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Graffiti – making the most of the cloud…


Authors:  Michael Aday, Director, HP Helion & Travis Tripp,  Master Technologist, HP Helion & Murali Sundar, Principal Engineer, Intel  



As Enterprises assess their critical workloads and move them to the cloud they have to address multiple concerns.  Costs, concurrency, data sovereignty, security, geographic operation, system dependencies, resilience, and availability requirements are only a few among them.  In the past, at least part of these considerations could be addressed with investments in hardware that is built for superior performance, enhanced security, as well as highly resilient operations.  This was true whether the requirements were around storage infrastructures or processing capabilities.  However in the world of OpenStack, there is little visibility into the characteristics of these types of resources.  Most, if not all, of the hardware that is visible in the management dashboard and provisioning systems within OpenStack is reflected as undifferentiated commodity hardware, even though deep down these differences are visible and are used to offer differentiated services, typically by attaching arcane metadata to existing OpenStack resources.


To address these issues and many more issues in the same vein, HP and Intel have invested in the Graffiti project within OpenStack that allows for OpenStack cloud builders to annotate and leverage these  specialized hardware resources from within OpenStack, making it possible to match workloads to the best HW infrastructure.  The result is a more resilient, secure and highly available services across private, public or hybrid clouds.  Graffiti gives the cloud builder the ability to identify and leverage these resources to manage the requirements of critical workloads and provide for efficient use of the specialized gear to ensure their operation irrespective of where the workload operates.  In short, Graffiti can change the very nature of the provisioning infrastructure of OpenStack and address capability annotation and identification limitations in the system.


Would you like to know more?  Check out thewiki at and for an in depth overview of the look at the conceptual overview at    In the spirit of agile and iterative open development, we are taking the concepts of Graffiti and working with the community to build them directly into core OpenStack projects.  Our first stop is to build out a new capability and tag catalog API in an existing core OpenStack project.


Senior Manager, Cloud Online Marketing
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About the Author


I manage the HPE Helion social media and website teams promoting the enterprise cloud solutions at HPE for hybrid, public, and private clouds. I was previously at Dell promoting their Cloud solutions and was the open source community manager for OpenStack and at Rackspace and Citrix Systems. While at Citrix Systems, I founded the Citrix Developer Network, developed global alliance and licensing programs, and even once added audio to the DOS ICA client with assembler. Follow me at @SpectorID

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