The number of really big data centers, otherwise known as “hyperscale,” reached a milestone at the end of September.
Synergy Research Group reports there are now 504 hyperscale data centers scattered across the globe grinding away on workloads ranging from delivering your weekend streaming video to fulfilling that online book order you placed (hopefully for mine….).
The total number of hyperscale providers has tripled since the beginning of 2013 as online and other cloud-based vendors vacuum up unprecedented amounts of data, much of it unstructured from social media feeds and online shopping.
While the U.S. still accounts for nearly 40 percent of cloud, hosted, co-located and on-premise data centers, Synergy reported last week that the Asia-Pacific and EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) regions registered the highest growth rates during the third quarter of 2020.
Australia, China, Germany Japan and the U.K. together accounted for nearly one-third of total hyperscale data center growth, the market analyst reported.
As more workers toil from home and their kids study online, new hyperscale datacenters were switched on in 15 different countries over the last four quarters, Synergy said. The U.S., Hong Kong, Switzerland and China recorded the largest number of new data facilities.
(West of Washington, DC, for example, datacenters are springing up like weeds along a technology corridor in Loudon County, Va., among the fastest growing regions in the nation.)
The leading public cloud vendors are among the biggest hyperscale operators, with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure accounting for half of the new data centers opened in the last 12 months. They and other hyper-scalers are offering more cloud regions closer to where data is generated. Proximity allows for faster data analytics and compliance with data “residency” requirements as states impose new data privacy rules.
Not far behind AWS and Microsoft are Google Cloud and Alibaba, China’s top hyperscale operator.
These and others public cloud vendors are offering a range of new analytics and application development services aimed at persuading enterprise customers to move mission-critical data and applications out or private data centers and into public clouds where computing and storage resources can be scaled up or down.
Meanwhile, cloud providers like IBM and its Red Hat unit have doubled down on a hybrid cloud approach that allows customers to move some workloads to hosted facilities while keeping sensitive workloads in-house.
Hybrid and multi-cloud approaches, so-called because they allow customers to avoid vendor lock-in while providing a backup when a network outage occurs, continue to drive data center construction.
“There were more, new hyperscale data centers opened in the last four quarters than in the preceding four quarters, with activity being driven in particular by continued strong growth in cloud services and social networking,” says John Dinsdale, chief analyst at Synergy Research Group.
“This is good news for wholesale data center operators and for vendors supplying the hardware that goes into those data centers.”
Strong data center growth is expected to continue: Synergy Research reports another 150 or so hyperscale data centers are in the pipeline. “There is no end in sight to the data center building boom,” Dinsdale concludes.