MAAS 1.7.0 is close to its release date, which is set to coincide with Ubuntu 14.10’s release.
The development team has been hard at work and knocked out some amazing new features and improvements. Let me take you through some of them!
UI-based boot image imports
Previously, MAAS used to require admins to configure (well, hand-hack) a yaml file on each cluster controller that specified precisely which OSes, release and architectures to import. This has all been replaced with a very smooth new API that lets you simply click and go.
The different images available are driven by a “simplestreams” data feed maintained by Canonical. What you see here is a representation of what’s available and supported.
Any previously-imported images also show on this page, and you can see how much space they are taking up, and how many nodes got deployed using each image. All the imported images are automatically synced across the cluster controllers.
Once a new selection is clicked, “Apply changes” kicks off the import. You can see that the progress is tracked right here.
(There’s a little more work left for us to do to track the percentage downloaded.)
Robustness and event logs
MAAS now monitors nodes as they are deploying and lets you know exactly what’s going on by showing you an event log that contains all the important events during the deployment cycle.
You can see here that this node has been allocated to a user and started up.
Previously, MAAS would have said “okay, over to you, I don’t care any more” at this point, which was pretty useless when things start going wrong (and it’s not just hardware that goes wrong, preseeds often fail).
So now, the node’s status shows “Deploying” and you can see the new event log at the bottom of the node page that shows these actions starting to take place.
After a while, more events arrive and are logged:
And eventually it’s completely deployed and ready to use:
You’ll notice how quick this process is nowadays. Awesome!
More network support
MAAS has nascent support for tracking networks/subnets and attached devices. Changes in this release add a couple of neat things: Cluster interfaces automatically have their networks registered in the Networks tab (“master-eth0″ in the image), and any node network interfaces known to be attached to any of these networks are automatically linked (see the “attached nodes” column). This makes even less work for admins to set up things, and easier for users to rely on networking constraints when allocating nodes over the API.
MAAS is now tracking whether the power is applied or not to your nodes, right in the node listing. Black means off, green means on, and red means there was an error trying to find out.
With well over 100 bugs squashed, this will be a well-received release. I’ll post again when it’s out.