It's 2022, and idle time on servers still isn't being repurposed

When every other major industry has ways to optimize idle time, is it time for the software industry to look at the pros and cons's photo
·Sep 19, 2022·

2 min read

It's 2022, and idle time on servers still isn't being repurposed

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Any coconut farmer would tell you how important it is to utilize every part of the coconut. Milk. Oil, Coir, Powder. Dried leaves that then goes to make roofs. Fresh leaves to serve as plates. The rest as floats, toys and so on.

Even donut balls were an innovation from the waste of a regular donut. Restaurant business, Jewellery, textile, oil & gas, and almost every perishable product industry have ways to repurpose excess material or route waste for great good. Meaning some sort of alternative income.

Spin a machine for $5/month

Today, it takes $5-$10 to setup the smallest machine from DigitalOcean, Vercel, Linode, Heroku or the likes.

What if you could make 20% of your hosting costs back. What if you could make $10 from every $5 machine you started.

// run primary app
// run repurposed app in off peak hours
runAfterHours(app).listen(4000).during({from: "10pm", to:"6am" });

I've already written about how I think the greatest innovation of blockchains was the economic incentive of having sponsors paying fees which went to parties running the infrastructure for you.

What checkboxes would such repurposing software have to tick:

secure, safe

Enough said. the last thing you want is agents running havoc.

transparent about pros and cons

The benefit being at least 20% of infra costs earned back. Cons should be a slight increase in load and not more.

no surprises

not at the expense of regular operation. in terms of browser experience, or bandwidth, space, CPU, costs or SEO or IP being flagged

easy to toggle on and off

either through a switch or through a scheduled timing

Screenshot 2022-09-19 at 10.57.16 AM.png

Predictable economies of scale

Will it still bring 20% of infra costs if you spend $500 a month on 100 servers? It should. Will income increase by 5x if traffic increases by 5x. Or when repurposed traffic increases 5x?

wait, can i run my own workload during after hours

which could get distributed among even among machines that you don't run. FTW!


If we can have energy exchanges, carbon netting off, and reach places of surplus net benefits - there exists a case for allowing repurposing of idle time and space on your website, app or server for not just reducing costs - but even perhaps as a source of an additional reliable source of income.

Share this