The most efficient way to lower server room costs --
ATEN LCD KVM Switches -- a brief overview
  A KVM (Keyboard, Video and Mouse) switch is a control unit that allows centralized control of multiple computers from a single console. Setting up a KVM installation is simply a matter of using specialized cables to connect the keyboard, video, and mouse ports on the computers to the KVM ports on the switch. In a large-scale centralized server room, huge savings in terms of equipment space, and energy expenses can be obtained by deploying a KVM Switch installation.

Early KVM devices consisted of simple switch boxes to link keyboard, video, and mouse ports using serial, D-Sub 15 or and AT ports. Since then the method of linking multiple KVM systems has been constantly improving. Modern implementations use PS/2 and USB interfaces, and even include DVI video and stereo audio transmissions. The latest advancements include KVM-over-IP to which allows users to manage their installations from remote location over the Internet using a browser.

One of the most distinguished examples in ATEN's advanced KVM switch lineup is the LCD KVM Switch. To understand its benefits, let's first look at the two major drawbacks found with conventional KVM switches: 1) Although a single console can control multiple computers, the console that interfaces with the switch exists separately from the switch -- taking up server room space and resources; and 2) If two operators need access to the system at the same time, one of them will have to wait -- diminishing the installation's efficiency.

With an LCD KVM switch, however, the KVM console is built right into the switch. Since the monitor flips down and the unit slides back out of the way, it fits perfectly in a 1 U system rack, with no waste of space.

Above: Wasted space with a conventional KVM installation
Below: Optimized rack utilization with an LCD KVM Switch.

ATEN LCD KVM Switches offer the perfect solution for enterprises that want to control server room costs, make efficient use of space, and modernize their server room capability. The benefits of an LCD KVM Switch can be demonstrated by looking at two of our most popular models: the ALTUSEN KL1116 and ALTUSEN KL3116, Hideaway™ LCD KVM Switches.

Looking at the ALTUSEN KL1116 Dual slide Hideaway™ LCD KVM Switch, we can see that when it is pulled out from the rack, its top cover rotates up to reveal a monitor built in to its top cover, and a keyboard and touch pad underneath. When the LCD monitor is closed, the entire unit can slide back into the rack taking up only 1U of rack height -- a significant savings in rack space over a conventional console arrangement since the space above and below the unit is available for other devices.
The KL1116's LCD monitor can either be 15 or 17 inches and contains ports for connecting up to 16 computers. Up to 31 additional units can be daisy chained, to enable access and control of up to 512 computers -- all from the single built-in LCD console.

The KL1116 also incorporates ports that permit users to attach an external console -- offering the ability to access the installation from a remote location as well as at the rack. In addition, if an installation comprises numerous computers, two operators may want access at the same time. By supporting a second console, the KL1116 can easily provide for control of the installation from both locations on a one-at-a-time basis.
Key functions of the switch are shown in the following table:

All-in-one design -- Integrated LCD KVM console in a dual slide (LCD monitor component can slide independently of the keyboard/touchpad component) Hideaway™ configuration.
Dual slide housing is slightly less than 1U - with top and bottom clearance for smooth operation in a 1U high system rack.
Space-saving technology -- Supports 2 consoles (one bus) to manage up to 16 computers.
Dual console design (one built-in; the other externally attached) -- allows access and management by 2 users (one at a time) with control easily switched via a hotkey.
Dedicated keyboard keys to instantly invoke Hotkey and OSD modes.
No software required - convenient computer selection via mouse-driven intuitive OSD (On Screen Display) menus, Hotkeys and pushbutton switches.
Supports hot-plugging -- add or remove computers without having to power down the switch.
The OSD port list automatically expands and incorporates a new computer when it is added to the installation.
DDC Emulation for the LCD Monitor - VGA settings of the connected computers are automatically adjusted for optimal output to the LCD Monitor.
Upgradeable firmware.
Supports Windows, Linux, Unix, Netware, AIX (RS6000), DOS 6.2 and higher.

The new ALTUSEN KL3116 Hideaway™ LCD KVMP Switch is similar in features to the KL1116. In addition, the KVM connectors have been changed to a combined PS/2 and USB interface. Additional USB ports are provided for sharing USB devices connected to the KL3116 among the computers on the installation. A few changes have been made to the operation interface, providing more options for the system manager: LEDs to indicate which computer currently has the KVM focus; a Port Up/Port Down button for quick port switching; a PS/2 mouse port for people who aren't comfortable with a touchpad; and an enhanced OSD that provides a tree view for a quick, easy to grasp display of information concerning all the computerson the installation. This is especially helpful for large, daisy chained installations.

Supports USB peripheral devices
PS/2 mouse port
The OSD provides a directory tree view

All ATEN and ALTUSEN LCD KVM Switches can be handled by one person. Thanks to the Easy Rack Mount Kit, it's only a matter of minutes for a single person to install the switch in a standard system rack as shown in the photos, below:

(1) Fit the Easy Rack Mount Kit rail onto the rack and tighten the front screw. (2) Tighten the rear screw. (3) Fit the other rail onto the rack and tighten the screws.
(4) Align the LCD KVM Switch with the rails. (5) Slide the LCD KVM Switch into rack. (6) Screw the LCD KVM Switch to the rack. The installation is now complete.

Above: Single person easy rack mounting

The ATEN LCD KVM Switches product line currently comprises the following products: the ATEN CL-1200, CL-1208/1216 and CL-1758; as well as the advanced ALTUSEN Series KL1116 and KL3116 . The CL-1200 differs from the others in that it only consists of the LCD module. It does not contain a KVM switch component. It was designed for users who already have an ATEN or ALTUSEN KVM Switch and would like to take advantage of the Hideaway™ benefits without having the expense of the KVM module found on the other Hideaway™ models.

With their unique, advanced features, ATEN LCD KVM switches are the most convenient and efficient means to managing enterprise centralized server room operations.