Users of Ubuntu 12.04 Server LTS Beta 2 now have access to the provisioning tool MAAS (which stands for Metal as a Service), bringing the dynamism of cloud computing to the world of physical provisioning, simplifying the deployment of scalable services for big data and cloud.
According to Canonical, MAAS supports the deployment of infrastructures such as OpenStack, Hadoop, CloudStack, Load Balanced Web and Cloud Foundry. It also manages servers as a cloud-like resource to be allocated on demand.
Servers are easily assigned to MAAS through automated or manual enlistment, and than MAAS is responsible for all aspects of physical server maintenance, such as firmware updates, burn-in testing, performance evaluation, and other similar operations.
Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and leader of Canonical product and design, explains: "Metal as a Service - MAAS - is a new way of thinking about physical infrastructure. Compute, storage and network are commodities on the metal just as they are commodities in the cloud. MAAS lets you treat farms of servers as a malleable resource for allocation to specific problems, and for re-allocation on a dynamic basis."