So now we've got individual servers consuming only as much energy as they need to do their job. We've got servers waking up only when they're needed -- and going back to sleep when they're not. And we've got virtual machines in play, which in and of themselves yield more bang for your buck from hardware, only they're being dynamically moved among servers to ensure that as little power as possible is being used.
But what if those VMs could be dynamically moved beyond the confines of a given datacenter to, say, one in a different time zone -- based, at least in part, on both energy supply as well as energy costs at a given time? Your local utility sends out an alert, as a Web service, that there's a demand spike in your California datacenter, rates are about to double, and a brownout is imminent. But your dynamic server farm management platform knows that it's already after-hours in New York, where energy prices are lower and supply is ample, so it dynamically pushes the server load to your facility in Albany.
And if Albany, why not to your facility in Bangalore or Shanghai or wherever the energy prices are lowest -- as long as you can ensure sufficient service levels? (Your dynamic server farm platform would, of course, be measuring service levels continually.)
It's a pretty ambitious green technology vision, but if you think about it, many of the technology pieces are already out there, and just as important, so is the demand. Technologists often think of data as the lifeblood of IT, but data doesn't fuel your equipment -- energy does.