Automated Power On/Off Backup Server


New Member
Jul 20, 2016
Hello everyone, long time reader but I think this may be my first post. Apologies if its in the wrong section, but it seemed to fit in maybe a few different placed.

I'm basically looking to build a backup server/NAS. However if possible I would like to automate powering the system on/off to save on power and it wouldn't be in use 95% of the time. So power the system on sometime Friday night for example, do my backups and then power the system back down once complete. This would be used to compliment my cloud backups, so it would only be used for a few hours a week.

I'm assuming this may be an option via iDRAC, iLO or IPMI but its not something I have ever played with. Does anyone have any experience with something like this? I have some spare parts, so I was leaning towards building a server but I'm not opposed to doing a NAS appliance either if that fits my plans better.

Easy answer is me doing some of this manually, but I fear if I don't automate it I would get complacent...


Apr 3, 2013
For powering the machine on, simple Wake-on-LAN works best for me, or in some cases IPMI. For shutting down, depending on the system you use, cron job watching for specific activity and/or time could be very useful to configure on the backup server/NAS. I think that's better than shutting it down remotely

Blinky 42

Active Member
Aug 6, 2015
Yes wake on lan or IPMI to spin up the system via a cron job on a different system should get your NAS up and running should be fine. Some BIOS also have a wake at specific time option as well (often used to install patches overnight), you could try that if it is present and wake on a schedule and do the backup job or shut down quickly if nothing to do.

As @poutnik mentioned I would automate the start-up and then have the server figure out what needs to be done, do that and when everything is complete shut down cleanly just in case things take longer than expected. Safer than having a different system kill the power via IPMI.

If your server is very limited and doesn't have IPMI but can still be set to power on when power is applied, you can use a managed PDU that can power cycle the server causing it to power on then do a clean shutdown once the work is complete for that cycle.
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Reactions: Patrick


Active Member
Mar 10, 2016
I agree, power on is easy with wake-on-lan or IPMI. Power down depends a lot on the platform and backup software. If the machine is "pulling" backup data from other machines, you can just add a shutdown command to the end. On *nix systems that's usually just "shutdown now". If other machines push data to it when it's available, you could have them write a trigger file, then when all the triggers show up you remove them and shut down. You could also have a cron script check the output of "ps" for a process to end.

I only mention stuff I know works on *nix as I've never tried to do that sort of thing on Windows. :)