Boot machines remotely - Wake on LAN (WOL)

Wake on LAN is a computer networking standard which is also known as remote wake up, Wake up LAN, wake on wireless LAN, and resume on LAN, provides remote booting of network devices. Wake on LAN Software is used widely used by network admins to provide uninterrupted IT resource availability. Since remote Wake on LAN standards are met by most device manufactures, Wake on LAN is now a commonly adapted network standard. In the following is discussed the implementation, working, functions, and advantages of Wake on LAN by using OpUtils Wake on LAN Software.

What is Wake on LAN?

Wake-on-LAN (WoL) is a tool that remotely wakes up, or boots up, a machine present in the network that is powered off. Using a specially designed frame called a magic packet, which contains the target computer's MAC address, WoL has the capability to communicate with computers that are powered off or in a low power mode. Wake on LAN Magic Packet is also called the WOL Packet that acts as the transmitter of the Wake up on LAN message. A device connected to the network can transmit the magic packet Wake on LAN message to wake up a target computer, eliminating the need to physically boot up a machine.

How does Wake-on-LAN work?

A network admin can perform a remote wake-up using the Wake on LAN software by transmitting the magic packets to the target device. To do this, a Wake on LAN message is broadcast to all the machines in the network or subnet, including the target machine to be awakened. The Wake on LAN Packet is transmitted through the datalink layer by the WOL Software. The machines in low power mode that are enabled with Wake-on-LAN infrastructure will “listen” to the broadcast message. The machine boots up if the received WoL magic packet contains its MAC address.

Threats and difficulties in WoL implementation

Several factors impede the implementation of Wake-on-LAN technology, such as the use of an appropriate BIOS or network card, the internal architecture of the target machine, and sometimes the reliability of the OS and router functionality hinders the full-fledged functionality of the Wake on LAN tool.

  • Hardware issues: By default, machines are expected to wake up from a low powered state, i.e., machines that are powered off but are still connected to a power source. Hardware issues, such as situations like those mentioned above, might wake up computers from sleep instead of from a fully off state, or vice versa when a Wake on LAN message is transmitted to it from the Wake on LAN Software.

  • Security threats: Wake on LAN Magic packets, which are sent via the data link layer by the Wake on LAN tool, can be used or manipulated by any attacker or rogue device in the same network. If the target computer boots from a Preboot Execution Environment (PXE) server, it could allow the computer to boot from an attacker’s boot image, bypassing any security and providing unauthorized access to local disks over the network.

To avoid these network mishaps, an effective software tool like OpUtils Wake-on-LAN should be used.

Wake-on-LAN tool by OpUtils

OpUtils' Wake-on-LAN tool enables admins to wake up machines remotely on demand. The Wake on LAN tool can be used to Wake up on LAN either a single machine or multiple machines simultaneously. Admins have the option to send the WoL packets to a specific system, or broadcast the WoL packets to whole subnets using the WOL tool. The status and the last wake-up time are automatically updated in the database.

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Effortlessly boot your machines remotely with OpUtils Wake-on-LAN software

OpUtils' Wake-on-LAN solution eases the use of WoL technology in a network by supporting both manual and scheduled wake-up. Equipped with real-time network scanning tools, Wake on LAN utility discovers and displays the MAC addresses in your network to help admins wake up a specific target machine. Also, OpUtils’ tree-based hierarchy of subnets helps admins efficiently broadcast WoL messages to the subnets in which the target machine(s) are present, using the OpUtils Wake on LAN tool.

Wake-on-LAN features:

  1. Supports both manual and scheduled wake-up
  2. Automatic discovery of MAC addresses of the systems in the network
  3. Create multiple groups of computers as different tasks and schedule them separately
  4. Ability to boot systems across VLANs
  5. Provides a summary of the various tasks, along with the status of execution
  6. Detailed status of individual computers in different groups
  7. On-demand wake-up

Scheduled Wake-up LAN

With the Wake-on-LAN software, admins can add all the systems via scheduled wake-up to run at a specified interval: daily, monthly, or yearly. At the specified time, the tool sends the WoL packets to the systems to boot them up. The Wake on LAN monitor of the receiving device senses that the its Wake on LAN MAC is in the Wake on LAN magic packet broadcasted, the device boots up.

Group-based scheduling

The Wake-on-LAN tool enables admins to create multiple groups containing different computers, and these groups can be scheduled to run at different times. There is no restriction on the number of groups that can be created. The status of individual tasks will be provided as a summary under Groups in Networking Tools by the Wake on LAN tool. The statuses of individual computers will also be available in the Status column under Devices in networking Tools.

Wake-on-LAN (WOL) requirements

For the Windows Wake-on-LAN tool and Linux Wake-on-LAN to work, the machines should meet the following requirements suggested for supporting Wake on LAN tools:

  • An ATX motherboard with 3-pin Wake on LAN connector.
  • An ATX power supply meeting the ATX 2.01 specifications.
  • A network card (NIC) that supports Wake on LAN.
  • Wake on LAN should be enabled in the BIOS power Management.

Refer to Wake on LAN Knowledge Base for troubleshooting tips.

Getting started with OpUtils' Wake on LAN tool

OpUtils offers features like port scanner, advanced IP scanner, IP address tracker, network scanner,  and 30+ network tools such as IP tools ,along with Wake on LAN tool.  These features give you full fledged network resource monitoring along with complete visibility into your IPs and switch ports.

If you are new to OpUtils, schedule a live demo with a product expert. We would be pleased to uncover all the features OpUtils has to offer, as well as answer your questions. Want to try-out OpUtils hands-on? Download a 30-day free trial and get started with OpUtils in as little as an hour! OpUtils seamlessly integrates in to your existing network environment without you having to make many changes to your network infrastructure.