New On-Premises Deployment Model - FAQ

By Shabnam Jahromi posted 03-23-2016 13:14

Jama is rolling out a completely new deployment model with the first release of 2016, Jama 8.0. Here are some common questions and answers.

Q: Will I have to move to the new Jama configuration requirements to continue to use versions of Jama released prior to 8.0?
A: No. We will continue to support on-premises versions of Jama 12 months after their release date. Therefore, 2015.1 will be supported through May 2016; a formal announcement will be published in our community for the exact date that we end full support for 2015.1. We will continue to support 2015.2-2015.5 until February 1st, 2017.

Q: Do you offer a hosted solution?
A: Yes. We offer a fully-managed hosted solution if you prefer to avoid the cost and technical distractions of managing Jama. See more information about this option here.

Q: We have JIRA installed on Windows. Will this impact integration with the new deployment model?
A: No. We only require running Jama on a dedicated machine. Jama can connect it to JIRA running on another machine, regardless of its operating system.

Q: Can I continue to run JIH on a Windows machine even though Jama requires Linux?
A: Yes. We only require running Jama on a dedicated machine. Jama can connect to JIH running on a Windows or Linux machine.

Q: How will Jama manage the three entities: Jama application, Tomcat, Java?
A: Jama will provide the Jama application, Tomcat, and Java as one delivery to your installer channel.


Q: Is the new Jama deployment model more secure/as secure/less secure than the existing model?
The short answer is that it is significantly more secure, however, it's a bit more involved than that, because it's akin to comparing one apple to a bushel of apples. With the introduction of our services oriented architecture to help improve the performance and long-term scalability of the application, we have introduced additional components to our application.  The way we support those additional services is through the use of Docker Containers, which allow Jama to add only components that are necessary to run the Jama application. With Jama 8.0 all of those containers are managed on a single application server, but this architecture lays the groundwork for us to deploy containers across multiple servers in the future.

Q: We are a very risk-averse organization, can we run this in standalone mode?
A: Yes, an airgap solution is being developed that would permit the delivery of updates and patches via USB or CD.

Q: Is the Docker Container secure?
A: The Docker Container is built as secure as we can make it today.  Even though Docker is a new deployment model, it is based on existing Linux components that have existed for some time.  For that reason we have made use of two existing security industry standards, the DISA Secure Technical Implementation Guides and the Center for Internet Security Benchmarks, to provide guidance on hardening our container and services. 

Migration to the new deployment model

Q: What are the steps to move from Oracle or Windows?
A: See the detailed instructions on how to migrate here.
Q: Will Jama do the migration or installation of the new deployment model for customers?

A: We can do the migration or installation of the new deployment model for you through our professional services. If you choose not to engage our professional services, our Support team can be of assistance if you face issues during the migration or installation process. 

Q: What is the upgrade path for customers who are on Jama versions  2015.x and prior to that? Do they need to upgrade to 2015.2-2015.4 before migrating to the new deployment model?
A: Customers who are on 2014.2, 2015.1 and 2015.2-5 should be able to directly upgrade to the new deployment model. Customers who are using Jama versions prior to 2014.2 will first need to upgrade to 2015.x. All Jama versions prior to 2015.1 are no longer supported, and we strongly recommend that you upgrade your Jama if you have not already. 

Q: If customers are using specific Java startup options in their environment, can they still use all of them when they move to the new model? 
A: It will be possible to pass in specific Java configuration options that are to be used on startup.

Q: What does migration look like for customers that are using certain monitoring tool in their current environment?
A: Our first GA release will have a built-in monitoring tool with reports made accessible to the root user. We are also exposing JMX ports so you can use monitoring tools that use JMX like Java Mission Control and Visual VM. We are planning to support the use of New Relic in our future releases.

Q: What does migration look like for customers who have made changes in the configuration files inside the war file?
A: We have incorporated the changes that we used to recommend to our on-premises customers through Technical Configuration Check to the new deployment model. Typically you cannot change the configuration files that used to exist inside the contour war file or the tomcat configuration files. We do allow certain customization in Jama 8 based on the input our customers provided to us e.g. changing email templates. Here is the list of customizations that is currently possible in Jama 8.1+ releases; follow the release notes for On-premises Standard for further possible changes.

  • Adjusting database connection strings
  • Importing external certificates (Java key store)
  • More DIV styling is allowed in CKEditor (note that Office exports may differ from in-Jama rendering)
  • E-mail templates can be edited, but the directory has changed; see this article for more information
  • The root user can edit the attachment whitelist
  • The root user can allow bypassing of custom MIMEtypes when unknown
  • Jama/Nginx can be closed for maintenance

Q: How do you back up/restore the dockerized Jama server?
A: Once you are migrated to the new deployment model you can generate snapshots of the entire installation before an upgrade to make sure you can roll back to your previous state if necessary. The snapshots contain all necessary files: 

  • The installed Admin Console
  • The installed components that makeup Jama
  • The Jama home directory (currently known as contour_home, which will reside in /data/contour in the new model)
  • Your license 
On-premises customers will continue to own their database server and can use familiar tools for backup and restore.

Q: Will a customer need to make changes to their database server and the application server?
A: Customers maintain their own database server, as they always did, and the database server does not require changes. Customers who are currently running Jama on a Windows server need to migrate to a Linux distribution that we support. The application server will run a set of software that is entirely provided by Jama. We require that a database server is a separate machine from the application server.

Q: What if customers have SSL configured on their Jama?
A: SSL/TLS configuration is fully supported. Users are able to set the hostname and upload their private key and certificate files or use a self-signed certificate.

Q: What if Jama is integrated with other applications (e.g. JIRA, LDAP, SMTP, etc) using SSL?
A: If you are using a certificate issued by a public Certificate Authority (CA) you should not have any issues. However, if the application that is integrated with Jama is using a self-signed certificate, you need to wait as our first GA release won't support it. We will support it in our future releases. 

Supported software for the new deployment model
Q: Is there an executable file to install Jama on a Linux platform?
A: Yes, the new install system will be much more user-friendly than before.

Q: Do customers need to change their database servers?
A: Only the Jama application requires Linux. If you are using Oracle you need to migrate to either MS SQL or MySQL. MS SQL and MySQL databases do not require any changes.

Q: Which Linux distributions will you support?
A: The Beta program announcement has the list of Linux distributions that we fully support. 

Q: With MySQL development having forked off to MariaDB, and many previous MySQL customers moving to MariaDB out of concern for Oracle’s stewardship of MySQL, what are Jama’s plans for MariaDB? Will it be supported since it’s just a fork of (and therefore still close to) MySQL? Will Jama’s support of MySQL ever be replaced by MariaDB?
A: Please refer to our community article on the types of databases that we support with our new deployment model. 

Q: Is PostgreSQL a potential solution?
A: While PostgreSQL is a great database solution, we currently have no plans to support it with our application.