Following a period of relative stagnation starting in 2014, the global market for keyboard, video and mouse (KVM) switches and serial consoles has started to show signs of life, with revenue set to rise to $868 million in 2023, up from $724 million in 2018, according to IHS Markit | Technology, now a part of Informa Tech.
KVM switches are devices that connect to multiple computers, allowing a single user to control many systems at the same time. Meanwhile, serial consoles are connections via computer interfaces that allows someone to access a computer.
During the past five years, market growth had been stymied by events that inhibited demand, including data center consolidation and the utilization of service processor management. However, the current positive conditions in the data center market, combined with encouraging product trends for KVM switches and serial consoles, have stirred renewed optimism in the market, as reported by the second edition of the KVM Switches & Serial Consoles report from IHS Markit | Technology.
“The KVM market is at a crossroads,” said Lucas Beran, principal analyst at IHS Markit | Technology. “There is a broad spectrum of industry usage from different product categories. On top of general data-center growth, new drivers in gaming, industrial and healthcare applications, are shifting the KVM market from a stagnant business into a growing market.”
IHS Markit is witnessing an increase in demand for desktop KVM switches. The rise of the gaming industry, particularly in Asia, has been a driving force for low-cost standard KVM demand. Secure desktop KVMs are also a growing product category, with governments and military organizations looking for secure communications. Furthermore, there are indications of growing use outside of traditional markets in healthcare and manufacturing to meet regulatory data-privacy requirements.
The movement away from in-rack analog solutions to KVM over-internet protocol (IP) is continuing as remote access becomes the preferred approach. Large data center owners and operators are adopting KVM-over-IP to cut onsite staff and reduce the risk of accidents in the data center. However, a significant installed base of legacy in-rack analog systems remains, which will likely never be fully displaced.
In recent years, high-performance KVM switches have found new industry verticals to address. The broadcasting, command and control and air-traffic control markets in Western Europe and North America have led adoption, with high-performance KVM switches now the largest product segment within those markets and regions. The market has almost completely shifted away from all-in-one gateways.
More KVM switch and serial console market highlights
- The KVM switch and serial console market is forecast to achieve a five-year compound annual growth rate of 3.3 percent, with revenue reaching $868 million in 2023.
- Asia is the region forecast to grow at the fastest rate, followed by EMEA and then the Americas.
- Vertiv, Aten and Belkin hold the top-three global market-share positions in KVM switches and serial consoles.
KVM Switches & Serial Consoles Market Report
The KVM Switches and Serial Consoles report is available from IHS Markit | Technology as a standalone report. The report provides in depth analysis across three major regions, 27 minor regions, product categories and vertical markets. These statistics are presented for 2018 with forecasts through 2023. Supplier market share is presented by major region and product type.