How can I save money and power on my home servers? ~ Ask The Admin

Thursday, May 08, 2008

How can I save money and power on my home servers?

If you are any type of respectable geek you have one or more machines at home that you use to store your porn important data, documents and backups.

You probably also leave these machines on all the time. If you're not using them to pull down torrents all night or need to remote into them, you really should shut them down when they aren't being used for long periods of time. Shutting them down would save a lot of electricity, which will save you money.

By now you're thinking, "Yeah, that sounds good, but it's a PITA to turn them on and off all the time. And some of them are headless so how am I going to do that?"

You use Auto Poweron & Shutdown. The application runs as a Windows service and lets you schedule multiple on and off schedules per day, week or any custom schedule you want.

Technically, it doesn't power down the machine completely, it puts it into hibernate. Obviously, if it was completely powered off, it wouldn't be able to turn itself back on. But you can use the app to fully power down the machine if you really want to.

I have been using it to shut my file and print server down every night and then power it back on before I get up in the morning. I also power it down during the day when I'm at work and then back on before I get home. I have customized the schedule so it only shuts down during the day on weekdays.

Instead of running the machine 168 hours a week, I'm now running it less than 87 hours a week. That's a 50% reduction in power with no real effort or inconvenience on my part.

The application costs $24.95 and there is a 30-day trial. I know we all love free stuff, but depending on how much you pay for electricity you'll probably save more than you pay for it within a year.

There are tons of ways to shut a machine down at a specific time, but this is one of the very few I found that can turn a machine back on at a scheduled time. Do you know of any others?