When it comes to cloud providers, it seems the big only get bigger, with Microsoft, Amazon and Google now accounting for over half of the world’s nearly 600 large data centres operated by hyperscale providers.
Perhaps this should come as little surprise, given the competitive nature of the cloud market and the increasingly commoditised range of products and services it supports. However, the latest data by Synergy Research Group reveals some serious consolidation of market share at the top.
Synergy's research, which was based on an analysis of the data centre footprint of 20 of the world’s major cloud and internet service firms, confirmed that the companies with the broadest data centre footprint are those that are considered the leading cloud providers: Amazon, with its Amazon Web Services (AWS) business long considered the market leader in the public cloud space, Microsoft, Google and IBM.
According to Synergy, each of these organisations has 60 or more data centre locations with at least three in each of four major regions scattered around the globe: North America; Asia Pacific (APAC); Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Latin America.
Oracle and Alibaba also have a notably broad data centre presence, Synergy Research noted, with the remaining firms tending to have their data centres focused primarily in either the US or China.
Broadly, the market research firm’s data showed that the total number of large data centres operated by hyperscale providers increased to 597 at the end of 2020, more than doubling since the end of 2015.
Amazon and Google have opened the greatest number of new data centres over the past 12 months, accounting for half of the additions to the global footprint over the course of 2020. Meanwhile, Oracle, Microsoft, Alibaba and Facebook have also been notably active.
It should also be noted that, according to Synergy research, over 70 per cent of all hyperscale data centres are located in facilities that are leased from data centre operators or are owned by partners of the hyperscale operators.
“There were 111 new hyperscale data centres opened in the last eight quarters, with 52 of those coming onstream in 2020 despite COVID-19 causing a few logistical issues,” Synergy Research Group chief analyst John Dinsdale said.
“That is testament to the ongoing robust growth in the digital services that are driving those investments – particularly cloud computing, SaaS [software-as-a-service], e-commerce, gaming and video services.
“We did actually see a handful of older hyperscale data centres shut down in 2020, but those numbers pale beside the number of newly opened or planned sites. In addition to almost 600 operational data centres, we have visibility of a further 219 that are at various stages of planning or building, which is good news indeed for data centre hardware vendors and wholesale data centre operators,” he added.
With the top three global cloud players all headquartered in the United States, the nation continues to account for almost 40 per cent of the major cloud and internet data centre sites around the globe.
But other regions are on the rise as well, with the next most popular locations for data centres being China, Japan, Germany, the UK and Australia. Collectively, those countries account for 29 per cent of the global total.
Over the last four quarters, according to Synergy, new data centres were opened in 17 different countries, with the US, South Korea, China, Canada, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Indonesia, Italy and South Africa having the largest number of new additions.