Help your customers cut software licence costs: Sell the solution with DRAM and SSDs

Help your customers cut software licence costs: Sell the solution with DRAM and SSDs

According to Gartner’s 2018 worldwide IT spend forecast, enterprise software spend is projected to grow 7% versus an overall IT growth rate of just 2.6%.¹ For many IT departments, enterprise software spend is the fastest-growing line item on the budget, which makes containing licence costs more important than ever. Fortunately, this is easy to do because software licences are attached to CPU cores, which are fed by memory and storage. The more performance your customers get out of each processing core, the fewer licences they’ll need, the lower their annual licence costs will be and the more performance they’ll get out of the apps they’re licensing.


How software licences are priced and why your customers need DRAM and SSDs

Microsoft, Oracle and others use a core-based licensing model. Since all cores running an app must be licensed, the best way to save is to fully utilise each and every CPU core. If your customers only use licensed CPU cores 50% of the time, they’re significantly overpaying for software (unless low CPU utilisation is driven by their workload, which is rarely the case). Hardware is typically the bottleneck for most IT departments and you can help your customers save by fully utilising their cores because that’s what they’re paying for.

To seamlessly run 24/7, CPUs need max RAM and fast I/O, so encourage customers to swap out existing SAS hard drives for Micron® SAS SSDs and filling open PCIe slots with Micron® NVMe™ drives.

Cost comparison: software licences vs. the hardware that powers them

Here are prices for 6 of the most common software applications used in almost every industry. Nearly all of these applications are memory and storage dependent.


Assumptions: 12 cores per CPU socket, 2 sockets per physical server (every core licensed). The number of CPU cores and sockets in your customers’ servers may differ, so your projected costs will differ. Crucial based their assumptions on the Dell® PowerEdge® R730xd server because of its popularity, performance and upgrade-ability.

4 key takeaways for your customers

  1. You can likely cut several different licences when you make your hardware more efficient
  2. A DRAM and SSD upgrade is less than 7% the cost of licensing an Oracle Database server³
  3. An SSD upgrade is less than 16% the cost of licensing a SQL server; a DRAM upgrade <6%³
  4. You can’t afford to underutilise CPU performance

The long-term implications of a hardware vs. software investment

When comparing hardware and software costs, it’s important to remember that licences hit your customers’ budget every year as an operating expense, whereas a hardware upgrade is a one-time, multi-year investment that benefits them for the life of the drive or module.


The bottom line: a hardware upgrade pays for itself

Software licenses aren’t optional, but the don’t have to be treated as fixed costs. By helping your customers invest just a fraction of their budget in Crucial server memory and Micron SAS and NVMe enterprise SSDs, you can help them immediately start saving and improve performance. Spend a little now to save a lot every year through increased CPU utilisation – and fewer recurring licenses.


  1. According to the Gartner worldwide IT spending forecast for 2017-2018:
  2. Assuming you maintain the base number of licences needed to be able to reduce your total number of licences
  3. Compared to the cost of fully licensing 12 processor cores in a 2-socket server for 1 year