Server sprawl is a problem faced by data centers, which causes unnecessary waste of hardware resources, collateral costs of space, power and cooling systems, and administration. This is usually combated by virtualization based consolidation, and both industry and academia have put many efforts into solving the underlying virtual machine (VM) placement problem. However, IT managers’ preferences are seldom considered when making VM placement decisions. This paper proposes a satisfaction-oriented VM consolidation mechanism (SOC) to plan VM consolidation while taking IT managers’ preferences into consideration. In the mechanism, we propose: (1) an XML-based description language to express managers’ preferences and metrics to evaluate the satisfaction degree; (2) to apply matchmaking to locate entities [i.e., VMs and physical machines (PMs)] that best match each other’s preferences; (3) to employ the VM placement algorithm proposed in our previous work to minimize the number of hosts required and the resource wastage on allocated hosts. SOC is compared with two baselines: placement-only and matchmaking-only. The simulation results show that most of the VM-to-PM mappings output from placement-only violate given preferences, while SOC has a satisfaction degree close to matchmaking-only, without requiring too many PMs as matchmaking-only does, but only an amount close to placement-only. In brief, SOC is effective in minimizing the number of hosts required to support a certain set of VMs, while maximizing the satisfaction degree of both managers from the provider and requester side.