The application of effective energy management strategies in data centers is often hindered by the substantial conflict between the interests of cloud users and infrastructure owners. As a matter of fact, cloud users require that the service level they are paying for is tightly met, whereas data center owners try to cut down their operational expenses.
In this paper, we propose a novel consolidation algorithm that exploits emerging software development paradigms. Our approach enables cloud users to indicate their willingness to apply energy saving mechanisms to some of their virtual resources, hence giving infrastructure managers the ability to apply more efficient workload consolidation and to switch their hardware to very low-power states. The result is an optimal trade-off between energy consumption and performance.