Synergy Research says that 26 more hyperscale data centers have opened around the world this year, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

The analyst firm says the total worldwide is now at 541, up from 500 in October 2019. And there are 176 currently under construction or in planning.

Wholesale boom

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– Synergy Research Group

“There were 100 new hyperscale data centers opened in the last eight quarters, with 26 of those being the first half of this year,” said John Dinsdale, a Chief Analyst at Synergy Research Group. “COVID-19 has caused some logistical issues but these are robust numbers, demonstrating the underlying strength of the services that are driving these investments. We have visibility of a further 176 data centers that are at various stages of planning or building, which is good news for data center hardware vendors and wholesale data center operators.”

The US is still way out in front, with nearly 40 percent of the world's total of hyperscale data centers, but EMEA and Asia Pacific have the fastest growth rates. Second place is China on nine percent, Japan is on six percent, with the UK, Germany and Australia, following to make up 67 percent of the worldwide total. The US, South Korea, Switzerland, Italy, South Africa and Bahrain had the largest number of new additions in the last year.

Amazon and Google have been building the fastest of the last year, amounting to half the new hyperscale data centers. Microsoft and Oracle are the next most active. Although these are the headline names, the majority (70 percent) of hyperscale data centers are leased from operators, or are owned by partners.

"The companies with the broadest data center footprint are the leading cloud providers – Amazon, Microsoft, Google and IBM," says the Synergy release. "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 also has a notably broad data center presence. The remaining firms tend to have their data centers focused primarily in either the US (Apple, Facebook, Twitter, eBay) or China (Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent)."

All this begs the question - what is a hyperscale data center? Synergy says its research is based on "the data center footprint of 20 of the world’s major cloud and Internet service firms," but it keeps the exact definition a secret - only revealed to paying customers. The research firm previously told DCD that the total cost of the facilities plays an important role in its analysis.