KVM in use: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

KVM in use: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

By: Annette Häbel and Bianca Schmidt

Have you ever been in the following situation? You visit a website searching for a certain product, but suddenly there are more than one fitting your requirements. And if you are interested in combining these products, the decision becomes even harder. That’s exactly why we started a new series of posts showing you how KVM extenders, switches and matrix switches will work “out there in the wild” and how they can actually be applied.

Our first post leads us to the Netherlands – more precisely to the Amsterdam airport.


Baggage belts at Amsterdam Airport SchipholAmsterdam Airport Schiphol:

  • Europe’s fourth busiest airport
  • Hub airport
  • More than 2,000 employees for baggage handling

Each year:

  • Approx. 49.8 million passengers
  • 1.7 million tons of cargo
  • 70 million pieces of luggage

Quite impressive, isn’t it? Looking at these numbers, you can assume the challenge our devices had to face.


Monitoring the baggage handling system (21 km of transport belts on an area of 12 football fields) requires a control room fitting many requirements:

  • Information about arriving, departing and transfer baggage in one system
  • Ideal ergonomic conditions for employees with only one set of mouse and keyboard at desk and without heat-emitting, loud computers
  • Removal of computers into temperature-controlled, secure server room
  • Access to all computers from one console
  • No software installations
  • Implementation of different operating systems
  • Easy access to maintain computers

And as if that wasn’t enough of a challenge, the installation had to take place during night, because the airport couldn’t just turn off their systems. After all, even at night baggage wants to be transported from A(msterdam) to B(ali).


  • KVM extenders to extend analogue and digital signals and to use different types of cables (DVIVision, CATVision, FIBREVision)
  • KM switches to get rid of the large amount of keyboards and mouses at desks (TradeSwitch4, TradeSwitch8)
  • KVM matrix switches to access multiple computers from multiple consoles at the same time and in real-time (CATCenter, UCON)
  • Keyboard drawer (RackConsole)

But how exactly will these requirements and products turn into a working system?


System drawing of KVM installation at Amsterdam Airport At first, any computers were banned from the control room and placed in a separate server room where they found their new home in a comfortable server rack. Several computers were now connected to the CATCenter KVM matrix switch. The computers’ operating system is not important, since KVM accesses only the standard interfaces. This way, the CATCenter matrix switch monitors all computers centrally. Another advantage of applying matrix switches? Many users can access many computers at the same time.

Then the KVM matrix switches were grouped at a leader switch allowing users to configure and operate any connected devices.

In a next step, each workplace in the control room was provided with a UCON user module. Now the staff can use on-screen displays or hotkeys to switch between computers.

Since some computers were assigned to certain employees, they could not be implemented into the matrix switch system. In such cases, KVM extender systems were applied depending on video signal and transmission cable.

KVM extenders consist of a sender and a receiver. The sender is placed by the computer at the server rack. Infrastructural cables bridge the distance to the user desk. Here, keyboard, monitor and mouse are connected to the receiver and therefore also to the remote computer. If more than one of such systems are placed at desks, KM switches, in this case the TradeSwitch, come in handy. The switch reduces the number of keyboards and mouses required at the desk to one.

Drawer to maintain systemMore advantages

The IT team is also thankful for the implemented system, since they no longer need to go from desk to desk to maintain and update computers. Maintenance in the server rack actually only requires a keyboard drawer in the server room, in this case G&D’s RackConsole 17-HR.

Step by step, all requirements and products turned into a working system making sure your baggage follows you on your next trip. And by the way: the system was actually implemented by one of our trusted Dutch sales partners, Peter Janssen from Koning & Hartman.

Bianca Schmidt

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