After years of consolidation, the 15 largest data center colocation providers in the world own about half of the market. The remaining half is extremely fragmented, which means more consolidation will follow

As mergers and acquisitions continue – and accelerate, fueled by an unprecedented amount of investor appetite – the ranking of the largest players in the space may eventually change

As of today, the largest data center colocation provider in the world is Equinix, accounting for 11 percent of the $54 billion market, according to the latest global leaderboard by Structure Research, an analyst firm that tracks the internet infrastructure services market

Following Equinix is Digital Realty, with 8 percent market share, and following Digital is China Telecom, with 6 percent market share

It’s important to note that China Telecom is one of five Chinese companies on the leaderboard (also China Unicom, China Mobile, GDS, and 21Vianet), all of whom do business primarily in China. China’s market is so vast that these providers can stay mostly domestic (with some international presence) and still have huge share of the global market

China’s protectionist regulatory policy makes it extremely difficult for foreign companies to compete in the country’s vast data center market, and international players’ interest in China has waned. As a result, Chinese hyperscalers’ explosive growth in recent years has driven huge growth for Chinese companies that build and operate data centers for the likes of Alibaba and Tencent

That said, here they are, the world’s 15 largest data center colocation providers, which together account for about 50 percent of the global market, ranked by Structure Research as part of its latest report on the global colocation and interconnection market:
== 1. Equinix ==
- Market share: 11.1 percent
- Headquarters: Redwood City, California

== 2. Digital Realty Trust ==
- Market share: 7.6 percent
- Headquarters: Austin, Texas

== 3. China Telecom ==
- Market share: 6.1 percent
- Headquarters: Beijing, China

== 4: NTT GDC ==
- Market share: 4.3 percent
- Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan

== 5. China Unicom ==
- Market share: 4.2 percent
- Headquarters: Beijing, China

== 6. China Mobile ==
- Market share: 2.1 percent
- Headquarters: Beijing, China

== 7. CyrusOne ==
- Market share: 1.9 percent
- Headquarters: Dallas, Texas

== 8. KDDI Telehouse ==
- Market share: 1.9 percent
- Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan

== 9. GDS ==
- Market share: 1.6 percent
- Headquarters: Shanghai, China

== 10. Global Switch ==
- Market share: 1.4 percent
- Headquarters: London, UK

== 11. 21Vianet ==
- Market share: 1.4 percent
- Headquarters: Beijing, China

== 12. CoreSite ==
- Market share: 1.3 percent
- Headquarters: Denver, Colorado

== 13: Cyxtera ==
- Market share: 1.2 percent
- Headquarters: Coral Gables, Florida

== 14: Lumen (formerly CenturyLink) ==
- Market share: 1.1 percent
- Headquarters: Monroe, Louisiana

== 15: Flexential ==
- Market share: 1.1 percent
- Headquarters: Charlotte, North Carolina