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The Key Steps to Implementing KVM - Part One

Blog post   •   Sep 17, 2019 09:00 BST

The developments in KVM technology have led to better accuracy and working practices throughout a variety of industries, including manufacturing, broadcast, transport and government. These sectors have all felt the impact of KVM technology in business-critical situations. Whatever the use case, whether broadcast studio, air traffic control or anything in between, KVM provides immediate access to information wherever it’s needed.

Not only this, but for certain verticals which require high levels of security, KVM can sustain sensitive data in secure server rooms far from the user environment. In that regard, KVM technology is an undercover hero – it may not be the centre of attention like the IoT or AI, for example, but it is enabling businesses to perform to a higher standard from behind the scenes, improving working practices and maintaining security.

For companies that are new to KVM, however, there can be a lot to learn before implementing a solution for the first time. From the beginning, there’s the important question of KVM vs virtualized desktops, then direct connect vs IP, then lossless vs visually lossless – and that’s before you begin to consider the physical footprint, where you’re going to install your new infrastructure, how many units you need to accommodate, how many users you have and how your needs are likely to grow.

Ultimately, just because you might need a KVM deployment, it doesn’t mean that you can deploy it straight away. There are many stages to implementation. Introducing KVM means bringing multiple business units together to work together – from IT and engineering to operations, not to mention finance – and balancing all their requirements. KVM should be a value-generator, helping your company work smarter, but if you don’t work with the right technology partner to plan ahead for implementation, you risk getting stuck in the bureaucratic weeds.

With that in mind, what are the key steps when implementing KVM?

How KVM can help your business

First, it is paramount to outline the underlying benefits that KVM technology can provide for your business, particularly when compared to virtual solutions. There is a tendency to confuse use cases where KVM matrices would be the right choice with those where a cloud-based solution like a virtualized desktop could work. In a nutshell, KVM gives you direct, real-time and out-of-band access to the machine with which you need to work. It doesn’t transfer your data wholesale to a middleman location which you have to access remotely – like a virtualized desktop, which operates on a dedicated cloud infrastructure. Instead, it delivers the output of your graphics card, peripheral connectivity and audio to and from your location without loss of quality. KVM isn’t an emulation – it gives you the actual machine you need, when you need it.

That means the only data being transmitted is visual (for your screen) and indicative (for keyboard and mouse). As a result, the user experience is uninhibited – it feels like the computer is right there under your desk and you can switch between multiple different computers in under a second. In contrast, switching between virtualized desktops can take minutes and when the connection is established it can often feel slow or visually compressed– that is because they have been engineered to be lightweight, utilising little bandwidth and running on devices that are low powered. These sound like benefits and they often are until you are a user frustrated by the experience you get with these types of technology.

All of that adds up to mean that KVM is the right choice when delays, lag and buffering are unacceptable. Whether you are guiding planes on and off the tarmac, managing a live broadcast production or working in a process automation plant, you can’t afford delays that impact the quality of your work, the speed of your decisions and the safety of people.

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK.....

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