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Hyperscale and 4 Other Types of Data Centers

Hyperscale and colocation providers enjoy a symbiotic relationship. Hyperscale providers have become the largest customers of many retail colocation and wholesale colocation data centers, with many colocation providers modifying their business models to host hyperscale operations and provide connectivity for enterprise tenants to hyperscale services.

As of the end of 2021, there were 728 data centers operated by hyperscalers with an additional 314 already in the pipeline for the next few years, compared to colocation data centers of which there are nearly 8000.

Although hyperscale data centers represent less than 10% of the number of total data centers, they represent a disproportionate share of investment in the data center market. In 2022 worldwide spending on data centers is expected to grow to $227 billion.  In 2021 alone, global hyperscalers spent $127 billion, more than 50% of total data center CapEx. The average outlay for each hyperscaler is expected to show double digit growth for the next few years, with the expectation that the return from people and businesses buying public-cloud services will reach $564 billion by 2030.


Retail Colocation Data Center

Colocation data centers consist of one data center owner selling space, power and cooling to multiple enterprise and hyperscale customers in a specific location.


Wholesale Colocation Data Center

Wholesale colocation data centers consist of one owner selling space, power and cooling to enterprise and hyperscale like a standard colocation. In these instances, interconnection is not really a requirement. These facilities are used by hyperscalers or large companies to hold their IT infrastructure.


An enterprise data center is a facility owned and operated by the company it supports and is generally built on-site but can also be off-site in certain cases.



A telecom data center is a facility owned and operated by a Telecommunications or Service Provider company such as BT, AT&T or Verizon. These types of data centers require very high connectivity and are mainly responsible for driving content delivery, mobile services, and cloud services.


A hyperscale data center is leased (or, in some cases, owned) and operated by the company it supports (this includes companies such as AWS, Microsoft, and Google). They offer robust, scalable applications and storage portfolio of services to individuals or businesses. Hyperscale computing is necessary for cloud and big data storage. At least 10,000sq ft. in size. There are usually more than 50,000 computing and storage servers in a typical hyperscale data center, linked with an ultra-high-speed, high fiber count network There are 250,000 switch ports in the computing fabric of an average hyperscale data center.