Frugal green computing means the V-word is coming. Yes, virtualisation. Love it or hate it but get used to it.

The electricity cost of data centres is going to come more and more to the fore. IT bosses are going to have to get used to considering the TCE of their IT infrastructure, the total cost of energy.

As soon as they get paid to reduce that cost they will start looking at wasted IT resource, the stuff that's switched on but doing nothing. That equates to servers, desktops and storage. Spinning empty platters or partially empty platters will become a sin. Disk utilisation will need to be in the 80 percent area. It's said many of today's networked storage operates in the 20-30 percent utilisation area. The answer is virtualisation and thin provisioning. That means both SAN and NAS virtualisation.

Suppliers that don't offer SAN/NAS virtualisation and thin provisioning will find their customers looking elsewhere as the energy cost teeth start to bite.

Servers will lose more direct-attached storage if that is inefficiently utilised too.

Server CPU cycle efficiency is going to be looked at again. CPU idling will become a sin. Server virtualisation will become goodness. Hail to VMware, Xen and the other server virtualisers.

Desktops are a different matter. My PC is mine, all mine and what's to virtualise? Unless its idle cycles can somehow be used by the parent enterprise, in the business equivalent of looking for extra-terrestrial intelligence via some kind of grid linking of a company's desktops then the desktop energy efficiency is unaffected.

Possibly we'll get PCs that go to sleep faster when they're idling.

For servers and networked storage though virtualisation is going to become a big thing. Learn to love virtualisation. It's the key to energy efficiency. V-ness is going to be goodness. It's virtually true already.