KVM Switch or Console Server: Which is Right For You?

Both are tools for managing your network; the real difference lies in what type of equipment they can manage.

KVM Switch

KVM Switches allow access to and control of nearby computers and servers - across the room, in another room, on another floor of the building.

IP KVM Switches access the same type of equipment, but they can remotely access and control them from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.

Use a KVM Switch to manage:

  • Computers/File Servers
  • Domain Servers
  • Print Servers
  • Blade Servers

go to KVM Switches

Console Server

Console Servers enable access to and control of all network devices, including those at remote locations—across campus, in another city, overseas.

Use an IP Console Server to manage:

  • Servers
  • Firewalls
  • IP KVM Switches
  • PBX Systems
  • UPS Systems
  • PDUs
  • Remote Power Control Units
  • Routers
  • Storage Systems
  • Switches

go to Console Servers

Side-by-Side Comparison

KVM SWITCHES IP KVM SWITCHES IP CONSOLE SERVERS
Allow users to manage network devices remotely over IP network, in-band (via Ethernet)
Allow users to manage network devices remotely over IP network, out-of-band (via modem/serial port)
Enables display of BIOS on reboot  
Include expansion capability, allowing multiple users to manage multiple devices
Provide support of virtual media  
Manage "Headless" devices (items without display, keyboard or mouse) such as switches, routers, UPS systems, PDUs, KVMs, Firewalls, some servers, etc.
Have built-in service processor controls    
Provide a variety of management tools (IMPI, BMC, NUT, Nagios)    
Come equipped with temperature sensors    
Provide secure tunneling connections    
Embedded, programmable Linux    

All Models in this Product Family have this feature
Some Models in this Product Family have this feature

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