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US is now home to less than 50% of the world’s hyperscale data centres

The companies with the broadest data centre footprint are the leading cloud providers – Amazon, Microsoft, Google and IBM.

By João Marques Lima

Co-founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

4 Mins

November 18, 2021 | 12:40 AM GMT

As the number of large data centres operated by hyperscale providers increased to 700 at the end of the third quarter, new data from Synergy Research Group shows that the United States accounts for 49% of the capacity of those data centres, measured by critical IT load.

While the US share of worldwide capacity has been falling, the recent decline has been slow, running at just a percentage point per year.

After the US, China is the country that is the next biggest contributor to hyperscale data centre capacity, accounting for 15% of the total.

The remaining capacity is spread across the rest of the APAC region (13%), EMEA region (19%) and Canada/Latin America (4%).

It is notable that while the number of hyperscale data centres has been growing rapidly, the total capacity of those data centres has been growing even more quickly as the average data centre size has increased.

It has taken five years for the number of hyperscale data centres to double, but less than four years for the capacity to double.


Hyperscale Data Centers

The research is based on an analysis of the data centre footprint of 19 of the world’s major cloud and internet service firms, including the largest operators in SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, search, social networking, e-commerce and gaming.

The companies with the broadest data centre footprint are the leading cloud providers – Amazon, Microsoft, Google and IBM. Each has 60 or more data centre locations with at least three in each of the four regions – North America, APAC, EMEA and Latin America.

Oracle, Alibaba and Tencent also have a notably broad data centre presence. By data centre capacity the leading companies are Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Facebook, though it is the Chinese hyperscalers that are growing the fastest, most notably ByteDance, Alibaba and Tencent.

John Dinsdale, a Chief Analyst at Synergy Research Group, said: “While the number of hyperscale data centres continues to grow at an impressive pace, not all data centres are born equal.

“Generally speaking self-owned data centres are much bigger than leased data centres and data centres in the home country of a hyperscale company are much bigger than its international facilities, though there are plenty of exceptions to these trends.

“The constants in all of this are that both the number and average size of hyperscale data centres continue to grow steadily. We also see a very healthy pipeline of hyperscale data centres being planned, developed or fitted out, supporting our strong five-year growth forecasts.” Cloud revenues for the first half of 2021 have jumped 25% to US$235 billion compared to H1 2020 as services consumption and infrastructure investments continue to grow.

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João Marques Lima

Co-founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

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