New data from Synergy Research Group shows that the number of large data centers operated by hyperscale providers hit the 300 mark in December, after a flurry of year-end data center openings by Amazon, Google, and Alibaba. One notable feature of the global footprint is that despite a major ongoing push to locate new operations in countries around the world, the U.S. still accounts for 45% of major cloud and internet data center sites. The next prominent locations are China and Japan, with 8% and 7% respectively. The three leading countries are then followed by the UK, Australia, Canada, Singapore, Germany, and India, each of which accounts for 3% to 5% of the total. The research is based on an analysis of the data center footprint of 24 of the world’s major cloud and internet service firms, including the largest operators in SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, search, social networking, and e-commerce.

On average each of the 24 firms had 13 data center sites. The companies with the broadest data center footprint are the leading cloud providers — AWS, Microsoft, and IBM. Each has 40 or more data center locations with at least two in each of the four regions — North America, APAC, EMEA, and Latin America. Google and Oracle also have a notably broad data center presence. The remaining firms tend to have their data centers focused primarily in either the U.S. (Apple, Twitter, Salesforce, Facebook, eBay, LinkedIn, Yahoo) or China (Tencent, Baidu). Previously Alibaba also was focused mainly in China but it has now opened data centers in the US, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, and the UAE. 

“Hyperscale growth goes on unabated and we are forecasting that hyperscale operators will pass the 400 data center mark by the end of 2018,” said John Dinsdale, a chief analyst and research director at Synergy Research Group. “What is remarkable is that the US still accounts for nearly half of all hyperscale data centers, reflecting the US dominance of cloud and internet technologies. While other countries are now featuring more prominently due to either their scale or the unique characteristics of their local markets, the major players continue to invest heavily in U.S. data center operations.”