Communications

IHSE integrates eight input switch into single KVM extender

18th June 2014
Siobhan O'Gorman

IHSE has announced the release of a Draco CPU Switch for the transmission of video signals together with audio and USB for up to eight computers to one workstation using one interconnect cable. KVM extenders for computer signal extension comprise two parts: CPU Units at the source end connect to computers, whilst CON Units provide signals to peripheral devices, including monitor, keyboards and pointing devices. Cat X and fiber cables provide long-distance interconnection between the CPU and CON Units.  

The new Draco CPU Switch replaces eight traditional CPU units and includes an 8:1 switch: Eight source computers are connected by VGA cables to the CPU Unit, which is further connected to a user workstation by one interconnect cable. The operator can access any of the eight connected sources from the console. The extender operates as an 8-input, 1-output KVM switch and includes front-panel LEDs to indicate the active computer. Analog VGA video signals are converted to DVI within the extender and scaled using Draco vario image scaling, which is ideal for modern, high-resolution, monitors.  

This arrangement reduces the total number of long interconnection cables in a multi-CPU extension system, whilst maintaining access to multiple computers. It operates equally on systems using point-to-point extension as well as KVM switch-based installations.  

The Draco CPU Switch includes bidirectional analog audio ports and USB-HID for eight computers. A further USB 2.0 port (480 Mbit/s) on the extender allows storage devices to be connected locally. An attached USB device is connected to the active computer making it possible to simply transfer data (e.g. important system updates) from a single USB device to all computers under control of the workstation. Optionally, storage devices can also be connected at the console via USB 2.0 embedded (36 Mbit/s) interface.

The Draco CPU Switch simplifies operator access to multi-computer installations and is ideal for large data centers and installations requiring centrally managed host computers integrated into a high-end KVM system together with state-of-the-art workstations at low cost. By greatly reducing the number of extenders and cabling a significant reduction in cost, space and complexity of installation is achieved. Further, it may be used in conjunction with KVM matrix switches, reducing the number of ports used on the switch. The device features redundant data links and power supplies for maximum reliability and resilience in critical installations. It is designed for 19” rack-mount use.

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