Fellow bloggers and those with labs: Where do you run your lab?

In my conversations with other bloggers, the question about lab hardware always arises.  Where do you get lab hardware and, once you have it, where do you operate it?  In many cases, lab hardware is very loud, so it can’t sit in the living room.  Some place it in an out of the way room or in the garage, but that is not always ideal for everyone.

Right now, I’m running four servers and an EMC VNXe SAN.  I bought the four servers and the SAN was donated to my lab.  As you might imagine, it’s all loud and requires quite a bit of power.  It’s in my basement in a small 1/3 height rack that I purchased, but it needs to move.  I’ve considered simply buying an air conditioned rack and placing the whole thing in my garage.  However, recently, a new data center in Texas contacted me offering rack space in an air conditioned, generator backed facility for $25 per rack unit per month.  In total, I need about 12 rack units, but may be able to get that down a little bit (to 9 or 10U).  The company has indicated that I can just ship them the gear and they’ll mount it for me.

Have any of you accepted offers like this>  Are you running your lab in a data center and simply accessing everything remotely?  There would be some savings on the electric bill, but more importantly, the noise level would go down by quite a lot.  If I can get to 10U, I’m looking at $250 per month for my whole lab, which doesn’t seem to be too bad.

I’d love to hear others’ thoughts on this dilemma.

Or, if someone might like to partner and see if we might be able to do something together and get a better rate, feel free to contact me.

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