KVM Switches

KVM switch (with KVM being an abbreviation for “keyboard, video and mouse”) is a hardware device that allows a user to control multiple computers from one or more sets of keyboards, video monitors, and mice. Although multiple computers are connected to the KVM, typically a smaller number of computers can be controlled at any given time. Modern devices have also added the ability to share other peripherals like USB devices and audio.

Before the mouse became relevant in server switching applications, the term Keyboard Video Switch (KVS) was used to describe keyboard and monitor switching devices. With the increased adoption of Microsoft Windows, the mouse and other I/O ports in peripheral switching became prevalent. Remigius Shatas, the founder of Cybex (a popular peripheral switch manufacturer at that time) expanded the initialism to Keyboard, Video and Mouse (KVM) in 1995. Some years later, Universal Serial Bus (USB) began to become the new industry standard for connecting computer peripherals.