Ubuntu developer Canonical is offering a new Micro servers provisioning and management tool named Metal as a Service (MaaS). The new tool aims to provide easier access and management to bulky Ubuntu Micro servers. Canonical plans to launch the tool along with second Ubuntu 12.04 beta.
Mark shuttleworth, founder of Canonical and Ubutnu, said in a blog post that MaaS aims to bring the Ubuntu’s popularity in cloud field to physical world. As the world of computation is increasing, so is the number of nodes. The hard part here is the provisioning and management of these nodes. This is the part where MaaS comes in. MaaS will allow users to use cloud based application without any need of virtualization. It makes it easier to set up the hardware to satisfy the needs of a specific application. The tool will let you deploy the servers dynamically, same as cloud, the difference here being the servers are actual physical nodes. MaaS provides a simple web interface which will let you add, commission, update and recycle servers whenever you want. You can also add new nodes and re deploy them between services. When not in use, these nodes can also be used outside MaaS.
According to Mark, thousands of nodes in a rack is going to become commonplace with Atom and AMD. No one wants to rack and stack and thousands of nodes. So the main idea here is to make it easier to provision and manage Micro servers through MaaS and Ubuntu. MaaS is licensed under AGPLv3. More information on MaaS can be found at MaaS wiki.