From Bare Metal to Cloud with MAAS

This article originally appeared on Konstantinos Tsakalozos' blog

When was the last time you had one of those “I wish I knew about that <time period> ago” moments? One of mine was when I saw MAAS (Metal as a Service). Back at the University, as a member of the MADgIK lab, I had to administer a couple of racks. These were the days of Xen paravirtualization, Eucaliptus and the GRID. Interesting times, but I now realise that if I had MAAS and Juju back then, I would have finished with that adventure a couple of years sooner!

From a high level MAAS will render your physical cluster into an IaaS cloud that provisions physical instead of virtual machines. As you might expect a PXE server will serve the images you ask via a good looking web UI. MAAS will discover what is on your network and make it dead simple to set VLANs and network spaces. Juju can use your MaaS deployment as if it were a cloud. This enables you to deploy OpenStack, Kubernetes and BigData solutions directly onto your hardware. It is a really powerful combination that can save you time (in the range of years in my case).

Lets do it!

Do not waste any more time on this blog, go and try MAAS on QEMU instances on your own machine. This play list will get you started. At the end you will have a (virtual) cluster on QEMU. One of the machines will act as the MAAS controller, the rest will be the cluster nodes.

Your virtual cluster.
 
MAAS nodes
 

Next step is to use MAAS from Juju.

Just to show off :)
 

Conclusion

I am off to the shop to get more RAM. No wonder this is such a short blog.

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About the author

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Konstantinos is currently employed by Canonical Ltd on the Big Data group of Juju. Prior to that he worked on Big Data for Microsoft. In 2012 he got his Ph.D. from the Department of Informatics at the University of Athens.

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