Thoughts on Orca 4.0 Release, Take a Look

By March 13, 2018 March 21st, 2018 Annoucements, Orca Blog, WebSphere Application Server

Here at Orca we follow a general roadmap, but we always leave ample room to address user requests. And the theme of the 4.0 release is just that – addressing your requests and suggestions!

We updated the architecture, made agent upgrades easier, enhanced some of our existing middleware connectors, and improved the first-time user’s experience in the Orca console. All in all, existing and new users should be excited to get their hands on it as our latest release has quite a few new features.

If you keep up with Orca news, you probably saw that we released our new Drift Detector product in October of last year. We’ve succeeded at keeping the same code base for both Drift Detector and Orcastrator, so the 4.0 release applies to both! Below are some 4.0 highlights.

Architecture Updates

  • All upgrades and new installs will automatically enable https for accessing Orca’s user interface.
  • Starting with this release, existing users can upgrade their agents by simply putting the updated binary on their target servers.  Then on the next connection Orca will immediately replace the old agent with the new agent. This release also enables agent auto upgrade from Orca’s Server page going forward.
  • The Orca backend now supports PHP7. Many of our current users are returning very large configuration data sets to Orca. Supporting PHP7 enables improved memory allocation to better handle large data sets.
  • We’ve run across users needing to inventory upwards of 8 million configuration items, view them, and then compare those against a standard or another server. This takes a long time for any system to handle! But with the upgrade to PHP7 and a lot of development effort, we are now able to render large configuration data sets in a fraction of the time it used to take.

Connector Updates

  • Orca’s WebSphere Application Server connector now inventories name space bindings, memory-to-memory replication settings, and additional JDBC alias information. Orcastrator users can automate changes to these configurations as well.
  • Tomcat inventories can now ignore comments for easier compliance and drift checking.
  • Tomcat inventories can now exclude certain files from being inventoried.
  • Orca’s Windows FileSystem connector now has an option to exclude dynamic properties for easier compliance and drift checking.

Ease of Use

  • A Subscribers field has been added to Compare Results. When comparison reports run, if any differences are found Orca will automatically email all members of the teams subscribed to the report.
  • If you’re a new user to Orca, or even if you are onboarding a new team member, go to Orca’s dashboard and select from a list of guided tours to help get you started. You can also watch quick tutorial videos from within the product as well.

With all the architecture changes, you might assume the upgrade process will take some time. The upgrade process is just as easy as it’s been in the past! The installer handles the PHP and Apache upgrades and configuration changes for you.

And if you’re new to Orca, we now provide pre-configured virtual machines (OVAs).  These OVAs come with everything needed to get you up and running quickly.

Overall, I’m impressed with our commitment to listen to our user base and execute on their vision for our products. Please keep the requests coming and let us know how we can help you install or upgrade to Orca 4.0.