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Rendering of the future Facebook data center in Huntsville, Alabama Facebook
Rendering of the future Facebook data center in Huntsville, Alabama

Hyperscale Cloud Platforms Dominated the Data Center Conversation in 2018

The year’s most read articles on Data Center Knowledge illustrate the remaking of the industry by hyperscalers.

Like it or not, cloud giants and the hyperscale data centers they build to support their platforms dominate the data center industry conversation today.

You can see this very clearly in the amount of attention articles about these companies get on our site. Except for one piece, most of the ten most read stories of 2018 are in one way or another stories about hyperscale platforms.

The stories are about the sheer scale at which these companies are building infrastructure, about their reliability failures, about data center innovation they’re driving, about what they’re doing to compete with each other, and about their enormous efforts to convince enterprises running their own data centers (that’s still most of the world’s companies) to use their services instead.

The one outlier, the article that’s not about hyperscale cloud, is our December story about the US government’s utter failure to keep data centers used to manage the country’s ballistic missile defense systems in line with the most basic security standards.

There are several reasons our readers are hungry for information about the cloud platforms. Even though most corporate computing still happens inside on-premises data centers, hyperscalers are investing an unprecedented amount of money in infrastructure, while upending both corporate IT and the corporate technology market.

They’ve driven most of the technological innovation in recent years, making themselves impossible to ignore for companies that use IT infrastructure (which today is all of them), and forcing IT and data center infrastructure vendors to rethink their businesses from the ground up: an amount of soul searching few of these vendors have ever done. They’ve forced an equal amount of soul searching on the end-user side, where corporate IT departments that aren’t rethinking their roles will soon have their roles rethought for them.

Here they are, the 10 most popular stories that appeared on Data Center Knowledge in 2018:


Rendering of the future Facebook data center in Huntsville, Alabama

Facebook to Build $750M Data Center in Huntsville, Alabama - The city’s tech-job market is growing, while the cost of living and energy rates are low.


Stephen Lam/Getty Images

Scott Guthrie, executive VP of Cloud and Enterprise at Microsoft

Azure Outage Proves the Hard Way that Availability Zones are a Good Idea - A lightning strike exposes a glaring hole in Azure cloud’s availability strategy.



VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger and AWS CEO Andy Jassy hug on stage at VMworld 2018 in Las Vegas

AWS Is Coming to Enterprise Data Centers, With or Without VMware - In a departure from its previous strategy, AWS is going for the on-prem data center market. What does the move mean for its partnership with VMware?



A cooling plant inside Google's Hamina, Finland, data center

Google is Switching to a Self-Driving Data Center Management System - Machine-learning algorithms are now adjusting cooling-plant settings automatically, in real-time, on a continuous basis.


Alex Wong/Getty Images

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaking at the 2014 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington, DC.

Cloud Giants Continue Pouring Billions Into Data Centers - Hyperscale data center spend may be slowing down, but it remains enormous.


Ramsey Cardy/SPORTSFILE via Getty Images

Dropbox CTO Aditya Agarwal, left, and Drew Houston, the company’s founder and CEO, speaking at a conference in 2014.

Here’s How Much Money Dropbox Saved by Moving Out of the Cloud - Cloud storage and collaboration platform details cost savings that resulted from migrating onto its own platform.



Kit Colbert, VMware VP, CTO of VMware's Cloud Platform business unit

VMware Cloud CTO: Launching VMware on AWS Has Been a Heavy Lift - Integrating VMware with Amazon’s cloud infrastructure has been a big job for engineering teams on both sides of the partnership.


Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Julian Assange, founder and former editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, makes his way back indoors after speaking to the media from the balcony of the Embassy of Ecuador in May 2017 in London

WikiLeaks Publishes What It Says Is a List of Amazon Data Centers - If accurate, the list would be the most detail the public has ever seen about the world’s biggest cloud provider’s infrastructure.


Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Oracle campus in Redwood City, California

Oracle to Launch 12 Cloud Data Centers Around the World - The biggest expansion is planned for Asia, but Europe, the Middle East, and North America are also on the list.


South Korean Defense Ministry via Getty Images

In this handout photo released by the South Korean Defense Ministry, U.S. M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System firing an MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile during a U.S. and South Korea joint missile drill aimed to counter North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile test on July 5, 2017 in East Coast, South Korea.

Report of Gaping Security Holes at US Missile Defense Systems Data Centers Shocks Experts - Private-sector cybersecurity professionals say failure to follow basic security guidelines greatly weakens national security.

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