Synergy Research Group estimated that the total number of large data centres operated by hyperscale providers increased to 659 at the end of the second quarter, having more than doubled since mid-2016.
Location, location, location
The US and China continue to account for over half of the major cloud and internet data centre sites.
The next most popular locations are Japan, Germany, the UK, Australia, Canada, Ireland and India, which collectively account for another 25% of the total.
“The growth of hyperscale data centres is pretty much on a straight-line trajectory, with an average of 16 new data centres coming online every quarter over the last three years,” said John Dinsdale, a Chief Analyst at Synergy Research Group.
Who is building?
Among the hyperscale operators, Amazon, Microsoft and Google collectively account for over half of the data centre footprint. That said, ByteDance, Tencent and Alibaba had the highest data centre growth rates during the last four quarters.
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. Other firms tend to have their data centres focused primarily in either the US (Apple, Facebook, Twitter, eBay) or China (Baidu, JD.com).
Dinsdale commented that on top of that new data centre build, the hyperscale operators are also adding capacity at existing facilities and are regularly ripping out and replacing server hardware that has reached the end of its operational lifespan.
That all adds up to huge and growing quarterly investments in data centres.
“The big five US hyperscalers still lead in terms of quarterly data centre spending, but the Chinese hyperscalers are growing rapidly with ByteDance being particularly noteworthy. It has come from almost nowhere over the last three years but is now ranked seventh in data centre spending, well ahead of many industry giants,” he concluded.