Redundancy concepts for maximum reliable systems in mission-critical areas
The increasing application of computers in security control rooms and military facilities as well as in the areas of simulation and training places high demands on the reliability and cyber security of this equipment. G&D North America Inc. (G&D) are leading manufacturers of KVM systems for security-relevant applications, providing robust and highly reliable solutions that enhance the security of technology and at the same time make the work of operatives smarter and more comfortable. At this year’s I/ITSEC in Orlando, Florida,02 – 06 December 2019, the company will present their KVM devices to extend, switch and distribute computer signals on booth 552.
KVM is short for keyboard, video and mouse and refers to the interfaces of a computer. The special thing about the technology: Based on hardware, KVM systems pick up computer signals at the interfaces from where they are extended and distributed. They enable the spatial separation of operators and computers and thus also make it possible to remove computer equipment from control rooms into dedicated, access-controlled server rooms. However, the computers can still be operated remotely – intuitively and in real time, without latency or jolts and as if they were still placed next to the workstation.
KVM in mission-critical applications
For 35 years, G&D have stood for "German Engineering" and offer a comprehensive portfolio of KVM solutions for mission-critical applications: KVM extension systems, KVM switches and KVM matrices for the different requirements of areas relevant to security. The use of a KVM matrix, e.g. the ControlCenter-Compact, improves the IT infrastructure and harmonizes spatially distributed installations. KVM matrix systems switch and distribute computer signals and are used whenever several computers have to be operated remotely via different, simultaneous workstations. At the same time, users can operate several systems with a single set of keyboard, mouse and screen – completely without additional software installations and independent of the operating system.
Reliability through KVM redundancy concepts
Every day, G&D solutions prove their worth in numerous mission-critical installations such as air traffic control and traffic control, maritime and military control rooms as well as in areas such as oil & gas and energy supply. KVM stands out especially when it comes to setting up a redundant system architecture to optimally implement security concepts. If a primary route, a computer or a workstation fails, operators can simply switch to a redundant route, a back-up computer or a redundant workstation. This way they can finish their work safely and in a familiar environment.
Depending on the complexity and requirements of individual applications, both simple and extremely extensive redundancies can be used to backup either only the KVM system, the computer side, the console side or the entire application.
Security features for maximum reliable systems
KVM from G&D offers many aspects that improve cyber security and provide optimum access for being able to make quick decisions. The first and most important component is the separation of networks according to security levels. Since KVM systems are based solely on hardware, they only use original firmware instead of software that could be infected or manipulated. To prevent unauthorized listening and access attempts, the data connection to the workstation is either uncompressed, transparent via fiber optic cables or compressed with data coding via copper cabling. For this purpose, G&D use their own video codec for additional security. A dedicated, proprietary network is set up for the KVM systems, thus keeping the networks separate.
Preventive monitoring in mission-critical areas
Monitoring and SNMP are integrated in many G&D devices and are used to monitor the system status of G&D devices and connected peripherals. Thanks to the system's permanent monitoring, administrators can react to critical conditions, e.g. exceeding temperatures, miscommunications with the keyboard interface, or problems with the redundant system, before they lead to failures. The monitoring and SNMP function avoids system failures, increases availability and allows system administrators to work more efficiently.