What is a hyperscale cloud data center?


As demand for data grows throughout the 2000’s, so do hyperscale data centers. That is because a hyperscale data center is a solution that allows digital platforms to store and transfer data more efficiently. 

Hyperscale, in the data center industry, means fitting more IT equipment in less space. Over the past 20 years, servers have become more powerful and data center designers have a better ability to maximize the amount of servers that are in a data center.

When did hyperscale data centers come about? 

There was never a grand opening of the first data center – rather, it was a long and fluid process of learning how to fit more power into less space. Also, there aren’t any standardization’s that define hyperscale data centers. People generally consider a location to be hyperscale when there is at least 1 server every 2 square feet. 

It’s difficult to narrow down the demand for hyperscale centers to a single catalyst, but companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google were huge driving forces. Compared to other sites in the 2010s, Facebook, Google and YouTube were extremely easy to access, housed content of all kinds and were accessible even on a smartphone.

Sure, they weren’t the first companies to care about high density computing power, but they helped speed up innovation and recognition. Before these tech giants tons of companies had servers rooms, but a majority were operated inside of their headquarters. Hyperscale centers are always secluded because they usually carry tons of valuable or delicate information. 

Infographic: Facebook Keeps On Growing | Statista

How to hyperscale 

In order for a hyperscale data center to run effectively, a few foundations need to be in place. These attributes are found across all hyperscale data centers and are all necessary for operation.

High density server racks70u-hyperscale-server-rack

Well designed server racks are essential for a functioning hyperscale center. Many data centers have their racks custom made to efficiently fit the hardware they plan on using.

In order to maximize space utilization, data centers need to build as high up as possible. That’s why in recent years, RackSolutions developed a 70u open frame rack that pushes the boundaries of rack mounting height. 

The average server rack height standard has been increasing in the past decade, with a 48U racks outpacing the former 42U standard in sales. Much of this is likely due to hyperscale demands. 

Elevated level of cooling

Tall racks in dense space require intense innovation in cooling. Even Google said that they have changed their cooling technologies 5 times. 

Most data centers have an HVAC system that directs cold air from under the floor into cool aisles and exhausts hot air out of the hot aisles. The hot air is then directed to somewhere outside of the server room where it is cooled and recycled. 

It’s simple enough, but these types of HVAC systems take up space. When simultaneously trying to maximize space for servers, fitting everything perfectly can take a lot of work. 

Lots of power 

Data centers often use an amount of electricity that could power a whole city. A data center in Virginia, for instance, was the first to reach 1 gigawatts of capacity which could power 700,000 homes.  This drives operators to build in an area where electricity is cheap and generated from sustainable sources. 

Thankfully, within the past decade, energy has become more efficient so power consumption in data centers is growing less quickly.This is thanks to states like Texas whose wind farm electricity market share is rising while demand for oil is falling. 

Security and space 

Space goes hand-in-hand with security in the data center world. Being far away from foot traffic allows security to better track who is near the premise and keeps it out of sight and mind from potential thieves. 

Hyperscale centers in particular hold tons of delicate personal and financial information that the owners are liable to keep safe. This is why every piece of the property is designed to minimize the risk falling victim to a malicious attack. 

What companies use hyperscale data centers?

Most of the largest hyperscale centers are operated by companies like Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and Google. Still there are companies like Switch who operate gigantic hyperscale data centers and rent out to many large corporations.

Switch operates the largest data center campus in the world, located in Tahoe, NV and helps companies like Charter, Qualcomm, Bungie and McAfee deploy colocation solutions. These are companies who need to manage their customers’ delicate information but don’t have enough of an incentive to build their own top tier data center.

Basically, if a company is built around a huge data driven ecosystem, they might need to build their own hyperscale centers. This does not impair smaller companies from taking advantage of hyperscale innovations, as they can deploy their own servers through independent operators.

Need help hyperscaling? 

RackSolutions has a great track record of helping big companies solve their IT racking needs. Whether you need a niche fix or you just want to fit more servers in less space, our engineers are ready to develop exactly what you need. Feel free to contact us and we will start building your custom products ASAP.


hyperscale data center