Ubuntu developer Canonical is adding a new tool that enables administrators to automate provisioning of physical servers from scratch, and form them into pooled clusters onto which services such as Hadoop or a cloud computing stack can then be deployed.
Available for testing now as part of the second Ubuntu 12.04 beta, the tool is dubbed 'Metal-as-a-Service' or MaaS, and has been developed to help administrators build resource pools from clusters of servers without having to manually provision each one.
This makes Ubuntu more attractive as a platform for pilot deployments, but also positions the Linux distribution as a viable contender for operating and managing large-scale server infrastructure deployments for big data, cloud computing and grid applications in future, the firm claimed.
"What we're doing is a new concept of treating the physical hardware as you might a cloud," Matt Revell, MaaS product manager at Canonical told V3.
Unlike most cloud platforms, however, MaaS is not concerned with virtual machines.
"We're less interested in the servers themselves and more on what you can deploy on them. You can use our Juju service orchestration tool to deploy OpenStack or Hadoop, and it will talk to the MaaS cluster the same way you might ask Amazon EC2 for a number of virtual instances," he explained.
However, instead of virtual machines, the result is a cluster of physical servers, which is better suited to running big data deployments such as MongoDB, because it does not have the performance overhead of a cloud platform, Revell added.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago