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< Graffiti(Redirected from GraffitiFAQ)

Graffiti FAQ

Why the name Graffiti?

  • The name Graffiti is metaphor for the urban practice of writing on walls to express yourself.
    • With Graffiti the idea is that you can use your own terminology to write on the walls of various resources in various services or you can use a shared vocabulary to collaborate with others.

Can you give me some examples of how Graffiti may be used?

  • Use the same vocabulary to describe Glance images / image snapshots and bootable Cinder volumes / volume snapshots
    • The software on Cinder volumes and Glance images are very similar and yet the two don't have an easy way to leverage the same metadata vocabulary. Even volumes that originate from an image and inherit the base image metadata later become a moving target where the description of their contents changes over time.

  • The initial use case we are targeting is to improve the launch instance workflow with the following.
    • We will show how Graffiti concepts can be used within Horizon to enhance the image, snapshot, volume, and flavor UIs to describe the resources using a common vocabulary.
    • Because of this, we'll show how the existing (or redesigned) launch instance wizard can be improved for users to definitively find the images, snapshots, and volumes that have the software capabilities they need. This is particularly needed in clouds with large numbers of images, snapshots, and volumes.
    • In addition, we want user to be able to choose additional desired service level objectives (SLO) and then automatically filter the flavors that can provide the SLO or completely separate the flavor selection from SLO selection by sending in the correct scheduler hints for the selected SLOs.

  • Similar to images, you could use Graffiti to apply capabilities / properties to other kinds of artifacts
    • Since the definitions (such as application categories) come from a common API, they can be leveraged / reused in any other kind of template repository. So, for example, as Glance is extended to be able to host other kinds of artifacts such as Heat templates, the same definitions can easily be used there.

  • Enable policy engines to define and use a customer metadata vocabulary that is portable across environments.
    • Perhaps a policy engine could be built that supports creating rules based on metadata tagged on various cloud resources (anything from host aggregates to subnets). This could be its own vocabulary with built in rules or end user supplied rules. For example, perhaps certain applications can only be deployed on networks / subnets / storage that have been tagged with a certain level of guaranteed data privacy or redundancy.
    • How would admins discover / track the available metadata so that they can tag this information on the various networks, subnets, storage, host aggregates and know that their policy engine will be able to find the right resources? We believe Graffiti could provide that central API for exposing the available metadata. The rule metadata (expressed as property types or capability types) could be loaded into the dictionary or retrieved via the Graffiti dictionary plugin framework so that it is discoverable and usable from API, CLI, and UI.

Does Graffiti store all meta data?

  • No. There are different types of data.
    • Metadata Definitions (Dictionary): Optionally, stored in Graffiti and available through REST/CLI API. The dictionary also is intended to be able to proxy metadata definitions from external sources. For example, if a Nova filter exposes its available extra specs through the Nova API, Graffiti will be able to also show these extra specs. Or, if Glance add a metadata repository with custom schemas, Graffiti will proxy through to it.
    • Resource Metadata : This can continue to be stored directly in existing services like Glance, Nova etc using the vocabulary from dictionary. Graffiti will provide a common API which will allow users to search and modify metadata in Glance, Nova, etc using a single interface. Internally Graffiti will take care of searching its own metadata repository as well external services like Glance, Cinder, Nova etc. Graffiti does have a resource registry that can be used to supplement virtual tagging (external resources or concepts that don't have a current repository).
      • In addition, Graffiti is designed to have a cache provider component for enhanced search response time across data providers.

Do we all have to agree on the same metadata vocabulary?

  • No, since it is difficult, if not impossible, to achieve a single agreed upon vocabulary, Graffiti supports a separation of vocabularies using namespaces and RBAC.
    • Effectively, you can load a vocabulary into a namespace. Any terms / hierarchy / etc in that namespace is treated distinctly from the same terms / hierarchy / etc in other namespaces. We then intend to allow specifying role permissions on visbility and modification of the namespace. So, a single user can have their own namespace that is distinct from a namespace visible to the world. We have created various sample namespaces with capabilities for people to get started. We also think it makes sense to start formalizing some of them so that every OpenStack deployment will have a standard set of namespaces, where many namespaces should be owned by a specific service. Others, which are applicable across resource types and services may reside centrally in Graffiti. And finally, we intend to provide a plugin that allows mapping existing standards into Graffiti dictionary namespaces.

Are there other related blueprints that need to be submitted?

  • Yes, since we believe Graffiti will be useful across services and is especially useful for the user experience, there are a number of related areas that we believe we need to submit blueprints.

Shouldn't this be a part of Glance?

  • Perhaps as a starting point. Although, we believe the concepts are much broader than just images and artifact metadata.
    • The concepts may make sense as a starting point in Glance that we contribute towards. We're open to feedback. For example, we believe Cinder Volumes, Nova flavors, Nova compute hosts, and Neutron network segments also should be able to be tagged with capabilities (metadata) from each other or from a central dictionary of metadata. This will facilitate tagging capabilities (metadata) across cloud resources. Doing that will then enable users to declare what they require using the aggregated vocabulary and then allow automation to select or at least guide the user to the actual resources (flavors, networks, etc) that meet the requirements.

How does this relate to Murano?

  • We believe that Graffiti is a tool that can be used by multiple services and Dashboard UIs, including Murano.
      • For example, the concept of "Application Categories" is metadata that can be defined in Graffiti and then be used on both images and application definitions. This can be used by simple VM launching or by a broader application catalog. In addition, we believe Nova flavors, Nova compute hosts, and Neutron network segments also should be able to be "tagged" with properties and capabilities from the aggregated Graffiti dictionary API. This will facilitate tagging properties and capabilities across cloud resources. Doing that will then enable users to declare what they require using the aggregated vocabulary and then allow automation to select or at least guide the user to the actual resources (flavors, networks, etc) that meet the requirements.

Can you give me even more examples of how Graffiti may be used? =

  • With the above, you can also make it easier to create a marketplace like experience for launching instances from images and bootable volumes.
    • For example, you can categorize images, snapshots, and volumes into a hierarchy of application categories like Business Software or Developer Tools. Each of those can have sub categories. With Graffiti, an admin can create this kind of hierarchy in the dictionary. The resource owners can then simply "tag" images and volumes with the appropriate categories from Graffiti (Graffiti flattens the selected capability to match the name / value pair format in Glance / Cinder). Later, when an instance is launched or images are browsed, the Graffiti API can be used to display / filter the available application category hierarchy. When a user selects a category, the Graffiti API automatically searches Glance for the correct images or Cinder for the appropriate volumes. This of course isn't limited to just categories and hierarchy, but can include capabilities like specific OS and software packages installed on the image or volume.
    • In addition, with Graffiti, you can differentiate whether the image / volume provides a capability or requires a capability. So, when you "tag" an image in Glance, you can specify that it requires a certain host capability (like a GPU) and then Graffiti can be used to automatically find flavors that provide the desired capabilities.

  • OpenStack provisioning tools like Fuel can be enhanced to store host information in the Graffiti resource registry so that other services can leverage the information.
    • Today, Fuel captures OpenStack host information that could be shared in a central repository, making it available to other services. The discovered information about the hosts could be stored as metadata about the hosts. Other services, such as Intel's Trust Execution Technology or Intel's Service Assurance Administrator could leverage this repository and publish additional static and runtime metadata about the hosts. For example, a compute host could be published into the repository. It then could be tagged with having TXT capabilities. The actual status of being trusted could be updated directly in the resource repository. Then downstream scheduling activities and filters could directly use the metadata in the shared repository to help make decisions.

  • Create redistributable application packages without relying on manual mappings.
    • The key is giving users, admins, and template designers a vocabulary to describe their resources so they can connect them using the concepts of requirements and capabilities.
    • The Graffiti concepts are based on a common pattern that we've observed in enterprise software products specializing in portable application deployment and reiterated in industry standard concepts such as the OASIS TOSCA specification. One of the base concepts is that you can take elements of applications and describe what capabilities it provides and what capabilities it requires. A central notion in Graffiti is that when you create a metadata definition in the Dictionary, you are describing a type of capability. You then "tag" that capability on different resources and specify either whether the resource provides the capability or if it requires the capability.
      • For example, an orchestration designer may provide a software configuration template that deploys and configures Wordpress. This template could be tagged with providing a certain release of Wordpress and also tagged as requiring a certain OS, certain amount of disk, a certain amount of CPU, and a certain version of MySQL. This template could be published, shared, and imported into various cloud deployments independent of any of the other pieces. When imported into a new cloud deployment, the required capabilities can be scanned to provide automatic filtering of Images with the required OS, flavors with required compute, and other orchestration templates or images that provide MySQL. In addition, the template itself could be found based on filtering for the target OS platform.