Adder Proves KVM Still Has Relevance

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

The next-generation KVM doubles as a remote support appliance by incorporating TCP/IP, HTTP Server and VNC support into a single unit that can support as many as 16 servers locally or over the Web.

KVM switches have become rather pedestrian, and it’s pretty hard to get excited when the latest KVM switch hits the streets. Why? Well, partly because many KVM switches have been replaced with software solutions, such as terminal services, gotomypc and logmein. But don’t tell that to the folks at Adder, a manufacturer of KVM switches.

While software alternatives to KVM switches offer all sorts of bells and whistles, the simple fact is that software can’t replace physical hardware all of the time. In other words, if someone needs to launch BIOS setup during a boot, a software solution just won’t hack it. After all, remote control software applications load after the operating system does.

For pre-boot situations, solution providers needed to be in front of the subject PC, with access to a keyboard, video display and mouse (hence the moniker KVM) or, at the very least, have a physical connection to those elements on the subject system.

KVM switches offer several advantages over software solutions. First off, compatibility is usually not an issue; neither is worrying about service subscriptions and buggy remote control applications crashing servers. What’s more, a KVM switch is a great way to manage a server when someone is actually in the server room, not to mention the savings in hardware costs a KVM can offer. After all, a whole rack of servers can be serviced by a single keyboard, mouse and monitor. But KVM switches are not without their own problems—many lack any type of remote connectivity, and those that do offer it have proved to be unreliable and unresponsive.

Adder has changed all of that with the CATxIP1000, an eight- or 16-port KVM that offers both local and remote control of attached systems. The 16-port AVX1016IP retails for $645, while the eight-port AVX1008P retails for $495. Each attached system requires a CAT-5 connection module, which retails for about $100.

At first blush, $2,245 to control 16 servers may sound like big bucks, but the simple fact of the matter is that a hosted software solution could run as much as $240 per month ($14.95 per month per managed system) for controlling those same 16 PCs, a cost that will add up quickly over time to more than $2,400 per year.

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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