Hyperscale Data Centre Capacity Will Continue to Double

According to Synergy Research, hyperscale data centre capacity will keep doubling every four years, which includes key providers Google, Amazon & Microsoft

An April 2024 research report from Synergy Research has found that the number of data centres operated by hyperscale providers has doubled in just four years. 

The organisation forecasts that total hyperscale data centre capacity will double again, with growth attributed to the larger scale of newly operated data centres. It also cites that new technologies such as generative AI (Gen AI) being a key reason for a much larger scale.

With digital business operations continuing to expand, hyperscale data centres are expected to dominate the market. Hyperscale data centres are larger than the average facility and are designed to support robust and scalable applications. They are often associated with tech giants that produce large amounts of data, including Google, Amazon, Microsoft and IBM, among others.

Reshaping the digital transformation landscape

Hyperscale data centres continue to reshape the data centre market with new digital opportunities. As data demand continues to grow, businesses are seeking to leverage data analysis, algorithms and applications at a much faster pace.

Synergy suggests that each year will see anywhere between 120 and 130 additional hyperscale data centres coming online.

As the number of facilities continues to grow rapidly and average capacity continues to climb in tandem, Synergy suggests that the United States (US) still accounts for 51% of worldwide capacity. This is measured by MW of critical IT load, with Europe and China each accounting for about a third of the balance.

Image courtesy of Synergy Research

The companies with the broadest data centre footprint are the leading cloud providers - Amazon, Microsoft and Google. In addition to this large footprint, each company has multiple data centres in multiple countries around the world.

In total, the three organisations now account for 60% of all hyperscale data centre capacity, as per Synergy’s report. Subsequent companies ranked include Meta, Alibaba, Tencent, Apple and ByteDance, in addition to other smaller hyperscale operators

Actively confronting sustainability challenges

“While both the number of hyperscale data centres and their average size continue to grow at an impressive pace, there is a lot of complexity and nuances behind those trends,” says John Dinsdale, Chief Analyst at Synergy Research Group.

“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." 

He adds: “We’re also seeing something of a bifurcation in data centre scale. While the core data centres are getting ever bigger, there is also an increasing number or relatively smaller data centres being deployed in order to push infrastructure nearer to customers. Putting it all together though, all major growth trend lines are heading sharply up and to the right.”

Last year, in October 2023, Synergy Research analysts found that total global hyperscale data centre capacity is set to triple between now and 2030. In fact, the report found that generative AI (Gen AI) technology has and will continue to accelerate demand for more powerful and expansive data centre facilities.

With this in mind, hyperscale data centres will have to evolve to meet new unique requirements. Particularly with the shift of computing workloads, on account of AI, data centre companies are having to tackle new energy challenges, which includes introducing new solutions such as liquid cooling.

Balancing hyperscale innovation with sustainability is the crucial thing to consider within the industry in the near future.

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