A Way To Cut My Power Use & One Of My Favorite Kickstarters In A While
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 9 December 2015 at 09:30 PM EST. 17 Comments
HARDWARE --
I was very excited this morning when hearing from a Phoronix reader about a new solution for potentially saving huge amounts of money on my electricity bill. No, it wasn't spam. Rather, an interesting Kickstarter project for a solution to my numerous Linux systems that have faulty WoL support.

While I don't normally cover Kickstarter projects on Phoronix, the RemoteBoot project is one that caught my interest -- and it might actually be my first time contributing directly to a Kickstarter project. (After my wish of wanting a PicoBrew...) RemoteBoot is a WiFi-based, remote-management module for PCs. Via WiFi, you can monitor the current power state of the system connected to and force a power-on/reset of the system. RemoteBoot is a little PCB with jumper cables that connect to the front panel header of the motherboard. That way from any web browser, you can power on a system even without Wake-On-LAN.


Via the RemoteBoot Cloud is dynamic DNS support for remotely booting the connected system from outside the network. RemoteBoot also has a watchdog timer feature for being able to reset the system after a user-configured amount of time if the activity LED hasn't been lit. Basically, it comes down to a simple but effective way of being able to control over the LAN/Internet the power state of a system regardless of whether it has working Wake-On-LAN support or not.

I'm so excited as out of my 60+ systems I have running daily benchmarks for Phoronix.com, OpenBenchmarking.org, and LinuxBenchmarking.com, more than a dozen of the systems (close to 20!) have faulty Wake-On-LAN support. For the systems that do have working WoL support, Phoromatic automatically powers on/off the systems each day when needed for benchmarking. For the faulty systems, I generally leave it on and then a few I manually go down and power them on each day. This is a big deal when my power use due to all of this open-source/Linux benchmarking is around 3,000 kWh each month.


My only hesitation is that the API hasn't been finalized yet so still waiting on more details about that to ensure it would work well for my particular needs. Additionally, weighing the cost and counting the number of systems I am manually powering on each day with faulty WoL to figure out the cost benefit analysis -- considering the server room heats my house in the winter. If you are curious about RemoteBoot for remotely monitoring the power state of a system over the LAN or Internet with reset/power-on capabilities, go checkout the Kickstarter page. The project is already funded with having launched last month and there are just five days to go in the campaign; $6,889 USD has been raised thus far of the $1,089 goal. Their best pledge right now is two RemoteBoot boards for $45 USD. The project's creator, Ben Wang, is also a Phoronix reader from my initial communication with him.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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