Home » Blog » What is a Hyperscale Data Center?

As today’s enterprises race toward digital transformation with cloud-based applications, software-as-a-service (SaaS), and artificial intelligence (AI), data center architectures are evolving. Organizations rely less on traditional server-based infrastructures, preferring the scalability, speed, and cost-efficiency of cloud and hybrid-cloud architectures using major platforms such as AWS and Google. These digital services are supported by an underlying infrastructure comprising thousands of servers, GPUs, and networking devices in what’s known as a hyperscale data center.

The size and complexity of hyperscale data centers present unique management, scaling, and resilience challenges that providers must overcome to ensure an optimal customer experience. This blog explains what a hyperscale data center is and compares it to a normal data center deployment before discussing the unique challenges involved in managing and supporting a hyperscale deployment.

What is a hyperscale data center?

As the name suggests, a hyperscale data center operates at a much larger scale than traditional enterprise data centers. A typical data center houses infrastructure for dozens of customers, each containing tens of servers and devices. A hyperscale data center deployment supports at least 5,000 servers dedicated to a single platform, such as AWS. These thousands of individual machines and services must seamlessly interoperate and rapidly scale on demand to provide a unified and streamlined user experience.

The biggest hyperscale data center challenges

Operating data center deployments on such a massive scale is challenging for several key reasons.


Hyperscale Data Center Challenges


Hyperscale data center infrastructure is extensive and complex, with thousands of individual devices, applications, and services to manage. This infrastructure is distributed across multiple facilities in different geographic locations for redundancy, load balancing, and performance reasons. Efficiently managing these resources is impossible without a unified platform, but different vendor solutions and legacy systems may not interoperate, creating a fragmented control plane.


Cloud and SaaS customers expect instant, streamlined scaling of their services, and demand can fluctuate wildly depending on the time of year, economic conditions, and other external factors. Many hyperscale providers use serverless, immutable infrastructure that’s elastic and easy to scale, but these systems still rely on a hardware backbone with physical limitations. Adding more compute resources also requires additional management and networking hardware, which increases the cost of scaling hyperscale infrastructure.


Customers rely on hyperscale service providers for their critical business operations, so they expect reliability and continuous uptime. Failing to maintain service level agreements (SLAs) with uptime requirements can negatively impact a provider’s reputation. When equipment failures and network outages occur - as they always do, eventually - hyperscale data center recovery is difficult and expensive.

Overcoming hyperscale data center challenges requires unified, scalable, and resilient infrastructure management solutions, like the Nodegrid platform from ZPE Systems.

How Nodegrid simplifies hyperscale data center management

The Nodegrid family of vendor-neutral serial console servers and network edge routers streamlines hyperscale data center deployments. Nodegrid helps hyperscale providers overcome their biggest challenges with:

  • A unified, integrated management platform that centralizes control over multi-vendor, distributed hyperscale infrastructures.
  • Innovative, vendor-neutral serial console servers and network edge routers that extend the unified, automated control plane to legacy, mixed-vendor infrastructure.
  • The open, Linux-based Nodegrid OS which hosts or integrates your choice of third-party software to consolidate functions in a single box.
  • Fast, reliable out-of-band (OOB) management and 5G/4G cellular failover to facilitate easy remote recovery for improved resilience.

The Nodegrid platform gives hyperscale providers single-pane-of-glass control over multi-vendor, legacy, and distributed data center infrastructure for greater efficiency. With a device like the Nodegrid Serial Console Plus (NSCP), you can manage up to 96 devices with a single piece of 1RU rack-mounted hardware, significantly reducing scaling costs. Plus, the vendor-neutral Nodegrid OS can directly host other vendors’ software for monitoring, security, automation, and more, reducing the number of hardware solutions deployed in the data center.

Nodegrid’s out-of-band (OOB) management creates an isolated control plane that doesn’t rely on production network resources, giving teams a lifeline to recover remote infrastructure during outages, equipment failures, and ransomware attacks. The addition of 5G/4G LTE cellular failover allows hyperscale providers to keep vital services running during recovery operations so they can maintain customer SLAs.

Want to learn more about Nodegrid hyperscale data center solutions from ZPE Systems?

Nodegrid’s vendor-neutral hardware and software help hyperscale cloud providers streamline their operations with unified management, enhanced scalability, and resilient out-of-band management. Request a free Nodegrid demo to see our hyperscale data center solutions in action.

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