The United States now accounts for 44 percent of major cloud and Internet data center sites, followed by China, which accounts for 10 percent, according to a report from Synergy Research Group.
The two leading countries are then followed by Australia, UK, Japan, Singapore, Germany and the Netherlands, each of which accounts for between 4 and 5 percent of the total.
The research is based on an analysis of the data center footprint of 13 of the world’s major cloud and Internet service firms, including the largest operators in Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), search, social networking and e-commerce.
In aggregate these operators now have almost 150 major data center sites, and on average, each of the thirteen firms had eleven data center sites.
"The hyperscale cloud operators will keep on increasing their data center footprint and adding more sites in more key countries – it improves their growth potential by providing a local presence, increasing quality of service through faster response time, and overcoming local regulatory issues around location of data and data processing facilities," John Dinsdale, a chief analyst and research director at Synergy Research Group, told eWEEK. "Scale will also increase at current facilities. There is no doubt in my mind that the U.S. and China will maintain a strong lead."
The companies with the broadest data center footprint are the leading hyperscale cloud providers – AWS, IBM and Microsoft. Each has 20 or more data center locations with at least one in each of the four regions – North America, APAC, EMEA and Latin America.
Google, Oracle and Rackspace also have a notably broad data center presence, while the remaining firms tend to have their data centers primarily in either the U.S. or China. Salesforce, Facebook, eBay and Yahoo all have operations in the U.S. Tencent, Baidu and Alibaba have data centers in China.
"Various major industry sectors are less likely to fully embrace cloud without having a strong local presence and local cloud data centers – especially the finance sector, government, health and public sector organizations," Dinsdale said. "The issues are typically around local regulatory issues and security concerns – though psychological feel-good factors are also at play."
He noted that having local cloud on-ramps through colocation operators or telecom companies can mitigate some of these concerns, but surely having local cloud data center in place makes most of the issues go away.
"The hyperscale cloud operators have all spent many billions of dollars building out their cloud data centers and continue to invest huge amounts each year," Dinsdale said. "They do not share details on exactly how much but the denominator is billions and not millions."