How to schedule my QNAP to turn on and off and save light

Configure the NAS power scheduler

In our case, we have a QNAP TVS-h1288X server with the QuTS hero operating system, but the possibility of configuring the NAS scheduler is available to all the manufacturer’s models, regardless of whether they use QuTS or QuTS hero. To be able to enter this configuration option, we have to go to the «Control Panel / System / Power«. Within this section of the equipment configuration, we must go to the “schedule energy«.

In this section we must click on «Enable Scheduling» to carry out the configuration that we want. However, it is highly recommended to activate the option «Postpone scheduled reboot or shutdown when a replication job is in progress«. Enabling this option will not reboot or shut down the server while you are checking or redoing the storage pool (RAID), perfect for avoiding data loss or having data integrity issues later.

The first thing we must do is select the type of action, since we can choose different actions at different times, with the aim of turning the server on, off or restarting automatically.

After choosing the «feeding action«, we must choose the program to carry out, and later the start time where the action is carried out. The manufacturer QNAP allows us great configurability:

  • Weekday: It will be executed Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, but only at the time that we indicate.
  • Weekend: It will be executed on Saturday and Sunday, but with the schedule that we configure.
  • Daily: includes both weekdays and weekends, that is, every day with the hours that we indicate.
  • Every Monday, every Tuesday etc.: the action will only be executed on these days and no other (unless we have created several rules).
  • Once: will only be executed once and will not be recurring.

In the following image you can see all the available options:

Finally, we have the “start time” which is when it will start to power on, power off or restart the server.

Once you know all the available options, we are going to give you some very useful examples that we can easily carry out:

Let’s imagine we want turn on the NAS every day at 8:00 in the morningregardless of what day it is, the configuration would be:

  • feeding action: light
  • Program: daily
  • start time: 08.00

If we want every weekday (Monday to Friday) to turn off automatically at 00:30, but not to turn off on weekends:

  • feeding action: to turn off
  • Program: weekday
  • start time: 00.30

Both configurations would be compatible, because on weekends the NAS will not turn off but we will have the rule to turn it on, since it is already on it will not be fulfilled and it will continue to be on. The same happens if we have a rule to shut down at a certain time, and the NAS is already turned off, it just doesn’t run.

Configure Wake-on-LAN to turn it on remotely

Most desktop computers have the functionality of Wake-on-LAN, and also the NAS servers of the manufacturer QNAP. In the tab “Wake-on-LAN (WoL)» We have the possibility to enable or disable this feature. If we enable it, we can turn on the server from anywhere by sending a magic packet with any specific program to wake up computers. We can do this from the local network, but also from the Internet if we open the corresponding port to the NAS server, and even if we connect through our router’s VPN server we can do it as if we were on the local network.

Thanks to this feature, we could turn on the equipment at any time locally or remotely, without having to physically press the power button on the server. Today it is very common to use WoL to quickly turn on computers from our smartphone, because we have a large number of free applications for it, and while the operating system loads, go to the computer in the meantime.

Recovery of the NAS if there is a power outage

In case we have a power outage, we have the possibility to configure the behavior that we want the NAS server to have. We have a total of three different options:

  • Restore NAS power to its previous state: If the equipment was off, it will remain off. If the computer was on, then it will automatically turn on and might even force a storage pool check for data loss as soon as it is turned on.
  • Turn on the NAS automatically: Regardless of whether it is turned off or on, the NAS will turn on automatically.
  • Keep the NAS off: Regardless of power off or power on, the NAS will remain off after power recovery.

Below, you can see all the options that we have explained to you:

As you can see, QNAP NAS are very complete in terms of power management. Above all we would like to highlight the power schedule management with automatic switching on and off, since it is a really useful tool if we do not want to have our server permanently on, and in this way save electricity and also make hard drives and SSD drives more durable. If we remove 8 hours from the equipment being turned on every day, at the end of the year it means that we have saved the disks almost 3000 hours of operation, which will make their useful life significantly longer, and can extend a couple of years its useful life with this simple action.

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