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Built for Business Server Memory

3 Questions to Ask When Comparing Server Memory

Why it pays to take a closer look at quality and reliability

If you’re like most businesses, servers handle the bulk of your IT workload that’s driven by active data. Since memory is where active data lives, upgrading a server’s installed memory capacity is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to improve workload performance. Yet while memory is an easy upgrade, comparing modules side-by-side is often difficult. You have to know the right questions to ask.

Most modules look similar on spec charts, but beneath the surface lurk big differences in terms of quality and compatibility. Here are three helpful questions to ask when comparing brands of server memory.

  1. Is the server memory manufactured start to finish or just end-assembled?

    In the industry, there are only three major memory (DRAM) component manufacturers: Micron, Samsung, and SK Hynix. Here’s why this matters:
    • Third party brands often claim to be component manufacturers, when they’re really assemblers who use different components from different suppliers to piece together server modules.
    • Server manufacturers don’t make their own memory, they make servers. When you see a server manufacturer’s label on a server module, it doesn’t mean they made it. It just means the module was made elsewhere and rebranded.
    When server modules aren’t manufactured start to finish, quality and reliability aren’t as high, opening the door to higher failure rates. And the cost of downtime is staggering compared to the cost of quality memory. Optimal quality and reliability is achieved when everything from select silicone to the finished module is tested, monitored throughout production, and tested again before it leaves the fab’s doors. As a brand of Micron, that’s how Crucial server memory is manufactured.
  2. Is it affordable and compatible with your server and OEM warranty?

    Compatibility is often the first (and most important) question when it comes to server memory. Yet there are two equally important follow-up questions. Of all the modules that are compatible with your server and OEM warranty, which ones are the most affordable? And how are they manufactured?

    Every brand should have a compatible offering for your servers. What you’re looking for is the best blend of compatibility, price, and reliability in order to stretch your budget as far as it will go. Crucial server memory is not only an affordable option, but it’s compatible with servers and server warranties.
  3. Does the manufacturer work closely with leading CPU and platform developers?

    This question is important because it addresses a brand’s level of technical competency. Server memory that’s built to last is built on lasting industry relationships and collaboration over multiple product cycles and levels of memory technology. You want server memory that’s developed in consultation with leading CPU, platform and motherboard manufacturers, which ensures the highest possible level of performance and compatibility. As a brand of Micron, that’s how Crucial server memory is developed and manufactured – with the input of industry leaders.

The bottom line

When comparing server memory, a module’s price and specs are obvious, yet the attributes that really matter – quality and reliability – are often buried beneath the surface. When making an enterprise-level investment, dig deeper and ask the tough questions. Don’t end up paying more for a lower level of quality and reliability. Your memory should be built for the rigors of modern business – make sure it’s up to the task.