Is dynamic power management impacting the hardware MTBF?

There’s no doubt that hardware virtualization has a chance to significantly reduce the power and cooling usage in most companies thanks to remarkable server consolidation ratios. But some vendors are trying to use automation to make the IT greener (as marketing people love to say).

Virtual Iron and VMware now offer the capability to consolidate into a single server the virtual machines served across a bunch of virtualization hosts.
The VMs are live migrated and the empty virtualization hosts are powered off until there is an actual need for them.

While this sounds a great thing it may have some side effects that few companies are considering.

Chris Wolf, Senior Analyst at Burton Group, is wondering if this dynamic power management has a concrete impact on the hardware mean time between failure (MTBF).

Interesting enough the major IHVs that he contacted didn’t perform any test to find out.