Back in the day IBM decided that it was cost effective to turn off the lights, turn off the monitor and computer…. and to wait for it to boot up in the morning when employees arrived. Similarly there is a daemon called inetd that would listen to various network ports for remote access. When it sensed a connection it would launch a command. Basically responding to a request on demand. This had a number of side effects in latency and performance but it did mean that system resources would not sit idle consuming resources.
I have 4 Intel Nuc systems on my desk. Each cost between $600 and $1100. That goes a long way especially when trying to get some work done. One real challenge is that 2 of the machines are running CoreOS and 2 are running VMware and I just cannot control the upgrade process and maintenance. Additionally Let’sEncrypt SSL certs are painful to manage. And in any 24 hour day I’m not always writing code or sitting in front of the console. I really want to be able to launch the docker containers on demand as well as their host.