RENO, Nev. — New data from Synergy Research Group shows the total number of large data centers operated by hyperscale providers increased to 541 at the end of the second quarter, more than double the mid-2015 count. The EMEA and 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 30% of the total.

Over the last four quarters new data centers were opened in 15 different countries, with the U.S., South Korea, Switzerland, Italy, South Africa, and Bahrain having the largest number of additions. Among the hyperscale operators, Amazon and Google opened the most new data centers in the last 12 months, accounting for over half of the total, with Microsoft and Oracle 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 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, and eBay) or China (Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent).

“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.”