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System for extending a computer's keyboard-video-mouse (KVM) over a point-to-point wireless connection

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000202013D
Publication Date: 2010-Dec-01
Document File: 6 page(s) / 170K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

This invention totally takes away the KVM switch and console to replace with a device that can function autonomously. Each server would have a "wireless KVM dongle" at the back. A user can use a standard laptop with wireless capability such as WiFi or Bluetooth to connect wirelessly to the KVM dongle to interact with the server. This not only save the cost of acquiring the KVM switch and console for every rack, and avoid the wasted rack space, it also allow any number of users to concurrently access any number of distinctive servers, because it is point to point connection, no switching around! Any standard wireless laptop could be turned into a full featured KVM console with simple software application.

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System for extending a computer's keyboard-video-mouse (KVM) over a point-to-point wireless connection

Background

In a modern computer server room, most of the servers are mounted bottom up on a high density standard rack. To save rack space there is no keyboard or mouse or monitor attached to each rack server. A keyboard-video-mouse (KVM) switch device is installed on every rack to allow KVM access to any server on that rack, by switching. The KVM switch device is attached to a KVM switch console which has an actual keyboard, mouse and monitor to interact with the human user.

Though this does provide some advantages over having a real set of KVM per server, it does bring its own problems to the server room administrator:
1. In a high density 42U server rack, there could be up to 40 servers installed, most KVM switch don't have 40 ports
2. KVM cables are big and thick, block hot air flow at the back of the rack
3. KVM switch console are fixed to the front of the rack, not accessible when debugging something at the rear
4. KVM switch & console takes up 1U or 2U of precious rack space
5. Only 1 or 2 people can concurrently access the servers through the KVM switch
6. KVM switch cost more than the rack!

Though KVM switches are still prevalent in server rooms across the world, there are many places that could be improved with today's technologies.

Existing solutions

Some solutions exist today to ease certain problems caused by KVM switch. For instance, to reduce the thick KVM cables cluttering at the rack rear, daisy chained cables were invented where one could chain all the KVM cables in a rack through a single CAT5 cable up to the KVM switch port. This also solve the problem of insufficient port on the KVM switch in high density rack. But a switch and console are still needed on each rack.

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KVM switches could also be cascaded together to a single point of control, probably outside of the server room where it's usually cold and noisy, so a KVM console is not needed on each rack. However, an expensive switch is still needed on each rack, and this has the side effect of aggravating the problem that only a handful of users can interact with all the servers at once through this cascaded KVM switch infrastructure.

If there are 50 users trying to connect to 50 different servers concurrently, that is impossible with such infrastructure.

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Summary of invention

This invention totally takes away the KVM switch and console to replace with a device that can function autonomously. Each server would have a "wireless KVM dongle" at the back. A user can use a standard laptop with wireless capability such as WiFi or Bluetooth to connect wirelessly to the KVM dongle to interact with the server.

This not only save the cost of acquiring the KVM switch and console for every rack, and avoid the wasted rack space, it als...