Extended KVM Systems - Remotely Connecting Operator Workstations To Displays/Keyboards/Mouse

To all, I wanted to share with everyone a very useful and robust technology that I have deployed in several locations where it is necessary to maintain physical separation between the computing equipment )(such as VMS servers & workstations) from the actual operators (i.e. dispatchers) who use the displays, keyboards & mouse devices.

It is a Matrox Extio F2208.

Typically the servers and workstations are located in clean and secure rooms while the displays and keyboards are out on the desktops or command center. Sometimes hundreds if not thousands of feet away in another building. This device allows you to use duplex, multimode fiber optic cabling to extend the displays hundreds of feet away and as far or over 1KM (0.62 miles) using single mode fiber.

It solved my problem and I thought it may be useful to others out there with the same challanges.

ps - I am not in anyway shape or form associated with a manufacturer, distributor or integrator. Just an end user.


Thanks, Joel!

Interesting, this may the first discussion or post we have on KVMs. Worth hearing from others what options or approaches they have used.

That's pretty cool, Joel! I've also seen similar products from NTI.

But it's good to hear a testimonial from someone who's actually used a product and found it worthwhile.


I have also used KVM extenders based on copper UTP cabling but by far the fiber optic solution has been much more robust and resilient to problems. Costs a little more but well worth it in the front end design.

Is the key benefit then that a few thousand dollar KVM switch is less expensive overall than using clients over an IP network?

The primary benefit it our particular situation / application is having full application access by the users while completely separating their physical access to the servers to maintain security. Our particular application is control systems related and there isnt a web client or remote client to the application due to the critical nature and design of the application.

Therefore, in order to isolate and restrict access to the actual physical hardware (tampering) this was the most logical solution. And in fact it is very robust and has been reliable for the past several years after installation.

We use KVM quite often.

Mainly when you have operator houses which have no desks to place PC's, but a, what we call, E-room, a floor above. This is where we place the PC's then. Which are usually allot better conditioned then the actual workplace.

However, DVI serves quite a problem with the length restrictions and the fact that not all KVM are suitable for streaming video. And to be honest, I find the KVM's using fibre to be ridiculously expensive.

Hi Roger,

I agree they can be expensive but in our particular case it serves us well. It is not a solution I would apply 'carte blanc' but the technology I described works well and suites our purpose.

thanks for the feedback!