The vSphere Distributed Power Management (DPM) feature allows a DRS cluster to reduce its power consumption by powering hosts on and off based on cluster resource utilization.
vSphere DPM monitors the cumulative demand of all virtual machines in the cluster for memory and CPU resources and compares this to the total available resource capacity of all hosts in the cluster. If sufficient excess capacity is found, vSphere DPM places one or more hosts in standby mode and powers them off after migrating their virtual machines to other hosts. Conversely, when capacity is deemed to be inadequate, DRS brings hosts out of standby mode (powers them on) and uses vMotion to migrate virtual machines to them. When making these calculations, vSphere DPM considers not only current demand, but it also honors any user-specified virtual machine resource reservations.
vSphere DPM can use one of three power management protocols to bring a host out of standby mode: Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI), Hewlett-Packard Integrated Lights-Out (iLO), or Wake-On-LAN (WOL). Each protocol requires its own hardware support and configuration. If a host does not support any of these protocols it cannot be put into standby mode by vSphere DPM. If a host supports multiple protocols, they are used in the following order: IPMI, iLO, WOL.