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4 min read

Creating harmony and simplicity in federated Jira environments

Inna Frusovich
Inna Frusovich
11 March 24 Jira
People on bicycles with the Watchtower and ScriptRunner Connect icons as the front wheels

Do you work with multiple Jira instances? In enterprise settings, this is a common scenario. This may be simply a byproduct of your organisation's growth, where instances spring up organically as individual teams choose to adopt the tool at different times and for different use cases. Many in this situation choose to consolidate and migrate into a single Jira Cloud or Data Center instance, and this is usually Atlassian's recommendation. 

However, there are some good reasons why a federated environment—one where multiple Jira instances are kept separate but connected—may be the better option.

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Why might you choose a federated environment?

Arguably the most common reason to maintain multiple Jira instances is for security. You may decide that you prefer to keep your public and private content completely separated—though Jira allows for different levels of access control, separating these instances entirely drastically reduces the risk of internal content being shared accidentally. Equally, perhaps you deal with sensitive client data that needs to be kept in separate instances under Service Agreements, or you may be subject to specific local privacy laws regarding the storage of data.

Besides security, other reasons for requiring a federated Jira environment include:

  • Improving performance and stability by separating particularly complex projects into their own instances.
  • Releasing new features quickly to a select group of users while avoiding disruption to other teams.
  • Reducing downtime by staggering upgrades across multiple smaller instances.
  • Differing ways of working across teams and projects requiring unique configurations of Jira.
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What are the challenges of a federated environment?

While clearly there are some great reasons to choose a federated Jira environment, this approach can present its own issues:

  • Extra admin: Each instance requires administration. This takes time and can eat into your overheads.
  • Keeping it in sync: Your approaches to keeping information and instances synchronised and up-to-date can get complicated.
  • License and operating costs: The more instances you're running, the higher the average cost per seat. 
  • Keeping up with changing requirements: hands up if your business processes have never changed? More instances mean more to update when requirements shift.
  • Visibility: If you have teams whose work is distributed across these environments, it can be tough on them—not to mention time-consuming—to switch between instances constantly. Plus, there's an increased risk of work getting missed.

Whether you’re supporting a federated environment as an admin, or have users who work across multiple instances on a regular basis, you’ll be equally familiar with the headaches that can come with keeping all the plates spinning. 

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Solutions to simplify your work

The good news is, there are tools that can address these challenges. Adaptavist is an Atlassian Platinum Partner, so we're well-versed in the intricacies of Jira and the many different options available for a set-up that meets your individual needs. Here are our recommendations.

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Issue synchronisation with ScriptRunner Connect

ScriptRunner Connect is an integration platform designed to help you sync data across multiple tools from a centralised hub, complete with an assisted coding environment to help you get super-specific about what information you'd like to sync throughout your federated environments. 

With Connectors for Jira, Confluence, Bitbucket, StatusPage, and other Atlassian essentials, ScriptRunner Connect lets you automate tasks and processes between (and beyond) your Atlassian tools.

This helps you stay on top of administration, keep instances in line with changing requirements, and set up your systems to automatically remain in sync. 

ScriptRunner Connect is ideal for a federated Jira environment, providing complete governance over your Jira instances' interaction, delegation, and operation.

If you're keen to explore this but aren't code-proficient, consider engaging an Atlassian partner to help you get set up.

Explore ScriptRunner Connect
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Enhanced visibility with WatchTower

With the administration side of things handled by ScriptRunner Connect, what about your Jira users? How can they stay on top of tickets that are distributed across different instances?

WatchTower, an innovative Jira application, has been designed to simplify management and provide superior visibility across multiple remote Jira instances. An essential tool for remote teams, WatchTower enhances user experience by reducing the obstacles associated with managing tasks across federated environments. 

One of the standout features of WatchTower is its ability to consolidate issues from various cloud and Data Center Jira instances into a single, intuitive, agile board. Doing so substantially aids in improving the work process of your distributed teams. This agile board serves as a central task management hub, eliminating the need for tedious switching between multiple instances. WatchTower also ensures real-time synchronisation, meaning any changes made to an issue within one instance will be immediately reflected across connected instances. 

Furthermore, it supports JQL (Jira Query Language) and provides capabilities for cross-instance issue search, aiding in better tracking and management of tasks. WatchTower's board comes with convenient colour coding options, customisable filters, and sorting capabilities, facilitating users to organise their issues according to their unique requirements. This contributes to better issue management and provides teams with a comprehensive, overarching view of their tasks across all instances.

Moreover, WatchTower includes custom field support, which means it is possible to see and manage fields from any connected instance. It also supports all links, and users can even establish links between tasks in different instances.

To sum up, WatchTower not only offers highly flexible visibility across all instances but also ensures seamless integration and interoperability, making it a potent and powerful solution for managing tasks in a federated Jira environment effectively.

Book a free demo of WatchTower
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While federated Jira instances can boast several advantages,  they can also mandate more resources and oversight. Your company's needs and circumstances will dictate whether federating is the right choice for you—and if it is, tools like ScriptRunner Connect and WatchTower can provide valuable relief in managing a federated environment effectively and efficiently. 

Need some further guidance?

Get in touch with our experts today
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