Sleep and Wake a Windows Home Server with Lights Out


Earlier this week, I shared a method to stream digital media from my Windows Home Server to handsets like the iPhone and Palm Pre. One of the first questions came from Luscious — he asked if I have my WHS running 7 by 24. Definitely a good question since, by definition, Windows Home Server is a server. It’s fairly common to run servers all the time, but I’m not doing that for two reasons.

electric-usageOne, I’m experimenting with WHS to see what I can and can’t do with it. Once the experiment progresses far enough, I’ll determine if it meets my needs. Second, I’m pretty big into watching my demand for electricity. With two full-time, work-at-home people in our house — both on multiple computers — our conservation strategies over the past year have greatly reduced our electricity consumption.

Even with a Scrooge-like attitude towards power usage, it’s possible to run a server in a smart fashion. But Windows Home Server doesn’t offer all of the consumer friendly power settings found in XP, Vista and Windows 7. That’s why I’ll be installing an add-in called Lights Out over the weekend. The donation-ware application helps temper the power needs of a Windows Home Server by configuring the box for sleep and resume through a calendar interface.

I don’t need to have my WHS running when I’m asleep because I won’t need access to any of the shared folders at that time. Backups of my Windows PC devices can easily be scheduled for when we normally eat dinner, instead of midnight or 3:00am. Automatic updates can be done during “normal” hours, too. So I’l use Lights Out to sleep my WHS near the end of my day and wake it again before my day starts.

The calendar interface looks fairly straightforward but it’s by no means carved in stone. The Lights Out product site says a small app can be installed on my client machines so I can wake the server as needed. That function will come in handy when I’m on a trip to another time-zone, for example. I’ll check back in with a follow up once I get Lights Out installed, configured and running for a few days.


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