Frequently Asked Questions

Business questions

Q: Why did you get rid of the Jidoteki SaaS?

A: We transitioned to a Managed Service due to customer demand. It also reduced our hosting costs, and free'd us from being on-call 24/7.

Q: Your services are not exactly cheap. Why?

A: That's subjective ;) The consulting work required to get an enterprise-grade, updateable, on-prem, custom virtual appliance built is time consuming.

Q: What’s included in the Initial Setup?

A: It includes everything for you to ship a virtual appliance to production as quickly as possible, along with openly licensed scripts to avoid vendor lock-in.

Q: Is the Jidoteki Meta appliance really necessary?

A: The Initial Setup only includes the initial OVA build and minor tools. Jidoteki Meta allows you to DIY with your own continous integration tools. We also offer Support if you want to offload updates and weird edge-cases to our team of experts.

Technical questions

Q: What is the difference between a rootfs and an OVA?

A: The rootfs contains all of your app’s software dependencies. The OVA contains the boot disk, which contains the rootfs, unmodified OS, and vanilla Linux kernel.

Q: What’s the typical size of a final OVA and Update Package?

A: It depends on the size of your application and dependencies. Our base OVA is ~35MB, and Update packages are typically a few hundred KB to a few hundred MB. It's impossible to predict before the first build.

Q: How do you handle updates when there’s no internet?

A: The OS runs entirely in memory, which allows the system's OS, kernel, rootfs, and your app to be updated atomically without affecting the running system. Update Packages can be generated to perform these updates offline.

Q: How do you handle database migrations?

A: DB migrations run on boot, so you can guarantee they will only run against a specific version of your application. It always seems like the most difficult issue, but it's actually our easiest.

Q: Can you revert a failed migration?

A: Of course! Jidoteki virtual appliances ship with LVM by default, and allow an LVM snapshot to be taken before performing a migration. If it fails, just revert to a working state.

Q: Can you do hardware builds?

A: Yes! We've deployed installations to Beagle Bone Black and the Raspberry Pi family. The final system is almost identical to a virtual appliance, except designed for armv7.

Q: How is Jidometa different from VeeWee/Packer/Vagrant

A: Jidometa is a stable solution which doesn't introduce backwards incompatibilities or breaking changes. It just works. There's no learning curve or special tools to compile/install. Jidometa's goal is to answer our customer's needs, and then get out of the way.

Q: How is Jidometa different from Docker/Moby/LinuxKit

A: Jidometa is designed for building virtual appliances which run directly on a hypervisor. It doesn't force the use of containers and unstable technologies. It's extremely simple to use and you can start building virtual appliances within seconds of downloading it.

Misc questions

Q: How is Jidoteki better than other paid solutions?

A: Jidoteki is built on the premise of being 100% Open Source. You'll never be locked-in to our tools or platform, and you have the freedom to modify your appliance however you want, with or without our intervention.

Q: What does Jidoteki mean?

A: In Japanese it’s written 自動的(じどうてき)which means 'automatically', because we can automatically build virtual appliances. We're also based in Japan.

Q: Is Jidoteki Meta going to be open sourced?

A: It's already 95% open source, but yes, we plan to fully open source it once we've completed writing proper documentation and tests for all our code. For now we're funding its development and improvements through this site. Give us another year or two ;)

Q: What other benefit(s) do you provide?

A: You can focus on your software instead of this 'appliance' thing. You'll incur significant cost savings by refocusing your engineers on your core business, and you'll generate more revenue thanks to how quickly you can release updates and new features.

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