Q: What is Orca?
A: Orca is a unified application release and configuration automation solution that visually models your ecosystem from the application perspective (not just the server perspective).
It automates manual, error-prone application configuration tasks. And it helps you to finally see and control at a granular level your configuration changes before they happen.
Orca achieves environment-aware deployments by combining the application artifacts with the captured infrastructure configuration data so users now promote their business critical applications and configurations simultaneously.
Q: How does it work?
A: Orca creates a closed loop system around application configuration settings that encompasses all the servers and components of your application. With the servers and applications defined, Orca keeps an inventory of configuration settings for the ecosystem and allows you to visually manage those settings, applying changes intelligently across all the systems and services. Orca normalizes the configuration data no matter the source so changes are defined and managed in a standardized, human friendly manner. Orca leverages a highly scalable agent capable of dealing with network routing requirements, firewall restrictions, and efficient workload distribution. For more, visit: https://www.orcaconfig.com/how-orca-works/
Q: How do you define an “ecosystem” in this context?
A: Within Orca, an ecosystem is a logical representation of one or more applications. Ecosystems define the structure of the application, and may include the environments, data centers, middleware, and endpoints on which it runs.
Q: If Orca keeps you in configuration compliance, how does drift even happen in the first place?
A: Typically someone has made a configuration change externally, such as logging directly into a server to make changes.
Q: Is Orca considered a configuration management solution?
A: Yes, Orca is powerful configuration management software that helps you to see and control the relationships between your middleware, your applications, your databases and your configurations. Orca also features color coded configuration heat maps, detailed configuration reporting and workflow automation.
Q: How does Orca compare to other configuration management tools?
A: While there will always be some amount of overlap when dealing with extensible automation and management systems, Orca is focused on application, database and middleware configuration settings, visualization, and management while others are focused more on provisioning and OS-type functions.
Q: How is Orca different from Jenkins?
A: Orca and Jenkins are complementary to one another. Orca picks up where Jenkins leaves off. Jenkins is a build/CI solution at its core, and Orca picks up the build and releases the application and its corresponding configuration changes through the deployment pipeline. Jenkins is great at what it does, but it does not have any representation of what it is you are interacting with. This is information that is core to Orca. Orca has a lot of intelligence around applications and full-stack configuration data. Orca further adds mechanisms to relate applications to one another as well as their operating environment, and Orca can react to changing environments. Orca’s intelligence around middleware, DBs, OS, etc. comes out of the box so that you do not need a team of engineers creating deployment and change scripts (and silos of knowledge within your organization).
Q: Is Orca operated by using a declarative language?
A: Orca does not require users to learn a new scripting or declarative language.
Q: Is Orca just an automation engine that runs my custom scripts?
A: No. With Orca, you no longer need to write PowerShell or other custom scripts to automate configuration changes (or other scripting languages). But Orca is a lot more than that. Orca helps you to establish, view and model application and middleware relationships. Orca also provides new levels of transparency for audit reviews and compliance reporting for configuration changes. With its robust capability to manage a variety of platforms, including Microsoft IIS, SQL Server, Linux and NGINX Plus and the ability to manage security and compliance, Orca is a full, application and middleware configuration management solution.
Q: Can I view or edit the underlying interfaces that automate changes?
A: Yes! Admins with the appropriate rights can view and edit the underlying interfaces. Orca is not a “Black Box”. We want you to see what is happening via our interfaces that are written in the same language that your middleware uses. So you do not need to learn any new language (like Ruby!) just to understand your planned configuration changes
Q: What audience is Orca best suited for?
A: Ops teams and dev teams including IT operations, configuration managers, application owners, middleware owners, DBA managers and security, compliance & IT audit professionals. Orca is intended for those needing to manage configurations across multiple/many configuration touch points without implementing via command line tools and scripting. Orca is a visual tool for managing configurations by an audience of technical and also non-technical operators. Orca provides the ability to define active management users as well as higher level approval-only or report-only management class users.
Q: What types of systems does Orca support?
A: Orca supports configuration automation and compliance for Windows, Linux & AIX environments across physical, virtual, and cloud infrastructure (including those hosted on Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, VMWare, and more). Orca provides many robust out-of-the-box interfaces to support common business-critical applications, middleware, and system items. For a full list of support, please contact us or request a demo.
Q: What are my options for trying Orca before buying it?
Q: Does Orca require an agent?
A: Yes, and that’s a good thing. Here’s why. Because Orca is able to scale to large numbers of systems, through firewalls and across links to remote data centers, an agent is required. The complexity of trying to implement a system with those kinds of distributed capabilities is beyond what can be done in an agentless environment. Additionally, the use of an agent provides the ability to standardize functionality across all of your systems so configuration data can be collected and normalized in a consistent manner – freeing you from having to interpret different data formats. Visit here for more information: https://www.orcaconfig.com/agent-based-configuration-management-release-automation/
Q: How long does installation take?
A: With proper system requirements, Orca usually installs in less than 5 minutes. See our video resources page for a walk-through.
Q: What do I need for installation?
A: Take a look at our Product Sheet for system requirements information here.
Account and Support Questions
Q: How do I contact support?
Pricing, Billing & Licenses Questions
Q: What are my choices for licensing Orca?
A: Perpetual or annual subscription, CapEx and OPEX options. Please contact us for more info.
Q: Can I purchase Orca outside the US?
A: Yes. Please call Orca Sales at 512-986-7808.
Q: Can my organization receive services and training?
Q: What is included in the Orca Subscription License plan?
A: Your Orca Subscription License includes a 12 month per server license of Orca and standard support.
Q: How do you license?
A: Orca is generally licensed by server. Databases and WebSphere Application Server are handled separately. Please contact sales for more information.
Q: Will Orca stop working if we exceed our license limit?
A: No, but your use of Orca is bound by our license agreement.
Q: How do we purchase additional licenses?
A: We like how you are thinking! Just contact Orca Sales 512-986-7808.
Q: Will I have to hassle with managing separate license keys for each new purchase?
A: No. We will replace your previous license key with a new one that includes your new purchases.