What is a Hyperscale Data Denter?

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What Is an Enterprise Data Center?

An enterprise data center is a private facility operated for the sole use of supporting a single organization. They can be located either on-premises or off-premises at a site chosen for connectivity, power, and security purposes.

An Enterprise Data Center consists of multiple data centers, each with a duty of sustaining key functions. These data centers can be classified into three types: internet, extranet, and intranet.

An Enterprise Data Center

  • Commonly outsources maintenance for the M&E but runs the white space themselves via the IT team.
  • May use external companies on initial fit-outs and network installation before being maintained internally.
  • Has anywhere from 10 Cabinets upwards and can be as large as 40MW+.

What Is a Hyperscale Data Center?

Hyperscale data centers are massive business-critical facilities designed to efficiently support robust, scalable applications and are often associated with big data-producing companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft.

Hyperscale data center:

  • A Hyperscale (or Enterprise Hyperscale) data center is a facility owned and operated by the company it supports.
  • They offer robust, scalable applications and storage portfolio of services to individuals or businesses.
  • Hyperscale computing is necessary for cloud and big data storage.
  • Has anywhere from 500 Cabinets upwards, and at least 10,000sq ft. in size.
  • Usually have a minimum of 5,000 servers linked with an ultra-high-speed, high fiber count network.
  • May use external companies on initial fit-outs before maintaining internally.
  • Noticeable difference from Enterprise to Hyperscale is the High Fiber Count utilized across the network.

Hyperscale data centers are significantly larger than enterprise data centers, and because of the advantages of economies of scale and custom engineering, they significantly outperform them, too.

What makes a hyperscale data center different from an enterprise data center?

A data center, in short, is a dedicated space or building that houses an organization’s IT equipment and servers. The company can draw on its data center resources to operate its business or serve those resources up to the public as a service.

Enterprise data centers and hyperscale data centers can be compared using their scale and performance.

Hyperscale data centers are significantly larger than enterprise data centers, and because of the advantages of economies of scale and custom engineering, they significantly outperform them, too. Not by any means an official definition, a hyperscale data center should exceed 5,000 servers and 10,000 square feet.

What further distinguishes hyperscale data centers is the volume of data, compute, and storage services they process. In a survey, 93% of hyperscale companies expect to have 40 GigaBytes per second (Gbps) or faster network connections. In the same survey, 51% of respondents report that the bandwidth needed to manage vast volumes of data is an increasing challenge.

Comparing their power usage effectiveness (PUE) metrics (although, comparing PUEs between data centers is not always apples to apples,), most enterprise data centers commonly report and average data center PUE between 1.67-1.8. However, Google hyperscale data centers report a PUE of 1.1, where a PUE of 1.0 means perfect efficiency. From a performance standpoint, the comparison is very much like a full-size sedan versus a zero-emissions vehicle.

Hyperscale is also a term that embodies a computing system’s capability to scale, at orders of magnitude, to meet tremendous demand. So hyperscale data centers are exceptionally agile, with the ability to scale up, down, and out to meet any load they service. This can mean adding more compute power, as well as adding more machines, or the ability to scale out to the edge of a network.

Essentially, hyperscale data centers compete “not just [on] scale [alone] but also [on] a certain approach to building and managing infrastructure, emphasizing stripped-down hardware, maximum disaggregation (components can be mixed and matched), modularity, automation, and other principles.”

Top 10 Biggest Hyperscale Sites

According to World’s Top Data Centers , this Top Ten ranks the biggest Hyperscale Sites around the world measured by square footage. These data centers power the need astounding amount of information used for telecommunications, cloud computing, and financial firms. These hyperscale sites are some of the biggest data centers around the world due to the major investments from companies like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft.

#1: Microsoft- Chicago, Illinois.
#2: Apple- Maiden, North Carolina.
#3: Google- Lenoir, North Carolina.
#4: Microsoft- Quincy, Washington.
#5: Microsoft- San Antonio, Texas.
#6: Facebook- Altoona, Iowa.
#7: Facebook- Prineville, Oregon.
#8: Microsoft- Dublin, Ireland.
#9: Facebook- Forest City, North Carolina.
#10: Yahoo- Lockport, New York

Image source: Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash

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