Open OEM Vs Locked OEM

Only a few ODM Make Everything

Just a handful of Original Design Manufacturers (ODMs) make all Intel x86 based equipment globally. Tier 1 Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) such as HP, Dell and Cisco (amongst many others) then systematically re-brand and lock down every hardware and/or software facet that is relevant to their business model.

Systematic Re-Branding and Lock-Down of Every Facet

Many appliances come preloaded with locked firmware and software making it impossible to re-purpose these devices later. Proprietary storage servers are often completely locked at all levels – hardware, firmware and software. This includes from the chassis all the way down to CPUs, NICs, RAM, DACs, SSDs and even HDDs.

In the network domain, most proprietary switches cannot run a different network operating system.

Problems with the Locked OEM

Problems with the traditional OEM lock-in approach are numerous: 

  • Given that proprietary vendors make neither CPU, RAM, SSD or HDD commodities (or even the chassis/firmware), it would seem logical to think that it should be possible to use genuine parts and commodities made by the relevant original source manufacturer. Sadly, this is not the case. It is not unusual for owners of Tier 1 equipment supplied by traditional OEMs to find themselves completely locked-out at the BMC & BIOS firmware level and therefore unable to freely perform even simple  component replacements or upgrades. 
  • If a decision is made to switch virtualization, orchestration and/or network operating system software platforms you may find yourself locked out and unable to complete the project as expected. If the decision to shift was made because licencing and support was deemed unsustainably expensive, and new licensing has already been purchased then this can quickly become a doubly negative experience. Both the original assets and new licensing are now at risk of becoming sunk investments.
Unfortunately, all of these problems will usually be encountered in practice some way down the track contractually. This can become a particularly frustrating event for a customer if challenges have already surfaced in the relationship with their OEM vendor.

Not Intended to Benefit YOU, the Client 

The effort required on the part of proprietary OEM vendors to lock up third party (from their perspective) hardware, firmware, software platforms and commodities is significant and costly. This effort is ultimately funded by their customers within the pricing of equipment and services purchased from these OEMs. Customers are essentially therefore funding their OEMs to subsequently force them to make all future related purchases from those same OEMs. How can this possibly be in the best interests of you, the customer?

How did lock-ins by the established OEM Vendors become the norm ? 

We understand that the normal cycle of business evolution can often result in financial & economic priorities eventually taking precedence over engineering decisions  and customer satisfaction.

How is HYPERSCALERS Different? 

Hyperscalers was created in the context of the new world of open hardware and software - in particular, the Open Compute Project. This project seeks to level the playing field for modern compute, storage and network equipment in the same way that the open source movement has done in the software world. This applies across both Tier 1 and hyperscale technologies. Hyperscalers lives and breathes this philosophy, not just with respect to branding but especially also in terms of the underlying supply partnerships that are the basis of our business, and also the industry events that we support and attend - i.e the people that we mix with. We are an active part of the open community and we believe whole-heartedly that this the right path forward to enable us to support the new and evolving world of advanced service delivery.

Hyperscalers differentiates itself to our customers in two main ways:

- We never re-brand nor lock-down our products. Hyperscalers is proud to use only the highest quality chassis, component and commodity items. We want our customers to know what they are getting - the best. Customers are free to select and install any genuine CPU, DIMM, SSD, HDD, NIC and so on. Our OEM customers are completely free also to rebrand and lock things down if they want to (something we don’t go out of our way to encourage).

- We ourselves however never re-brand or lock-down any appliance - software or hardware. Customers are free to swap out the Network Operating System NOS and install another one. They are also free to swap out the hypervisor,  orchestration, file system or operating system layers for whatever else they wish to use.

The nature of equipment lifecycle refresh planning is evolving beyond warranty-driven 3-year “rip and replace” cycles. Eliminating the roadblock of locked in technology sunk costs is a key element in this.

Hyperscalers' 10 Core Functions:

BareMetal & Ethernet


Hyperscale x86

Tier 1 Original x86

Lab as a Service LaaS 

IP Appliance Design



Notebooks Touchpads


Services and Support

Education Whitepapers

Training Videos