Earlier this week, I gave the keynote address at the Storage Plumbing and Data Engineering Conference in Santa Clara (it’s abbreviated SPDEcon and pronounced, “Speedy-con,” by the way).

Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 3.32.03 PMSponsored by the SNIA, the event is targeted for hardcore storage development and data engineers who configure, integrate and support storage and data management solutions – often called “storage plumbing.”

My keynote was an updated version of the “State of the Stack” presentation on OpenStack and cloud computing that I’ve given several times since the OpenStack Summit in Portland a couple of months ago. Everywhere I’ve given this presentation to a non-OpenStack audience, I ask the audience:

“How many of you are familiar with OpenStack?”

At SP/DE, I was surprised that approximately 80% of the hands in the room went up. These people are hard-core storage engineers. They’re building and running infrastructure supporting data warehouse, archive, DR, and Hadoop apps for service providers, SaaS providers and enterprises, chiefly in the Bay Area.

It’s yet another data point that punctuates what has become obvious: OpenStack is rapidly reaching full awareness saturation among those responsible for building and operating the infrastructure, platforms, and applications that define the present third-wave in enterprise IT.

And it’s not just public cloud. OpenStack clouds are running in private cloud configurations at large financial services, communications and healthcare companies.

Over the next few months, I’ll be speaking at a half-dozen or so conferences (more on that later). And even if the topic is not OpenStack cloud, I’m going to find a way to work my casual polling question in. I’ll be especially interested to gauge familiarity of OpenStack outside the Valley and outside the echo chamber.

I’ll keep you posted on what I hear.