Hello MAASters!

I'm happy to announce that MAAS 2.4.0 alpha 2 has now been released.

*MAAS Availability*
MAAS 2.4.0 alpha 2 is available in the Bionic -proposed archive or in the
following PPA:


MAAS 2.4.0 (alpha2)Important announcementsNTP services now provided by

*Starting with 2.4 Alpha 2, and in common with changes being made to Ubuntu
Server, MAAS replaces ‘ntpd’ with Chrony for the NTP protocol. MAAS will
handle the upgrade process and automatically resume NTP service operation.*
Vanilla CSS Framework Transition

*MAAS 2.4 is undergoing a Vanilla CSS framework transition to a new version
of vanilla, which will bring a fresher look to the MAAS UI. This framework
transition is currently work in progress and not all of the UI have been
fully updated. Please expect to see some inconsistencies in this new
New Features & ImprovementsNTP services now provided by Chrony.

*Starting from MAAS 2.4alpha2, chrony is now the default NTP service,
replacing ntpd. This work has been done to align with the Ubuntu Server and
Security team to support chrony instead of ntpd. MAAS will continue to
provide services exactly the same way and users will not be affected by the
changes, handling the upgrade process transparently. This means that: -
MAAS will configure chrony as peers on all Region Controllers- MAAS will
configure chrony as a client of peers for all Rack Controllers- Machines
will use the Rack Controllers as they do today*
MAAS Internals optimisation

*MAAS 2.4 is currently undergoing major surgery to improve various areas of
operation that are not visible to the user. These updates will improve the
overall performance of MAAS in larger environments. These improvements
include: - AsyncIO based event loop- MAAS has an event loop which performs
various internal actions. In older versions of MAAS, the event loop was
managed by the default twisted event loop. MAAS now uses an asyncio based
event loop, driven by uvloop, which is targeted at improving internal
performance.- Improved daemon management- MAAS has changed the way daemons
are run to allow users to see both ‘regiond’ and ‘rackd’ as processes in
the process list.- As part of these changes, regiond workers are now
managed by a master regiond process. In older versions of MAAS each worker
was directly run by systemd. The master process is now in charge of
ensuring workers are running at all times, and re-spawning new workers in
case of failures. This also allows users to see the worker hierarchy in the
process list. - Ability to increase the number of regiond workers-
Following the improved way MAAS daemons are run, further internal changes
have been made to allow the number of regiond workers to be increased
automatically. This allows MAAS to scale to handle more internal operations
in larger environments.- While this capability is already available, it is
not yet available by default. It will become available in the following
milestone release. - Database query optimizations- In the process of
inspecting the internal operations of MAAS, it was discovered that multiple
unnecessary database queries are performed for various operations.
Optimising these requires internal improvements to reduce the footprint of
these operations. Some areas that have been addressed in this release
include:- When saving node objects (e.g. making any update of a machine,
device, rack controller, etc), MAAS validated changes across various
fields. This required an increased number of queries for fields, even when
they were not being updated. MAAS now tracks specific fields that change
and only performs queries for those fields.- Example: To update a power
state, MAAS would perform 11 queries. After these improvements, , only 1
query is now performed.- On every transaction, MAAS performed 2 queries to
update the timestamp. This has now been consolidated into a single query
per transaction.- These changes  greatly improves MAAS performance and
database utilisation in larger environments. More improvements will
continue to be made as we continue to examine various areas in MAAS. - UI
optimisations- MAAS is now being optimised to reduce the amount of data
loaded in the websocket API to render the UI. This is targeted at only
processing data for viewable information, improving various legacy areas.
Currently, the work done in this area includes:- Script results are only
loaded for viewable nodes in the machine listing page, reducing the overall
amount of data loaded.- The node object is updated in the websocket only
when something has changed in the database, reducing the data transferred
to the clients as well as the amount of internal queries.*
Audit logging

*Continuing with the audit logging improvements, alpha2 now adds audit
logging for all user actions that affect Hardware Testing & Commissioning.*
KVM pod improvements

*MAAS’ KVM pods was initially developed as a feature to help developers
quickly iterate and test new functionality while developing MAAS. This,
however, because a feature that allow not only developers, but also
administrators to make better use of resources across their datacenter.
Since the feature was initially create for developers, some features were
lacking. As such, in 2.4 we are improving the usability of KVM pods: - Pod
AZ’s. MAAS now allows setting the physical zone for the pod. This helps
administrators by conceptually placing their KVM pods in a AZ, which
enables them to request/allocate machines on demand based on its AZ. All
VM’s created from a pod will inherit the AZ. - Pod tagging MAAS now adds
the ability to set tags for a pod. This allows administrators to use tags
to allow/prevent the creation of a VM inside the pod using tags. For
example, if the administrator would like a machine with a ‘tag’ named
‘virtual’, MAAS will filter all physical machines and only consider other
VM’s or a KVM pod for machine allocation.*
Bug fixes

tPlease refer to the following for all bug fixes in this release.


Andres Rodriguez
Engineering Manager, MAAS
Canonical USA, Inc.
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