3 Fascinating Facts about Hyperscale Data Centers
Hyperscale data centers have been gaining more and more attention. Due to its massive size and super performance, the existence of hyperscale data centers is always interesting to observe. Through this article, let’s take a closer look at three facts about hyperscale data centers that will make you fascinated.
1. There are currently 700 hyperscale data centers in the world.
According to the latest data from Synergy Research Group, there are 700 hyperscale data centers in the world — over twice as many as there were in 2016. 39% of the world’s hyperscale data centers reside in the US, 10% in China, and 6% in Japan. More than half of these hyperscale data centers are operated by just three companies: Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.
Despite some issues caused by the pandemic, 52 of these facilities successfully came online in 2020. The market research firm stated that Amazon and Google had accounted for half of the new hyperscale facilities launched last year. Meanwhile, Oracle, Microsoft, Alibaba, and Facebook also added a lot of data center capacity in 2020. In early 2021, Synergy noted that there were 219 more hyperscale facilities either planned or already under construction.
2. The world’s largest hyperscale data center is located in Inner Mongolia, China.
The largest hyperscale data center in the world is The Inner Mongolian Information Hub. Located in an area of 10,7 million square feet (about 995.000 m2) in the city of Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, China, this hyperscale data center is owned by China Telecom. The second largest data center in the world, Hohhot Data Center, is also located in Hohhot. Hohhot Data Center is located in an area of 7,7 million square feet (about 715.000 m2) and owned by China Mobile.
Why are two largest data centers located in the same city? According to Data Center Dynamics, there are two factors that make Hohhot an attractive location for data centers. First, Hohhot has an average annual rainfall of over 12 which is greatly important to produce hydroelectric power. Second, Hohhot is located at an average altitude of 1.050 meters with the average temperature of 6°C, creating free air cooling for up to eight months a year.
3. Hyperscale data centers consume a massive amount of power.
It’s clear that power is the largest operational expense for most data centers. However, with an average of 20-50 megawatts (MW) per data center and 10-25 kilowatts (KW) per rack, power consumption in hyperscale data centers is truly on another level. On a global scale, data center power consumption amounted to about 416 terawatts (TW), or 3% of all electricity generated on the planet. Hyperscale data centers account for over 20% of the world's data center electricity usage.
Let’s take the world’s third largest data center, The Citadel Campus, as an example. Located in northern Nevada, the US, The Citadel Campus consumes up to 650 MW of power. To put that into context, in the US, 1 MW of electricity would be enough to power an average of 750 homes, so theoretically, this hyperscale data center could pull an amount of power similar to that of 487,500 homes. Thankfully, The Citadel Campus is powered by 100% renewable energy.
As technology keeps advancing, data centers will also keep evolving. After hyperscale data centers, who knows what we will get 50 years from now.