Author Topic: Home Web Server - Estimated Power Usage  (Read 2669 times)

stlbrah

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Home Web Server - Estimated Power Usage
« on: March 14, 2016, 10:07:16 AM »
Technical Jargon warning.

I am curious about a rough estimate of electricity cost for this home server that I have.

I got it for free just from doing side work. Its a crappy old Celeron D with 2gb ram. It has 3 hard drives, and a 300 watt PSU. That's about all there is to it. It runs Centos 7. I've had it for 6-7 years and upgrade the software regularly. I run a couple of un-resource intensive Web Apps on it strictly for my own personal use. They are not publicly accessible. There is also a samba share that I use for installing programs to windows machines, and some non-confidential personal backups. Any practice labs or other things requiring a rhel environment for work can be done in virtual box.

It doesn't have a monitor, but I was just doing some research online, and it looks like the tower alone could cost over $100 a year to run. It is a server, so it runs all the time. I have read a lot of threads about computers and a lot of threads about analyzing power usage on here so I thought it would be fun to get some opinions.

Any insight appreciated. If it is $8 or more per month I plan on ditching it.

johnny847

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Re: Home Web Server - Estimated Power Usage
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2016, 10:16:46 AM »
The best way to find out is to get yourself a Kill a Watt (or similar) to actually measure the power draw. Your local library may have them available to borrow.

If I had to blindly guess, I'd say 100-150W because older hardware wasn't particularly good at low idle power, but I could be totally wrong.

You say your apps aren't resource intensive. Any chance you could run it on a Raspberry Pi 2 (or similar) instead? Its CPU is on par with that of a smartphone. And draws power according to one (no more than 10W, mine draws about 3W). Though you'd need more power for the hard drives.

Also, would you need it on 24/7 or would waking it up with Wake Over LAN be sufficient?

stlbrah

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Re: Home Web Server - Estimated Power Usage
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2016, 10:54:58 AM »
The best way to find out is to get yourself a Kill a Watt (or similar) to actually measure the power draw. Your local library may have them available to borrow.

If I had to blindly guess, I'd say 100-150W because older hardware wasn't particularly good at low idle power, but I could be totally wrong.

You say your apps aren't resource intensive. Any chance you could run it on a Raspberry Pi 2 (or similar) instead? Its CPU is on par with that of a smartphone. And draws power according to one (no more than 10W, mine draws about 3W). Though you'd need more power for the hard drives.

Also, would you need it on 24/7 or would waking it up with Wake Over LAN be sufficient?

Neat tool, I have never heard of that. I have a multimeter, but I guess that doesn't help me much.

It probably would run on one of those raspberry pis, but I can't justify the $30 purchase. The app I can't live without is mediawiki, which just needs php, web server, and database backend.

Unfortunately, it doesn't support wake over lan. Say it pulls 100W. Is there any way I can estimate about how much that would cost per year if the machine sits idle 24/7?

JLee

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Re: Home Web Server - Estimated Power Usage
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2016, 11:07:08 AM »
The best way to find out is to get yourself a Kill a Watt (or similar) to actually measure the power draw. Your local library may have them available to borrow.

If I had to blindly guess, I'd say 100-150W because older hardware wasn't particularly good at low idle power, but I could be totally wrong.

You say your apps aren't resource intensive. Any chance you could run it on a Raspberry Pi 2 (or similar) instead? Its CPU is on par with that of a smartphone. And draws power according to one (no more than 10W, mine draws about 3W). Though you'd need more power for the hard drives.

Also, would you need it on 24/7 or would waking it up with Wake Over LAN be sufficient?

Neat tool, I have never heard of that. I have a multimeter, but I guess that doesn't help me much.

It probably would run on one of those raspberry pis, but I can't justify the $30 purchase. The app I can't live without is mediawiki, which just needs php, web server, and database backend.

Unfortunately, it doesn't support wake over lan. Say it pulls 100W. Is there any way I can estimate about how much that would cost per year if the machine sits idle 24/7?

What's your electricity cost per kwh?

johnny847

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Re: Home Web Server - Estimated Power Usage
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2016, 11:08:23 AM »
A multimeter might help. But probably not unless it actually measures AC power directly. Power is current times voltage, but with AC power, you need to know the phase of the current and voltage. You could find an upper bound this way though.

I run tiny tiny rss, which needs a php, webserver, and SQL backend, on my Raspberry Pi. It runs fine. Of course, I'm sure if it needed to serve more than one user at a time it'd do poorly.
Any chance you could sell that server for like $30? Or its parts? The CPU and motherboard probably won't fetch anything these days (though who knows, maybe someone wants an old low end server for some purpose) but the hard drives might fetch something.

You need to find out the marginal rate of electricity. Pull up your electric bill and see how much they're charging you per kWh. Most of the time they'll have several lines with a @ $0.X/kWh notation. Add up all those rates, and multiply it by 0.1 kW * 24 h/day * 365 days/yr to get your yearly cost.*

*This is going to be slightly less than your true rate, because oftentimes there are also taxes involved. But now we're talking about a percent of some cents per kWh.

stlbrah

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Re: Home Web Server - Estimated Power Usage
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2016, 11:16:24 AM »
A multimeter might help. But probably not unless it actually measures AC power directly. Power is current times voltage, but with AC power, you need to know the phase of the current and voltage. You could find an upper bound this way though.

I run tiny tiny rss, which needs a php, webserver, and SQL backend, on my Raspberry Pi. It runs fine. Of course, I'm sure if it needed to serve more than one user at a time it'd do poorly.
Any chance you could sell that server for like $30? Or its parts? The CPU and motherboard probably won't fetch anything these days (though who knows, maybe someone wants an old low end server for some purpose) but the hard drives might fetch something.

You need to find out the marginal rate of electricity. Pull up your electric bill and see how much they're charging you per kWh. Most of the time they'll have several lines with a @ $0.X/kWh notation. Add up all those rates, and multiply it by 0.1 kW * 24 h/day * 365 days/yr to get your yearly cost.*

*This is going to be slightly less than your true rate, because oftentimes there are also taxes involved. But now we're talking about a percent of some cents per kWh.

probably not on the selling the parts. The hard drives are 500gb laptop hard drives which should fetch some money, but both fail diagnostics. I have a software raid on them in case one of them fails, lol

Daley

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Re: Home Web Server - Estimated Power Usage
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2016, 11:25:31 AM »
Napkin math from what I recall of the old Pentium D processors and guesstimating hardware configuration and capacitor age, I'd estimate around 180-200W load, maybe 100W idle at lowest. Using a KAW will give you exact numbers as has been recommended.

As for calculating cost: http://www.electricity-usage.com/Electricity-Usage-Calculator.aspx

I don't need any of that, however, to tell you that if you can get what you're wanting to do to run on a Pi, it'll be well worth the cost to switch given the power draw difference between the two. Using their own numbers and the overhead for AC>DC, it wouldn't pull more than 25W, tops, and likely far lower most times. Even if you were only paying 10/kWh (almost nobody does anymore) and the box you currently have only averaged a 75W draw (it doesn't), the Pi would still pay itself back on investment in under a year.

Don't be cheap, be frugal.

stlbrah

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Re: Home Web Server - Estimated Power Usage
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2016, 12:04:02 PM »
I got some more information on that. I would say the cost is probably toward the high end of what IP Daley advised since it has extra hard drives for those backups. I can just use the backup hard drives with my SATA to USB converter plugged into my laptop.

winter first 750kwh  8.58 cents
anything over that is 5.73 cents / kwh

summer 12.08 cents /kwh

So the cost of this is significant. Well over $80 per year, but likely over $100.

Decision is to ditch the server, and run the apps directly on my ubuntu laptop. Thanks guys.


I am cringing about the home ESXi lab I used to have with 16 cores, 32gb ram, and a raid 5
« Last Edit: March 14, 2016, 12:07:23 PM by stlbrah »