How Much Power a Jbod Use at Idle
A common question for home labbers and small business owners is “How much power does my JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks) enclosure use when it’s just sitting idle?” As electricity costs continue rising, getting a handle on that idle power draw becomes more and more important for keeping things affordable.
I get it – no one wants to see their power bill shoot through the roof just because their JBOD, NAS, servers, and other gear is chewing through energy even when not actively doing anything. And if you have a stacked JBOD setup with multiple enclosures chained together for extra storage, those wattages can add up.
We’ll take a detailed look at how much juice a typical JBOD configuration draws at idle. We’ll factor in the number of disks, power supply sizes, network connectivity, and other considerations that affect idle power usage. I’ll also give some tips on ways to cut down on any unnecessary power drain.
So let’s dig in and shed some light on that idle JBOD power draw…
What Impacts an Idle JBOD’s Power Usage?
When it comes to how much wattage a JBOD enclosure uses when sitting powered on but inactive, there are 4 main factors in play:
- Number of installed hard drives
- Size of the power supply(ies)
- Network connectivity speed (1GbE vs 10GbE)
- Presence of disk spin-down settings
Let’s quickly walk through how each of these influences idle power usage on your storage box…
More Disks = More Power
This one is pretty straightforward – the more hard drives you have installed in your JBOD, the more combined power they’ll use. Each individual 3.5” drive can draw between 5-15W on its own even while idle. So with 12 drives installed, for example, you could easily have 60-180W of draw just from the installed disks alone.
Bigger Power Supply = Bigger Electricity Appetite
Most JBOD enclosures have one or more built-in power supplies ranging from 400W to 1000W or so in size. Unfortunately, the larger that rated wattage, the more energy the PSU will likely consume at idle. So a 1000W unit uses more idle power than a 400W unit.
10GbE is Thirstier Than 1GbE
If your JBOD has a 10 Gigabit network port and associated hardware instead of just a standard gigabit port, expect higher idle power usage. The additional controller and silicon required for 10GbE has a cost both financially and electrically.
Spin-Down Settings Slash Power
Nearly all JBODs give you the option of setting your installed hard drives to spin down after periods of inactivity. This can put the disks in a very low-power state vs having them spin continuously 24/7. Take advantage of spin-down settings to realize some nice power savings.
OK – now that we know the main components affecting a JBOD’s idle power draw, let’s put some actual numbers behind it…
Real-World JBOD Idle Power Usage Scenarios
Here I’ll outline some typical JBOD configurations and what their approximate idle power usage would be:
8-Bay JBOD Enclosure
- 400W 80 Plus PSU
- 8 x 14TB Hard Drives
- 1GbE Network Connection
- Disk Spin-down Enabled
Total Idle Power Draw: ~65-85 Watts
This shows a solid single-enclosure JBOD setup with nearly 116TB of raw storage, decently efficient PSU, and spin-down enabled. Very nice idle wattage!
16-Bay JBOD Enclosure
- 750W Redundant PSUs
- 16 x 18TB Hard Drives
- 10GbE Network Connection
- No Disk Spin-down
Total Idle Power Draw: ~250-350 Watts
A stacked JBOD configuration with 16 high-capacity drives, beefy redundant PSUs, and 10GbE connectivity starts drawing some serious idle power. Lack of spin-down takes it even higher!
4 x 12-Bay JBOD Enclosures
- 350W 80 Plus PSUs
- 48 x 10TB Hard Drives
- 1GbE Network Connections
- Disk Spin-down Enabled
Total Idle Power Draw: ~325-425 Watts
Once you start chaining multiple JBODs together is when that idle power usage can really pile up. But even with 4 enclosures the efficient PSUs and spin-down settings help keep the idle draw reasonable.
As you can see from these examples, actual idle power can range quite a bit depending on your specific JBOD models, number of drives, PSU sizes, and other factors. But in general most solutions draw between 50-500+ watts when powered on but inactive.
Tips for Cutting JBOD Idle Power Usage
If you’re looking at reducing your JBOD enclosure’s idle power usage, here are 5 handy tips:
- Choose Lower-Wattage PSUs When Possible
- Less rated watts = less idle usage
- Enable Hard Drive Spin-Down Aggressively
- Parker your disks during inactive periods
- Consolidate Storage Capacity When You Can
- Less JBODs = less combined power draw
- Downsize Network Connectivity If Not Needed
- 1GbE uses less idle power than 10GbE
- Shut Down JBODs When Not Actively In Use
- Removes idle power usage altogether!
Following those suggestions can help make a nice dent in unnecessary JBOD idling power. But you need to balance power savings with longevity and performance. As in all things, moderation is key!
Q1: What uses more power in my JBODs – the hard drives themselves or the PSUs?
When your JBOD is powered on but idle, typically 60-70% of the full system power draw comes from the actual hard drives. The remaining 30-40% is attributed to loss and overhead from the power supplies themselves. So the disks are the primary power users.
Q2: Is it possible to run a stacked JBOD configuration from a single power outlet safely?
You generally don’t want to plug multiple JBOD enclosures into the same wall outlet, power strip, or UPS due to potential overloading. Most home and office power circuits are only designed to supply 15-20 amps safely. I’d advise using separate outlets or high-amperage PDUs instead.
Q3: Are 80 Plus certified PSUs really that much more efficient than non-certified ones?
Absolutely! 80 Plus units operate far more efficiently across all loading levels. At idle in particular, the difference between an 80 Plus vs non-certified PSU can easily be 25-35% less power consumption for the same rated wattage. It’s worth spending slightly more upfront.
Q4: What’s the sweet spot for hard drive spin-down time settings?
I recommend a spin-down time of 10-15 minutes. That gives drives enough uptime to prevent excessive wear from constant spin-ups/downs. But also takes advantage of power savings during long idle periods. You can tweak from there depending on your usage patterns.
Q5: Is it possible to fully power off my JBODs remotely if needed?
Many controller boards and backplanes provide IPMI or other remote access that enables full power on, power off, rebooting, and status checking of connected JBODs. Super handy for remote management plus cutting power when enclosures aren’t actively accessed.
I hope those idle power usage numbers, savings tips, and common power questions help provide some useful insight into keeping your JBOD costs and electrical draw reasonable! It may take some effort upfront but will pay off over time… literally!
If you’re operating multiple JBOD enclosures in any quantity, you owe it to yourself to pay attention to how much power they’re using when idle. Get out a kill-a-watt meter and take some measurements. Crunch the numbers on your specific hardware and configuration to see where you stand.
When exploring the 5 best android data recovery software, it’s crucial to also think about where your needs may be headed down the road. Similar to considerations for adding more JBODs or upgrading network speeds in a tech infrastructure, anticipating future requirements allows for informed decisions in choosing the most effective data recovery solution for your Android device.