HP's latest server technologies and associated services point the way to what should be one of the big goals for CIOs everywhere over the next year: getting a grip on power measurement and management in the datacentre.

Part of the firm's Green Business Technology initiative, the key new feature is Dynamic Power Capping , a way for admins to cap server power draw. HP contends that this will help firms make fiscal and environmental savings by preventing against overprovisioning.

This makes sound economic (and green) sense although it might be worth keeping an eye on any best practices that emerge. For example, peak activity periods could create spikes in demand that could, at a pinch, make some types of capping awkward. If you make Jif plastic lemons, you don't want to go capping power, CPU, disk or any other type of demand too severely in the run-up to Shrove Tuesday and Amazon.com might want to provide some excess capacity for Harry Potter releases, just in case a 'minor' configuration change causes rogue problems.

Still, in a sector where too many people play fast and loose with the numbers, any hard metrics should be treasured so that next time we discuss datacentre power we're comparing apples with apples rather than with basketballs.