What's new in MAAS (2.9)

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Snap CLI ~ UI CLI ~ UI CLI ~ UI
Packages CLI ~ UI CLI ~ UI CLI ~ UI

MAAS 2.9 release notes

Following on from MAAS 2.8, we are happy to announce that MAAS 2.9 RC1 is now available. This release offers a number of new, very useful features.

NOTE that this is currently a release candidate, so there will be bugs, instabilities, and missing features. Please remember to file a bug^ if you find one, and please interact with the developers on discourse^.

What are the new features & fixes for MAAS 2.9?

  1. Focal Fossa (20.04) as default commissioning/deployment release
  2. Support for OpenVswitch bridge type
  3. Support for NUMA, SR-IOV, and hugepages
  4. Improved performance for large MAAS installations
  5. New release notifications
  6. IPMI configuration screens
  7. Descriptions when marking machines broken
  8. Curtin 20.2 now included
  9. HTTP boot disabled
  10. BMC/IPMI default parameter additions
  11. New global IPMI configuration options
  12. Addition of IPMI config options to UI
  13. New MAAS CLI power command
  14. Commissioning speed improvements
  15. BMC improvements
  16. IPMI power driver upgrades
  17. Enlistment script improvements
  18. Commissioning script improvements
  19. Commissioning script reordering
  20. Reader Adaptive Documentation
  21. Offline documentation

Five other questions you may have:

  1. What known issues should I be aware of?
  2. How do I install MAAS 2.9 RC1?
  3. How do I upgrade my MAAS 2.8 snap to a MAAS 2.9 RC1 snap?
  4. How do I install MAAS 2.9 RC1 from packages?
  5. What bugs are fixed so far in this release?

New features in MAAS 2.9 RC1

Focal Fossa (Ubuntu 20.04 LTS) as default release

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) is now the default commissioning and deployment release for new MAAS installations. Machines deployed with Focal may now be registered as KVM hosts.

Two minor BMC fixes

MAAS 2.9 RC1 brings a couple of minor adjustments to previous BMC work in this release:

  1. MAAS will not capture the BMC MAC address when detecting IPMI BMCs.

  2. If an IPMI K_g key is set but the key is rejected by the BMC MAAS will automatically retry without the K_g key. This works around an edge case where some BMCs will allow you to set an K_g key but don’t allow it to be used.

Other adjustments and minor fixes will be considered going forward, based on user bug reports and feature requests.

Support for OpenVswitch bridge type

MAAS 2.9 allows you to create an OpenVswitch bridge type when creating a bridge.

Support for NUMA, SR-IOV, and hugepages

MAAS 2.9 adds extensive optimisation tools for using NUMA with virtual machines. You can now see how many VMs are allocated to each NUMA node, along with the allocations of cores, storage, and memory. You can quickly spot a VM running in multiple NUMA nodes, and optimise accordingly, with instant updates on pinning and allocations. You can also tell which VMs are currently running. Using the CLI, you can also pin nodes to specific cores, and configure hugepages for use by VMs.

Specifically, there are five new features available to support NUMA, SR-IOV, and hugepages:

  1. You can examine resources on a per-NUMA-node basis.
  2. You can pin nodes to specific cores (CLI only).
  3. You can see resources for VM hosts supporting NUMA nodes.
  4. You can see the alignment between VM host interfaces and NUMA nodes.
  5. You can configure and use hugepages (configurable in CLI only).

This functionality comes with an enhanced panel in the “KVM” details section:

See the VM hosting page for more details, and be sure to use the menu at the top of that page to select your desired build method and interface, so that you’ll see the most relevant instructions.

New features in 2.9 Beta7

Improved performance for large MAAS installations

MAAS 2.9 Beta 7 includes changes to the machine batch size that the UI loads. Previously the UI loaded machines in batches of 25; it now pulls in 25 for the first call, then 100 at a time in subsequent batches.

You can see the results of the investigation in this video podcast.

New release notifications

MAAS now includes new release notifications for users and administrators. These appear when a new release is available:

Both regular and administrative users can snooze these notifications for two weeks at a time. Administrative users can opt out of new release notifications completely, preventing notifications for any user of that MAAS.

IPMI configuration screens

MAAS now includes UI panels corresponding to the IPMI power driver upgrades mentioned earlier:

This screen can be reached from Settings | Configuration | Commissioning.

Descriptions when marking machines broken

When marking a machine broken, a description can now included:

This description appears in that machine’s row on the machine list.

Curtin 20.2 now included

A number of MAAS issues have actually been issues with an older version of Curtin. MAAS now includes Curtin 20.2, which fixes many of these issues, including [MAAS is changing my boot order!](MAAS is changing my boot order!].

HTTP boot disabled

MAAS 2.9 Beta 7 disables HTTP boot. There are known issues with HTTP boot in MAAS, as well as known issues for HTTP boot with grub (e.g. https://bugs.launchpad.net/maas/+bug/1899581) This shouldn’t affect machine boot, as machines will normally try PXE as a fallback boot method if HTTP boot fails. Be aware, though, that machine boot will fail if the BIOS is configured to boot only over HTTP; those machines need to be reconfigured to use PXE.

New features in 2.9 Beta5

MAAS 2.9 Beta5 is currently scheduled for release on 02 October 2020, bringing the following updates to the BETA product.

30-maas-01-bmc-config parameter additions

Four new parameters have been added for IPMI BMC configuration. These parameters will pull from the global defaults, eliminating the need to set the corresponding parameter in each instance.

  1. maas_auto_ipmi_user - The username for the MAAS created IPMI user. Default comes from the global configuration setting.
  2. maas_auto_ipmi_user_password - The password for the MAAS created IPMI user, by default a random password is generated.
  3. maas_auto_ipmi_k_g_bmc_key - he IPMI K_g preshared encryption key to be set when adding the MAAS IPMI user. Note not all IPMI BMCs support setting the k_g key, if MAAS is unable to set the key commissioning will fail. Default comes from the global configuration setting.
  4. maas_auto_ipmi_user_privilege_level - The IPMI user privilege level to use when adding the MAAS IPMI user. Possible options are USER, OPERATOR, or ADMIN. Default comes from the global configuration setting.

New global IPMI configuration options

Two new global IPMI configuration options have been added:

  1. maas_auto_ipmi_k_g_bmc_key - sets a global default IPMI BMC key.
  2. maas_auto_ipmi_user_privilege_level - sets a global default IPMI BMC user privilege level.

Addition of IPMI config options to UI

You may now set the global configuration options maas_auto_ipmi_user, maas_auto_ipmi_k_g_bmc_key, and maas_auto_ipmi_user_privilege_level on the “Settings” page in the UI under “Commissioning.”

New features in 2.9 Beta4

MAAS 2.9 Beta4 was released on 25 September 2020 and brings the following updates to the BETA product.

New maas.power CLI command

Available in all MAAS 2.9 Beta releases is the new maas.power CLI command. This command interfaces directly with the supported MAAS power drivers. This command can be used to control the power on a machine before it has been added to MAAS, for all maas supported power drivers. You can get power status, turn machines on or off, and cycle power. The maas.power --help shows usage details, including syntax for naming each power type (consistent with other MAAS CLI commands).

IPMI BMC detection improvements (RAD)

This release adds two improvements to IPMI BMC detection capability:

  1. The IPMI cipher suite ID will now be automatically detected. MAAS tries to find the most secure cipher suite available. Preference order is 17, 3, 8, 12. If detection fails MAAS will fall back to using freeipmi-tool default, 3, which is what previous versions of MAAS use.
  2. The IPMI K_g BMC key will now be automatically detected if previously set.

New features in 2.9 Beta3

MAAS 2.9 Beta3 was released on 18 September 2020 and brings the following updates to the BETA product.

Reader Adaptive Documentation (RAD)

This release features Reader Adaptive Documentation, which allows you to adapt individual pages to your install method (Snap vs. Deb), version (2.7/2.8/2.9), and preferred interface (CLI/UI). This documentation is rolling out in phases prior to the release, and is currently active and usable^. Note that these docs are still under active development, hence should be considered Beta until the final release, although everything for the current active version (2.8) should be correct and reliable.

Offline documentation

This release will include offline documentation for those users whose MAAS installations reside behind firewalls, unable to access the online documentation. They are currently in a very rough Beta state, but should start showing up in the releases shortly. Note that, going forward, all links that are not part of the offline documentation set are marked with a caret, like this, Google^, when they refer to a site that can’t be reached without Internet access.

BMC improvements

Three substantial improvements to BMC usage have been released:

  1. IPMI, HP Moonshot, and Facebook Wedge BMC detection and configuration scripts have been migrated to the commissioning script 30-maas-01-bmc-config.
  2. BMC detection and configuration are now logged to commissioning results.
  3. If BMC configuration is skipped a ScriptResult will log this result, and indicate which user chose to skip the configuration step.

IPMI power driver upgrades

Three new configuration options have been added to the IPMI power driver:

  1. K_g - The BMC Key of the IPMI device. Used to encrypt all traffic to and from the device during communication.
  2. Cipher Suite ID - The cipher suite to use when communicating with the IPMI BMC. Only 3, 8, 12, and 17 are available as only those enable ciphers for authentication, integrity, and confidentiality. Defaults to 3, freeipmi-tools default. See http://fish2.com/ipmi/bp.pdf for more information.
  3. Privilege Level - The IPMI privilege level to use when communicating with the BMC. Defaults to OPERATOR.

See the 2.9 UI or 2.9 CLI power management pages for details.

New features in 2.9 Beta2

MAAS 2.9 Beta2 was released on 11 September 2020 and brings the following updates to the BETA product.

Improvements in enlistment scripting

Script flow and capabilities have been improved in three ways:

  1. `maas-run-remote-scripts` can now enlist machines.
  2. Enlistment `user_data` scripts have been removed.
  3. The metadata endpoints `http://:5240//` and `http://:5240//meta-data/` are now available anonymously for use during enlistment.

New features in 2.9 Beta1

MAAS 2.9 Beta1 was released on 08 September 2020 and brings the following updates to the BETA product.

Major improvements to commissioning script capabilities

Seven major improvements were made to commissioning script flow and capabilities:

  1. Commissioning scripts can now send BMC configuration data
  2. Commissioning scripts can now be used to configure BMC data.
  3. The environment variable BMC_CONFIG_PATH is passed to serially run commissioning scripts.
  4. These scripts may write BMC power credentials to BMC_CONFIG_PATH in a YAML format where each key is the power parameter.
  5. If the commissioning script returns 0, it will be sent to MAAS.
  6. The first script to write BMC_CONFIG_PATH is the only script that may configure the BMC, allowing you to override MAAS's builtin BMC detection.
  7. All builtin commissioning scripts have been migrated into the database.

Commissioning script reordering

Commissioning scripts have been reordered and some are now set to run in parallel. You can now easily set a script to run before the builtin MAAS commissioning scripts. There are nine signficant changes:

  1. 00-maas-03-install-lldpd -> 20-maas-01-install-lldpd
  2. 00-maas-05-dhcp-unconfigured-ifaces -> 20-maas-02-dhcp-unconfigured-ifaces
  3. 99-maas-05-kernel-cmdline -> maas -kernel-cmdline
  4. 00-maas-00-support-info -> maas-support-info(now runs in parallel)
  5. 00-maas-01-lshw -> maas-lshw(now runs in parallel)
  6. 00-maas-04-list-modaliases -> maas-list-modaliases(now runs in parallel)
  7. 00-maas-06-get-fruid-api-data -> maas-get-fruid-api-data(now runs in parallel)
  8. 00-maas-08-serial-ports -> maas-serial-ports(now runs in parallel)
  9. 99-maas-01-capture-lldp -> maas-capture-lldp(now runs in parallel)

See the commissioning logs page for more details on these changes.

Improvements in commissioning speed and logging

Four improvements have been made to speed up the commissioning process, mostly by running scripts in parallel (see above):

  1. Commissioning should now take 60s.
  2. Logging has been added to 20-maas-01-install-lldpd (commissioning log output).
  3. Logging added to 20-maas-02-dhcp-unconfigured-ifaces (commissioning log output).
  4. `user_data` can now be input directly into the UI.

Bug fixes

  1. 2.9.0 Beta 8 includes a fix for Bug #1894727: Admin uses cannot change other user’s passwords via the UI.

Known issues

  1. RAD LHS menu: There is a known issue with the Reader Adaptive Documentation left-hand-side menu (navigation), in that the menu links cannot currently be adapted to the RAD parameters. This means that selecting a different page in the LHS menu will take you the the RAD for the current recommended version (in this case, Snap/2.8/UI). Every page that is different in RAD, though, should present you with a top menu, so that you can choose the RAD parameters matching your own preferences.
  2. Beta4 snap builds:The Beta4 snap builds may not work on ARM64 or PPC64 architectures, due to a build issue which is currently being resolved.
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