) to change from one computer system to the next.

Today, a new breed of KVM switches have been designed that allow users to easily control and configure computers at the desktop that manage what is seen on the display and what can operate via the keyboard and mouse. As many IT departments are operating at downsized levels and employees are being asked to manage more equipment with fewer resources, the ability to remotely manage and maintain performance of computer equipment has become an essential part of the broadcast business model.

The legacy KVM switch was designed to basically be managed by an IT department professional but today’s KVM systems have been simplified to allow non-technical users the ability to access information they want pushed to the display with such things as simple touch panel interfaces or keyboard commands. The new user-friendly KVM systems are more focused on helping with display management at the desktop than just getting computer access.

So, what is KVM Display Management?

Like the legacy KVM, the KVM display management systems (we’ll call it DMS) provide the bridge that allows users to control and switch between multiple PCs or servers via a single keyboard and mouse. They can also utilize multiple video monitors and share remote video sources from the local desktop. The main difference being a DMS can be configured to support multiple monitors, multiviewers, or wall processors as well as supporting configurable Extended Display Identification Data (EDID), adding multiple layers of security, as well as managing resolution compatibility to maintain image consistency across different types of display connectors.

Every DMS should support security protocols 
Currently, businesses and government organizations seek to prevent network cyber-attacks by physically isolating the IP networks via private or secure network protocols. Mission-critical control systems and those that carry commercially sensitive data must be secure from external access by unauthorized agents.  Any system that relies on an IP network is likely to have exposed entry points and will require extensive firewall and isolation procedures to prevent attack. Because USB jump drives and USB storage devices are such a dominant method of storing work files for remote work, they create a significant issue for security and network administrators when these drives are connected to a home network.

DMS supporting next generation resolutions 
There are two active trends going on for next-gen DMS. Primarily the requirement for latency-free remote access using 4K60 and beyond computer systems. Most network systems are still at 4K30 so as facilities start a refresh build or a new greenfield setup, the demand for full 4K60 is on the bid specification. Secondly, many larger facilities are looking to support multi-head 4K60 displays over fiber. As many facilities allow work-at-home setups, it is important to make

DMS is the effective means to streamline data access

Many system designers have found DMS switching to be an effective means to streamline data access while maintaining an important level of security and data quality. System designers moving toward UHD video are depending on standards bodies to reduce the confusion surrounding the latest 4K and 8K technology. Emerging markets are taking advantage of DMS as well, including esports for tournament production. Attended by thousands of spectators in large venues and watched by millions online, these live events combine two production workflows: in-venue presentation and broadcast transmission. DMS KVM extenders and switches streamline both by controlling, switching, managing, converting, and delivering video and audio signals. In the venue presentation workflow, extenders provide the interconnection between player monitors and remotely located gaming computers, offering visually lossless video and instant interactive response to deliver the level of performance players’ demand.

Where does DMS fit in the future?

The KVM-to-DMS concept is growing in popularity among both commercial and government organizations as an effective tool to expand accessibility of a physical computer remotely over a traditional network infrastructure. Utilizing advanced security protocols and regardless of operating systems the DMS  —the next-gen KVM — design allows users to easily control sources remotely while benefiting system administrators for remote maintenance, support, and failure recovery.

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