Ubuntu founder pitches new tool for server provisioning

Metal as a Service (MAAS) will allow administrators to add new servers via a Web interface

Ubuntu developer Canonical is working on a new provisioning platform called Metal as a Service (MAAS), which will be used to activate new servers, on top of which a cloud can be deployed, founder Mark Shuttleworth said in a blog post on Wednesday.

The way computing systems are built is changing. Instead of big boxes, the future belongs to clusters consisting of "hyper-dense racks with wimpy nodes," according to Shuttleworth. More power is added by adding more nodes to clusters, rather than buying beefier nodes, and reliability is improved by doubling up, so services keep running when individual nodes fail, he wrote.

However, the benefits of these systems will only be realized if the management can be done efficiently and that's where MAAS comes in, according to Shuttleworth.

Using a simple Web interface, MAAS will allow IT administrators to deploy and manage servers dynamically, just like cloud instances -- only in this case, they're whole physical nodes, he said.

The easiest way to get up and running with MAAS is on a network that the user has control over, according to the MAAS wiki. Besides that, the user must be willing to give MAAS control of that network's DHCP, and have a fresh Ubuntu 12.04 LTS installation on a server that can be dedicated to the management platform.

From the Web interface, administrators can boot a new machine and install Ubuntu. For that to work, the server has to be configured to wake-on-LAN and PXE boot.

Once at least two nodes have added been added, administrators can also start using Ubuntu Juju, a next-generation orchestration framework, on top of the servers. Using prepackaged so-called charms users can automate the deployment of new applications.

As of Ubuntu 12.04, Juju is considered beta, and isn't yet ready to be used in production, according to an FAQ.

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS is scheduled to be released on April 26.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?