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Wednesday, 06 October 2021 20:43

iTWireTV Interview: Hyperscalers' George Cvetanovski talks open hardware benefits, big cost savings and plenty more


GUEST INTERVIEW: Hyperscalers is the Australian next-gen open-OEM solving IT's complexity, eliminating proprietary hardware and software vendor lock-ins, delivering better technologies at competitive pricing. Doing it all from Canberra to Australian and global customers since 2014, in what is an inspiring and true success story its customers love.

Hyperscalers. The company explains it as "the world's first open supply chain Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), solving Information Technology challenges through standardisation of best practices and hyperscale inspired practices and efficiencies."

Offering choice across two open hardware architectures: "Hyperscale" high efficiency open compute equipment used by macro service providers; and, "Tier 1 Original", conventional equipment as per established Tier 1 OEM suppliers, the company says "each architecture is complete with network, compute, storage and converged GP GPU infrastructure elements, and is open and free from vendor lock-in."

The company notes it is offering the world’s first OEM, offering the full IT spectrum under a new open x86 supply alternative to the traditional locked vendors, presenting a direct procurement alternative to the identical, but expense-multiplied, locked and re-branded hardware service that lock-in oriented vendors supply.

The practical impact of this is the freedom from hardware lock-ins, meaning that when the time comes to upgrade RAM, HDD or SSD, or replace faulty parts like CPU or NIC (for example), you don't want to find yourself locked into any vendor. It also means being free from software and firmware lock-ins. This is especially handy, as situations can change all the time, which the global pandemic has certainly taught us.

Being able to repurpose an appliance with alternate software and firmware eliminates the risk of sunk costs.

All of this is in stark contrast to the use of traditional OEM vendors’ hardware architectures that are locked down and non-interoperable by design. Hyperscalers says its customers choose the company because those customers can realise significant efficiencies and cost savings that are both immediate and ongoing.

In the past, the IBM/Intel PC architecture was synonymous with open hardware standards, and provided an escape route from the deeply proprietary system architectures that previously existed. The PC freed users from mainframes, dumb terminals and more, and brought personal computing power to every desktop.

However, with household name OEM vendors having implemented a widespread and systematic lockdown of every possible facet in their server, storage and network system ranges and even devices before being re-branded and on-sold to unsuspecting customers, things have changed for the worse. As Hyperscalers explains, the world has now come full circle in the proprietary cycle of evolution, and it is the customer who bears the cost to support this supposed “value-added work”, which is really just a new evolution of the same old proprietary lock-in.

With these practices clearly a regressive step for customers, who now find themselves exactly where they were twenty or thirty years ago, locked into a yellow brick road designed for them by their vendors, it is no wonder that Hyperscalers has found customers, success, better technologies, better prices, top quality support, and growing market share.

Hyperscalers isn't just a box seller, either, but a true solutions powerhouse. Offering over thirty software IP appliances to choose from, Hyperscalers explains its appliance solutions are "packaged complete with hardware, software and pre-built (customisable) configurations."

We're told these were "all pre-engineered using an in-house IP Appliance Design Process and validated in partnership with associated major software manufacturers", and that many can be “test-driven” using Hyperscalers’ Lab as a Service (LaaS), with these appliance solutions "ideally suited to IaaS, PaaS and SaaS providers looking to implement their services from anywhere."

So, with this impressive background behind the creation of Hyperscalers, it was a real pleasure to meet the CEO and founder of Hyperscalers, George Cvetanovski, and talk to him in our video interview embedded below, after which is a summary of the topics we spoke about, and a summary of the answers George gave to many of the questions, so please watch, and read on!

Here’s the summary of the questions I asked George and some of his answers, you’ll find the rest in the video above!

1. I started by introducing George and asked him to start at the beginning - what does Hyperscalers offer, and why Hyperscalers is needed in the marketplace.

George explained: “Hyperscalers builds and supplies two types of hardware infrastructure. The first is Hyperscale, which is the infrastructure used by the macro service providers: Google, AWS, Microsoft and Facebook. That’s where the name Hyperscalers comes from.

“The second type of infrastructure more relevant by way of adoption is Tier 1 Original. By definition Tier 1 Original means hardware that is currently in use or planned to be in use by Tier 1 OEM.

“Hyperscalers procures key server subsystems from the same places as Tier 1 OEM go to buy including the same Original Design Manufacturer ODM – Quanta Computer. We just don’t lock down the servers we build and we don’t rebrand either.

“Simply put, we offer Networks Storage Compute Converged and GPU- infrastructure systems across both Hyperscale and Tier 1 Original hardware-infrastructure under a NEW and OPEN supply chain alternative to the HPEs, Dells and CISCOs of the world.

“Recently, we won a publicly listed cloud provider away from CISCO. This cloud provider, historically using CISCO, had been trying to win over enterprise workloads over to their cloud from potential customers that we are also using CISCO themselves. As you can tell there was something fundamentally wrong with this model – it wasn’t working! Where could the promised economics of cloud possibly come from!?! Naturally, they came to Hyperscalers for help.”

2. My second question was to note the very wide range of products and services, including end-user devices such as laptops and PCs, and even Labs as a Service at the Hyperscalers site, and asking George to tell us more about it all.

Here, George explained: “To date, we have created over 30+ appliances with all major software makers which we have made available under one roof.

“This makes Lab as a Service or LaaS very interesting. It’s the world’s first. It enables service providers to test-drive our appliances before committing. How does a service provider know whether Red Hat Open Stack may be better suited than VM Ware or Microsoft Azure Stack?

“They all work great on our hardware and they all do Infrastructure as a Service IaaS. So we give them access to test-drive through LaaS. Service providers run a set of qualitative and quantitative test scenarios – they run up their workloads to determine which is right for their business. It’s a means to de-risk their project too.

“Our product set is vast encompassing end-user devices. Everything from Google Chromebooks to Notebooks or Laptops to All in One PC. We help customers build their own branded devices – it helps build their brand value, but we also have our own HS for Hyperscalers branded devices that sell really well online. Our 24’’ All in One PC with i5 processor sells for half the price of what JB HiFi or Harvey Norman sells alternate brands for,” with George explaining his 24-inch All-in-One model at around $750 is half the price of what you’ll find at the retailers.

3. My third question was to ask George about the types of customers he serves, and how Hyperscalers has resonated with the market.

George explained: “Hyperscalers has a dedicated channel to market. Anyone between us and the end customer – defined a SMB or SME or larger fits into one of our partner categories. These include Telcos, Original Equipment Manufacturers System Integrators, Cloud providers have to be our biggest list everything from IaaS PaaS and SaaS providers, Digital IP Owners – really software makers that want to create an appliance and also Managed Service Providers or MSP.”

4. I wanted to know if there were customers in Australia and internationally George wanted to highlight.

George said: “Let’s start with our repeat Telco customers. Domestically we have both NBN Co and Telstra. Some of Telstra’s production deployments are in the 5th year of operation humming along without problems.

“We also have OEM customers – these are customers that want their own branded appliance, most of which are located out of these US, and include JetStor, NewWaveDV and Path Networks. Path Networks - look them up –, they are securing the internet and we have deployed a lot of compute with fast speed networks across almost every continent.

“System Integrators include Accenture, Viadex and Storage Data. Some of these are multibillion-dollar SIs (system integrators).

“Our cloud provider customers are too many to list. We have SYS, Spectrum Prophesy, Skymesh and Amaze, just to name a few – these guys are turning around IaaS and PaaS services cheaper than AWS. Check them out.

“For all our overseas exports, we collaborate with DFAT, Canberra Business Chamber and Chamber for Commerce and Industry for the issue of Certificate of Origin = Australia. It’s Australian made!”

5. My next question was to ask George what the spark was that brought the idea of Hyperscalers to life.

George said: “It’s common knowledge that Facebook, Microsoft, AWS and Google were the first to dump locked OEM vendors – HPE, Dell and CISCO in preference for more efficient Hyperscale architectures and this is going back 10 years ago. We saw change coming and wanted to be at the forefront of driving this change – maybe not to the benefit of our competitors but certainly to the benefit of the wider community.

"So we started Hyperscalers. Since starting Hyperscalers we have facilitated a lot of the change down to very large to smaller size service providers. They too need to realise newfound efficiencies because they are competing against the big boys.”

6. For the next question, I asked George what kind of savings his customers typically see over the lifespan of the servers and solutions they buy from Hyperscalers, compared with buying those locked-in systems.

George explained: “In a digital service-driven world, the capability to deploy the latest technology and a lot more of it - and I’m talking about 2x more sometimes 3x more for any given budget - is vital to our customers.

“Whether Service providers are turning around Infrastructure as a Service IaaS, Platform as a Service (PaaS) or Software as a Service (SaaS), the difference between buying HPE or Hyperscalers has a profound impact to their businesses. Such as how fast their customer’s workloads can go. The volume of customers they can carry. All the way to the profit margin they can make or the level of discounts they can offer. This is important because they need to attract more customers.”

7. After this, I asked George how his competitors have responded, and how Hyperscalers has continued evolving, being different, and better, since starting in 2014.

George: “We started from humble beginnings - our first office was just me working from my Kingston apartment. I joined two dining tables and filled them with the latest technology. I must admit, some people that came through appreciated the start-up culture, but many others didn’t – they couldn’t wait to get out!

“But we sold enough to scale up, later sold enough to scale up again.

“Now we come up against HPE, Dell and CISCO on almost every opportunity. Most of the time we win on merit. Other times we get feedback like ‘we went with CSICO because of some digital revolution label everyone is using’.

“Overall we’re forcing the Tier 1 OEM to come down to never-before-seen discount levels. But it’s not enough. They can’t compete on technology nor price.”

8. My next question was to find out what Hyperscalers most popular products and services are now, in Q3 2021.

George: “We’ve been doing a lot of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning clusters using NVDIA GPU.

“What’s really hot at the moment? NVIDIA’s Omniverse suite runs the best on our GPU servers. A lot of cloud providers are taking this up.

“Run rate business is always building clouds on behalf of service providers turning around IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. We’re doing a lot in the security space too.”

9. This was a great segue into my next question, which is that cyber security is also a hugely important topic today, so how does Hyperscalers help its customers in this regard?

George: “We’re doing two types of cyber security projects.

“The first is for large to very-large service providers who do in-house cyber security operations. That involves a software stack - maybe Kafka with Elastic search or Tenable or Splunk sitting on top of our hardware. Everything they need to turn around these services.

“The other type of projects we’re also involved in is with cyber security providers that offer a public cloud or community cloud model. Some of these customers include Aegis 9 and Hypersec. Check them out -

“We’re also doing R&D using blockchain for use in identity management and access control. There’s some great content on the education section of our website. Check it out.” 

10. We then moved on to my questions about George’s memories of his first computer, a bit about his history in the world of tech, how he sees the industry evolving over the next couple of years through to 2030, great advice George has received in life to help him get where he is today, and his final message to viewers and readers, and his current and future customers and partners.

So, please watch the video interview above to learn more about George Cvetanovski and Hyperscalers


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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