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Hyperscale data centre capacity set to triple to meet AI demands, say analysts

Written by Wed 25 Oct 2023

Hyperscale Data Center Growth

The total global hyperscale data centre capacity is set to triple over the next six years, according to analysts.

Synergy Research Group found generative AI technology intensified the demand for more powerful and expansive facilities.

As individual data centres handle larger IT loads, the number of operational hyperscale data centres is also expected to increase.

By mid 2023, Synergy said the hyperscalers had 926 major data centres in operation around the world. The research group’s known pipeline of future data centre includes a further 427 facilities. This figure is one of the main inputs to Synergy’s forecast model.

As a whole, the total number of worldwide data centres has doubled in the last five years, with hyperscale providers set to account for more than half of worldwide data centre capacity by 2027.

“The impact of recent generative AI advances is not so much to increase the number of data centres, which will continue to grow by well over a hundred per year, but to substantially increase the amount of power required to run those data centres,” said Synergy.

The growing GPU count in hyperscale facilities to support AI workloads has reportedly increased the power density within data centres. This has caused hyperscale operators to rethink their architecture and deployment plans.

Synergy predicted ongoing changes in the landscape of hyperscale data centres depending if a data centre is leased from third parties or owned directly by companies.

Synergy also said there will also be some degree of retrofitting existing facilities to boost data centre capacity. This is where new systems designed for greater operational efficiency and higher capacity are fitted into existing data centres.

Synergy’s research analysed data centre operations and footprints of 19 major cloud and internet service firms that meet its hyperscale operator criteria. This included the largest operators in SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, search, social networking, e-commerce and gaming.

The research organisation did not specify the data centre operators classified within its criteria.

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Written by Wed 25 Oct 2023

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