I'm thinking of colocating a number ( 8 ) of servers in my own cabinet in a local data center and have been offered a reasonable deal on a 1u TFT display, keyboard and trackball. Reasonable still means over £500 and I'm wondering if there is any option to use a laptop to control the servers instead. I know that I can administer the servers across the network when everything is working well but it's those times when a system is down or won't boot that I'm wondering about.
Usually a datacenter will have carts with monitors/keyboards you can check out and roll to your rack. Not all, but every one I've been in. The down side is, every time you need it you have to move it over there, plug it in, etc.. That obviously takes time, but if you dont expect using to too often, I would check into that.