Recently a number of new designers and developers joined our team – welcome Caleb, Lyubomir, Michael, Thomas and Shivam!

As part of the introduction to Canonical and the Design team, each member of the team gives an overview of the products we design for. As the Lead UX designer for MAAS I did so by explaining the functionality of MAAS on a high level, which was inevitably followed by a lot of questions for more details. In order to provide a complete MAAS introduction I put together a small list of resources that would help the newcomers but also the veterans in our team dig deeper into this metal world..

I am now sharing this list with you and hope that it will help you get started with MAAS.

Happy reading!

Introduction

There are various sources where you can get information about MAAS and the concepts it involves; the Ubuntu websites, Wikipedia, youtube and blogs are all places you can find bits and pieces that will help you understand more about MAAS.

Then there are also a lot of people working on MAAS; myself and the other designers and of course the MAAS engineering team would be happy to help with any questions you might have. You can reach MAAS-ters on the public IRC channel (Freenode #maas) and the Ask Ubuntu website.

You can also follow the development of MAAS and contact the team by registering to the MAAS mailing list at https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/maas-devel (maas-devel@lists.ubuntu.com).

Here is a list that I think might be a good start to understand what MAAS does, its features and concepts as well as some of the functionality. It is sorted from high to low-level information and it allows you to go as deep as you want.

Chapter I – MAAS and server provisioning

If you are a server provisioning novice, you can start with some sources for understanding what server provisioning is, which is the main thing that MAAS is used for. If you already know about server provisioning you can move to the next section that explains what MAAS is.

  • A recent Webinar takes you through the steps of how to get cloud-ready servers in minutes with MAAS. By Dariush Marsh-Mossadeghi (Consulting Architect) and Chris Wilder (Cloud Content).
  • Canonical’s e-book on What you need to know about server provisioning is also quite insightful. It contains a lot of content from the maas.io homepage and the How it works page and some additional information.
  • Take a look at the tour page to get an overview of the functionality and pick up terms that you can search further to find out what they mean.

And here is a couple of videos explaining what MAAS is

Metal As A Service – the model (you can jump to 2:13 where the model starts getting explained)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3nfiRKzNSw

MAAS

If you have more questions this factsheet answers the top 10 questions about MAAS.

Chapter II – Technical information that MAAS involves

Now, you can stop if you had enough or you can go deeper into the technical details.

Here are some videos and wiki entries explaining concepts and functionality that MAAS includes.

Servers & hardware

  • PXE booting

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preboot_Execution_Environment

  • Network Interfaces

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_interface

  • BMC & IPMI

http://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/definition/baseboard-management-controller

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligent_Platform_Management_Interface

  • KVM hypervisor

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kernel-based_Virtual_Machine

Services

  • DNS ¬†(video)

Intro to DNS

  • DHCP ¬†(video)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_Host_Configuration_Protocol

Intro to DHCP

Networking

  • Introduction to networking (video – basic intro)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rL8RSFQG8do&index=1&list=PLF360ED1082F6F2A5

  • VLANs and Subnet (video)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twYeSRvdEtc

  • The OSI model (video – explains difference between layer 2 and 3 networking)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEEnLZV2wGI&list=PLF360ED1082F6F2A5&index=5

  • TCP IP / Subnet masking (video – explains IPv4)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkNq4TrHP_U

  • IPv4 vs IPV6 (video)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aor29pGhlFE

  • Fabric

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switched_fabric

Last but not least, the MAAS docs would also be a useful source. You can search terms and functionality specific to MAAS:

https://docs.ubuntu.com/maas/2.2/en/?_ga=2.208312085.683565088.1508226045-405342743.1460033629

Now that you are more familiar with MAAS’s basics, how about seeing it in action? MAAS is free and open source and you can install it in 6 simple steps. The maas.io install¬†page will guide you through them or if you prefer this video shows the installation process. Happy provisioning!