RENO, Nev. — New data from Synergy Research Group shows that the total number of large data centers operated by hyperscale providers increased to 504 at the end of the third quarter, having tripled since the beginning of 2013. The Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) and Asia-Pacific (APAC) regions continue to have the highest growth rates, though the U.S. still accounts for almost 40% of the major cloud and internet data center sites. The next most popular locations are China, Japan, the U.K., Germany and Australia, which collectively account for another 32% of the total. Over the last four quarters, new data centers were opened in 15 different countries, with the U.S., Hong Kong, Switzerland, and China having the largest number of additions. Among the hyperscale operators, Amazon and Microsoft opened the most new data centers in the last 12 months, accounting for over half of the total, with Google and Alibaba being the next most active companies. Synergy research indicates that over 70% of all hyperscale data centers are located in facilities that are leased from data center operators or are owned by partners of the hyperscale operators.

The research is based on an analysis of the data center footprint of 20 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 center footprint are the leading cloud providers — Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and IBM. 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 U.S. (Apple, Facebook, Twitter, eBay, Yahoo) or China (Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent).

“There were more new hyperscale data centers opened in the last four quarters than in the preceding four quarters, with activity being driven in particular by continued strong growth in cloud services and social networking,” said John Dinsdale, a chief analyst and research director at Synergy Research Group. “This is good news for wholesale data center operators and for vendors supplying the hardware that goes into those data centers. In addition to the 504 current hyperscale data centers, we have visibility of a further 151 that are at various stages of planning or building, showing that there is no end in sight to the data center building boom."