Handheld "Crash Cart" for Network Server Systems (KVM2USB)

Recovering an out of operation ("Down") server quickly is always a priority. When this objective can be achieved while also making the job easier, everyone wins. Most network servers today are “headless”, meaning they have no keyboard, video, or mouse. For those who work in the server environment, this results in a significant annoyance: "crash carts" (monitor, keyboard and mouse), that are needed to interface with these systems.

KVM2USB Diagram 1
KVM2USB Diagram 2

Although there are remote monitoring and access tools, there are times when one needs to isolate the server and connect directly. In most cases, one is left with a choice, either unplug the server and bring it to the shop, or you have a push cart with your monitor, keyboard and mouse that you lug around in data center to bring them to the network appliance you need to diagnose.

A more elegant solution to this problem is the KVM2USB from the Canadian company, Epiphan Systems (Ephiphan.com). With this small device, you connect it into your computer’s USB 2.0 port. To connect to the server, it has cables to connect to the KVM ports. It will run on-screen emulation of the server screen right through your laptop screen.

Epiphan Processor Module

Epiphan Systems KVM2USB product is a compact device that conveys the VGA stream from any host computer to a laptop, while emulating the laptop's keyboard and mouse outputs. It's the equivalent of a handheld crash cart. The second generation KVM2USB has a more powerful microprocessor, on-board RAM buffer, and a faster and more reliable video synchronization.

The KVM2USB is compatible with Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7 (i386, x64), Mac OS X 10.4 and up (ppc, i386, x86_64), and Linux (x86, x86_64). The KVM2USB sells for about $400, and includes all required hardware and cabling.

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