I believe this is a slightly controversial topic, at least from what I have gathered so far. Some say its best to leave the server on to spare the life time of the spinning rust. Other seem to prefer to save power and boot the server off each night. So wanted to chip in and hear what folks here do and why do what you do.

Bonus question; Do you guys have a UPS? Is it a must have for a homelab, or does it just depend on the usecase?

  • renzev@lemmy.world
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    4 days ago

    For a while I had a low-power server for my personal things that stayed on all the time, and a more powerful computer that hosted a minecraft server. As the player count dwindled, I decided to make the minecraft server automatically shut down at midnight, and wake up at 8 in the morning using rtcwake. And eventually I disabled the rtcwake thing entirely, and made the smaller server run a webui that could wake up the minecraft server using wake-on-lan. So if anyone wanted to play, they would first have to remotely turn on the server through a web page. This was all password-protected ofcourse.

    Also, no, I don’t use a UPS. I’ve never seen anyone use a UPS in the country where I live, and I don’t think I’ve experienced a power outtage in like 4 years. Whether or not you need a UPS seems to be largely dependent on where you live.

  • Matt The Horwood@lemmy.horwood.cloud
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    11 days ago

    I leave my servers running 24/7, thats the point of a server. Also my home automation would be a little pointless if its off.

    I did have a UPS, but it died and I have got round to replacing it.

    Its all horses for courses, if your homelab is a playground to test things out then turning it off when not is use is fine. But some have live services that you may want at a moments notice and there for having it up all the time is better.

    • Strit@lemmy.linuxuserspace.show
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      11 days ago

      I’m in the same boat as you. My server runs 24/7, because I have some services that require close to 100% uptime to function correctly.

      My UPS works fine though, and I wouldn’t go without it these days. Just because the damage an improper shutdown can cause on data.

  • CarbonatedPastaSauce@lemmy.world
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    11 days ago

    And ruin my uptime stats? Are you mad?!?!

    Among the many things I run are my own email servers so, yeah gotta be up all the time. And yes I have a UPS behind every electronic device in my house except the TV because if that dies I get to buy a new one.

    I’ve probably spent upwards of $2000 on UPSes and replacement batteries over the last 20 years, but if it saved even one of my servers from taking a hit it was worth it. Servers are expensive and my time is valuable to me.

  • DarkMetatron@feddit.org
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    11 days ago

    My home server does all my network related stuff (including DNS and DHCP) turning it off would be a very bad idea due to this.

    I don’t have a UPS, but it is relatively high on my list.

    • PeroBasta@lemmy.world
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      10 days ago

      It all depends if you actually nerd those services 24/7

      I dont need DHCP or DNS from 1am to 6am for example

    • MystikIncarnate@lemmy.ca
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      10 days ago

      I moved my DNS to a pair of raspberry Pi 3’s running bind, with a DNS stub zone for my homelab domain that points to my homelab DNS servers.

      That way the internet keeps working whether my homelab works or not. Keeps the wife aggro down.

  • MystikIncarnate@lemmy.ca
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    10 days ago

    You can do whatever you want. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s “wrong”. A big part of homelabbing is to try stuff. If it doesn’t work, that’s fine, you learned something, and that was the point.

    For me, I don’t see a UPS as essential. It’s generally a good idea, but not strictly essential. My servers are on 24/7, because I have services that do things overnight for me. I also know that some people access my lab when I’m not awake, so I just leave it on so it can be ready for anything at any time. It poses some unique challenges sometimes when running stuff that’s basically 24/7/365.

    Be safe, have fun, learn stuff.

    • Opeth@lemm.ee
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      9 days ago

      I have a ‘dumb’ UPS for my synology NAS to protect against short power outages - it’s done after a minute or 10 though so if I’m not at home it’ll crash anyway. In Retrospect I should’ve gone for a smart one that will shutdown the NAS.

  • shnizmuffin@lemmy.inbutts.lol
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    11 days ago

    An UPS is a must for any computer, even if all it’s doing is absorbing the shock of a brownout and triggering a graceful shutdown.

    I run persistent services that require 24/7 uptime.

    • iknowitwheniseeit@lemmynsfw.com
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      11 days ago

      Meh. I lose power every 3 or 4 years on average. A UPS just doesn’t make sense for me. (When I lived in Virginia it was once a month on average, so for sure it made sense…)

      • cybersandwich@lemmy.world
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        11 days ago

        Like he was saying, it’s more than just power loss. It’s a way of “sanitizing” the power as it comes in. This is “usually” not a problem. But dirty power is arguably worse than power outages. If the voltages fluctuate or get low for whatever reason that puts a big strain on your power supplies.

        This could happen because you run a vacuum on the same circuit and your house is old, guy down the street electrocutes himself or the power coming in from the electric company is ‘dirty’ because they have an issue with transformers or up stream somewhere. It can be imperceptible to you, but your tech notices.

      • hendrik ✅@palaver.p3x.de
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        10 days ago

        Same here. I would say total power outages are a bit more rare than every three years. But we had some failure last year and two years before that a neighbor dug through some cables and most of the street went dark. Sometimes I contribute and plug in some (old) electrical device that isn’t okay anymore. This year I got some water into the extension cord while cleaning outside… And since we have ground fault protection for the house, I had to reboot everything. The server and the 4 harddisks in it are perfectly fine. And have been for like a decade. I don’t think I need to pay for an UPS and the additional power it needs.

  • Shimitar@feddit.it
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    11 days ago

    24/7 of course, that’s the point of it. But I have solar, so I don’t mind consuming power, and its not thatuxh a yway, so, anyway…

    What’s the point in turning it off at all???

    • lud@lemm.ee
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      9 days ago

      Saving power of course.

      Reducing noise and temps is another.

      • Shimitar@feddit.it
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        9 days ago

        I have solar, so the power consumption is negligible, I am already mostly selling yo the network and not “consuming” most of the days. Also, the server stuff sits in a sound proofed and ventilated compartment in the most remote area of the house.

        20 years of planning ahahahahah

        Past the times when it was sitting in my bedroom.

        • lud@lemm.ee
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          9 days ago

          I just said what the general benefits are since you apparently were unable to get that yourself.

          I’m not saying you specifically should do or not do something, I don’t care.

    • Kusimulkku@lemm.ee
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      10 days ago

      Could be that it is hosting services that are only actively used instead of passively doing stuff, so no real need to have the server on when you’re sleeping. For me turning it off and on again would be more of a hassle than it’s worth it.

      • Shimitar@feddit.it
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        9 days ago

        Agreed. First of all that would make running backups more complex, and would require either manual interaction, or very careful automation of some kind.

        And any public facing service (like blog and some stuff) would still need to be accessible somehow, so…

  • luciddaemon@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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    11 days ago

    My servers are on 24/7, currently they use about 100watts each (I have 2 running), which adds maybe $20 to my electric bill. I also have stuff such as mailcow, nextcloud, and mattermost running, turning off every night would make those applications useless.

    I have a shit APC desktop UPS. It keeps them on for 10-15 minutes at best.

    • Neshura@bookwormstory.social
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      11 days ago

      Imo you probably save more money keeping the server up 24/7 than constantly shutting it down and starting it up again. Especially once you get a good list of services going.

  • BCsven@lemmy.ca
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    10 days ago

    Nope always on. Also runs homeaasiatant so if it was off I would lose the schedule use for lights, or phone connection for on/off etc. But yes, get a UPS, even ifvyou haven’t had a power faikure a good UPS will monitor and correct voltage amd dirty power. It has saved me a couple of times.

      • youmaynotknow@lemmy.ml
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        10 days ago

        Yup. Been very happy with it for almost 5 years. 🤓

        When my wife sees all my interactions in Lemmy, she says that we’re just a bunch of nerds. Of course we are 🤣😂. That’s the beauty of this.

  • Encrypt-Keeper@lemmy.world
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    11 days ago

    No one should be powering off their servers. Thats really not the way to go about anything. Now there’s nothing stopping you from doing that either if you want to and it makes you happy or your life easier.

    But if you want a simple answer to a simple question, no, nobody sane is doing that lol

    • BritishJ@lemmy.world
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      11 days ago

      We power off servers in the enterprise all the time and on schedules 😂. Its called saving money.

        • BritishJ@lemmy.world
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          11 days ago

          In pretty much any enterprise using the public cloud. Everything is auto scaling, so shutdowns when not needed. Dev environments shutdown over night… If you’re not shutting down and scaling in the public cloud, you’re doing it wrong.

            • BritishJ@lemmy.world
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              11 days ago

              Is it shutting down servers… Yes. it just does it based on parameters and thresholds.

              Then you get things like VDI servers and jump boxes that only need to be on between certain hours, so get shutdown outside them hours.

                • BritishJ@lemmy.world
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                  10 days ago

                  But it is. They’re stopped and deallocated. They start up when demanded. And shutdown when below a threshold or a certain schedule.

              • WordBox@lemmy.world
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                11 days ago

                Right you don’t shut them down, you scale them down. My server also uses less power off peak demand.

                • BritishJ@lemmy.world
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                  10 days ago

                  No we shut them down. They get deallocated the same way as shutting down a virtual server does. They’re not containers, the scaling part just turns them on and off based on workload or schedule

              • Butt Pirate@reddthat.com
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                10 days ago

                Most of us don’t have clusters so shutting down the server means taking the server and all associated services completely offline.

                Do you take your product completely offline for 8 hours every single day?

          • BarbecueCowboy@lemmy.world
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            10 days ago

            I see where your head is at here, but it sounds like you’re focusing on containerized items. A lot of people are going to look at you real weird if you think of scaling down a container as equivalent to shutting down a server. We can all see where your mind is going and there is logic there, but it’s more akin to closing chrome when you’re not using it than it is to shutting down the computer running chrome.

            • brygphilomena@lemmy.world
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              10 days ago

              Even physical hardware, if your paying power you can have clusters of physical hardware power up and down based on usage. There is no point in having 10 physical hosts running when the workload for n+1 means 3 servers overnight. With bnc, ipmi, ilo, idrac it will power them up as needed.

  • femtech@midwest.social
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    11 days ago

    24/7 I have home assistant and other things that depend on it being up. It’s not a beast but it definitely uses less than my oven. My electric use is big already from my electric car so the small savings wouldn’t be noticeable alongside my solar panels.

  • Pope-King Joe@lemmy.world
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    11 days ago

    Server is on 24/7 and it has a UPS for the momentary brown outs I have during heavy winds. It would be silly if it’s off for any reason besides maintenance, even more so since it holds multiple game worlds in addition to some web and chat stuff.