Publications

- March 1, 2021: Vol. 8, Number 3

Hyperscale operators account for majority of data centers worldwide, and the segment is growing fast

by Kali Persall

The number of large data centers operated by hyperscale providers has more than doubled in the past five years, according to new data from Synergy Research Group.

A hyperscale data center is a facility owned and operated by the company it supports, including cloud services such as AWS (Amazon) and Azure (Microsoft). They offer robust, scalable applications and storage portfolio of services to client individuals and businesses. According to AFL Hyperscale, they usually have a minimum of 5,000 servers linked with an ultra-high-speed and high-fiber-count network.

At the end of 2020, the number of these data centers had grown to 597, with the United States housing nearly 40 percent of major cloud and internet data center sites. Following the United States were China, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom and Australia, which together account for 29 percent.

Synergy Research Group analyzed the data center footprint of 20 of the world’s major cloud and internet service firms and found that hyperscale operators Amazon, Google and Microsoft collectively accounted for more than half of all major data centers. Alibaba, Facebook and Oracle have also been active in the space.

“There were 111 new hyperscale data centers opened in the last eight quarters, with 52 of those coming onstream in 2020 despite COVID-19 causing a few logistical issues,” says John Dinsdale, a chief analyst at Synergy Research Group. “We did actually see a handful of older hyperscale data centers shut down in 2020, but those numbers pale beside the number of newly opened or planned sites.”

Dinsdale added that in addition to nearly 600 operational data centers, the group has been tracking an additional 219 that are at various stages of planning or building.

 

Kali Persall is a reporter at Institutional Real Estate, Inc. and editor of iREOC Connect.

 

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