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Hyperscale Data Center Capacity Doubles

November 23, 2021

As the number of large data centers 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 centers, 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 center 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 centers has been growing rapidly, the total capacity of those data centers has been growing even more quickly as the average data center size has increased. It has taken five years for the number of hyperscale data centers to double, but less than four years for the capacity to double.

The research is based on an analysis of the data center 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 center footprint are the leading cloud providers – Amazon, Microsoft, Google and IBM. Each has 60 or more data center 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 center presence. By data center 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.

“While the number of hyperscale data centers continues to grow at an impressive pace, not all data centers are born equal,” said John Dinsdale, a Chief Analyst at Synergy Research Group. “Generally speaking self-owned data centers are much bigger than leased data centers and data centers 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 centers continue to grow steadily. We also see a very healthy pipeline of hyperscale data centers being planned, developed or fitted out, supporting our strong five-year growth forecasts.”

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