In search of a unicorn's blood: Control several machines with just one keyboard and mouse

Ralph_IT

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Apr 12, 2021
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A little background:
A control room with 8 displays attached to 4 machines. All 8 are monitored by some users with just one keyboard and mouse.
Right now we are using a Startech 4 port KVM as a simple USB switch, because we only need to change which machine is holding the keyboard and mouse.

Next week we're are going to install 2 more machines and 2 more displays, and I'm trying to find a solution that keeps just one keyboard and mouse to control all 6 machines.

Constraints I need to meet:
- No DIY
- No Alibaba/AliExpress/second hand ebay (ebay new is ok)
- Expandable to 12/16 machines (again, only one keyboard + mouse)
- Budget limited to 300€ + VAT (maybe more if the solution is liked by boss)
- Not software based (see post #7)
- Supersimple. Like plug 'n play (again, see #7)

Almost there: this one but it's out of stock and this one but it's from AliExpress.

Am I really trying to find unicorn's blood? ;)

Edit: Update requirements
 
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Ralph_IT

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Apr 12, 2021
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Will update the constraints, as there are some more that I cannot circunvent, no matter what:
- All machines are grouped in a couple of VLANs, but inter VLAN traffic is strictly forbidden, so this rules out any software based KVM.
- Easy to use. Like...well, very very very EASY to use. Users will not learn anything new, no matter how simple it seems. Also, they are not skilled with computers.

Thanks for all your answers.
I'll continue the search and update the thread if I found something.
 

NateS

Active Member
Apr 19, 2021
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With your updated constraints, it sounds like just a bigger KVM switch would be the best bet. I don't know what the availability is where you are, but I have this 8 port KVM myself, and it's in stock in the US at least: https://www.amazon.com/CKLau-Switch-Cables-Support-Windows/dp/B07NW3KXPW/ . Incidentally, it also works well switching 4k HDMI, in case you ever want to use the video switching features as well. They also make a 16 port version, which looks a little above your budget, but might be worth it if you anticipate expanding further.
 

edge

Active Member
Apr 22, 2013
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A little follow-up:
Finally we ended choosing a new 16 ports KVM.
Within budget and easy to deploy and use.

If someone is searching for a KM switch, other options I've researched are:
KM with 8 ports: 800€ + VAT (Price nowhere to be found, so I had to ask for it)
4 ports KM with daisy-chain option: 280€ + VAT (We'll need 2)

Thanks for all your suggestions.
I have used a ton of aten kvm, as long as you don't need sound they are great.
 

jabuzzard

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Mar 22, 2021
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- All machines are grouped in a couple of VLANs, but inter VLAN traffic is strictly forbidden, so this rules out any software based KVM.
Nope it just means you need one machine sitting in all the VLAN's, at which point there is no inter VLAN traffic :)