Introducing Metal as
a Service

Many modern IT services are cloud-like: farms of servers, doing roughly the same thing, scaled out rather than scaled up. In those environments, it’s useful to think of the collection of physical machines like a cloud, even if it isn’t virtualised.

So Canonical has created Metal as a Service (MAAS), a system that makes it quick and easy to set up the physical hardware on which to deploy complex scalable services, like Ubuntu’s OpenStack cloud infrastructure.

Inside MAAS

MAAS gives you the power of metal at the speed of cloud. See how in this short video.

Automated install

When a new node boots up, MAAS steps in, supplies all the information the node requires, reboots it and provides an Ubuntu image to install.

In addition, MAAS can take care of hardware-specific tasks such as burn-in tests, firmware and RAID upgrades — and checking whether your hardware is Ubuntu certified.

Make the most of your hardware — any hardware

No need to spend days on manual provisioning and deployment. With MAAS, your new hardware can be part of your working infrastructure within minutes. Breathe new life into old hardware by recycling it for use in other parts of your network. Changing models or hardware providers? No worries! MAAS provides enough abstraction to overcome hardware incompatibilities, saving you from costly upgrades and vendor lock-in.

Dynamic provisioning and scaling

Hardware provisioned through MAAS can be provisioned dynamically, just like cloud instances — except that we’re talking about the whole physical node. Through a simple web interface or API you can add, commission, update, deploy and recycle physical servers at will. As your needs change, you can respond rapidly, by adding new nodes and dynamically re-deploying them between services. When the time comes, nodes can be retired for use outside MAAS.

Learn how to install MAAS ›


Top 10 Questions about MAAS. Your guide to MAAS, bare-metal provisioning, and more.


Deploy services in seconds using Juju

With Juju you can deploy, orchestrate and scale services in your MAAS cluster in seconds. Don’t spend hours planning and implementing a service deployment; just choose how many nodes your new service needs, then apply a pre-written charm. When your needs change, you can monitor, scale and adjust deployment parameters in real time, and when you're finished with a service, Juju can remove it without a trace. It's as easy as apt-get.

Learn more about Juju ›