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KVM + USB Docking Station = Faster Development

August 05, 14 - Posted in: Tech Talk
KVM + USB Docking Station = Faster Development
From the time, the DocKtor is asked if the Targus Universal Docking Stations work with a KVM (Keyboard, Video, & Mouse) switch. Most of the people asking are software developers for the brand name cloud application companies, and a few OS companies (imagine them being called Company G and Company M and one that sounds like a fruit). Well, the short answer is, Yes! To enables efficient testing of various computer hardware and/or software configurations with each of the Targus Universal Docking Stations, the DocKtor uses a dock in between a PC/Macbook and each source port of a KVM in his lab. One video monitor output port on each of the Targus models ACP076, ACP70, ACP71, and the ACP77 are connected to each of the video source ports on the 4-port KVM; each of the associated KVM USB source ports is connected to one of its corresponding dock's USB ports. The controlling keyboard and mouse are plugged into the KVM USB sink ports for each. This KVM also has a USB port to plug in a hub to test various system I/O configurations, or these devices can be plugged into the dock. The KVM video sink port is plugged into a single monitor. This monitor will appear as an external monitor in the DisplayLink Manager Software running on each PC/Macbook connected at each dock. This is just like as if the monitor was plugged directly into the dock's external monitor port. In the screenshot example below, monitor "1" is local to the PC, monitor "2" is an external monitor plugged in the dock being examined, and monitor "3" is connected to the KVM sink port. Note, the virtual orientation is configurable.

Example Orientation of Native, KVM, and Dock Monitors

Used in this configuration, a developer is free to expand each workstation configuration to include a docking stations external video, GbE, audio and USB ports. This is the setup that I would expect most software developers to be using. After all, the docking station in its simplest manifestation can be thought as a simple expansion of a computers I/O.
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