5 min read

Migration from Jira Server: is it time for Atlassian Data Center or Cloud? 

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Neal Riley
Thu, 21 Jan 2021 Atlassian
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As of February 2nd 2021, Atlassian customers can no longer purchase or request a quote for new Server licenses. Customers new to Atlassian now have no option but to go straight to Data Center or Cloud.

With this in mind, we thought it would be useful to take an in-depth look at your current options and, with the help of our pricing calculator, assist you in deciding the best next steps for your business. First thing’s first, here’s a simple overview of the options available to you: 

A) Stay on Jira Server
B) Migrate to Jira Cloud
C) Migrate to Jira Data Center
D) Take a hybrid approach

What’s the best move for your business?

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again—there is no one-size-fits-all approach here. What’s right for one company may be wrong for the other.

With so many different, organisation-specific variables—from add-on apps and customisations, to security provision—it’s hard to speak broadly about the precise next step for your business.

But, that’s not to say we don’t want to help where we can. So we’ve come up with this breakdown of the pros and cons of each option to hopefully guide you in your decision making.

A) Stay on Server

Before we take a look at the advantages and disadvantages here, it’s really important to highlight again that you can no longer purchase a new Server license with Atlassian and they will stop providing support for all Server customers in February 2024.

Some businesses may opt to stay on Server after this date as they look for an alternative solution to Atlassian Data Center or Cloud that better suits their business needs. That said, if you chose to stay with Atlassian, we recommend making up your mind well before February 2024. With that, here’s a look at the pros and cons of staying on Server.

Ideal for: Companies who don’t want to make a decision on migration just yet.

With Atlassian promising to support Server licenses until February 2024, you don’t have to make the decision to move on from Jira Server right now. What’s more, you can use the additional time to trial Cloud for free.

Holding off on your decision to migrate also gives more development time for the Cloud versions of your mission critical apps to reach feature parity with their Server versions. Our own ScriptRunner for Jira Cloud, for example, is very close to parity after four years of development! But don’t wait for too long or you may find your Server add-on apps falling behind—more on that later!

Disadvantages: With Atlassian ceasing support for Server licenses in February 2024, the clock is ticking. So, if you stay with Atlasssian you’ll have to make the decision to migrate from Server eventually, and for some getting ahead of the game and making the move to Cloud now might be the best option. You can use our price calculator to see the cost of moving to Data Center or the Cloud today.  

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Another important factor to consider here is that marketplace app vendors may well deprioritise work on the Server and Data Center versions of their apps as Cloud takes center stage. While this may not be the case for all vendors, it’s something worth considering. Crucially, another important date in the diary is May of this year—when Atlassian will stop accepting new Server app submissions for the Atlassian Marketplace.

B) Migrate to Cloud

Ideal for: Organisations with widely distributed teams that are looking to access Atlassian tools quickly and efficiently, while simplifying their everyday operations. Cloud is especially good for businesses that use Jira in both technical and non-technical teams.

Depending on the number of Jira users and add-on apps you have, the price of migrating to Atlassian Cloud can be more attractive than Data Center. You can do a comprehensive price comparison - including the cost of migrating your apps - in ‘advanced mode’ of our pricing calculator:   

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Lastly, with Atlassian’s Cloud-first approach, some Cloud apps are now more feature rich than their on-premise versions, with vendors prioritising the release of new Cloud functionalities. 

Disadvantages: Put simply, Cloud isn’t right for every business. Data residency and security are perhaps the biggest concerns companies have when it comes to Cloud migration. For businesses that require high levels of data protection, and therefore need their data on-premise (government organisations are a prime example here) migration to the Cloud probably isn’t a viable option. 

Secondly, enterprise organisations with thousands of users can experience performance issues with Cloud (as they can with any deployment model), and of course Atlassian are free to do updates when they see fit, rather than when it suits you.

Finally, while there is considerable work going into ensuring apps for the Cloud gain feature parity with Data Center and Server versions, it’s true that some aren’t quite there yet. This could mean that you lose some app functionality when you migrate from Jira Server to Cloud, and is something worth checking on a case-by-case basis.

C) Migrate to Data Center

Ideal for: Businesses that are growing quickly and need fast, easy scaling capability without running into problems. Data Center tools offer greater customisation options than both Server and Cloud—ideal for teams that require the flexibility to fully tailor their tools to meet their business needs.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Data Center is currently the most fitting option for organisations in highly regulated industries with stringent data security and compliance demands that need their data on-premise with guaranteed reliability and stability.

Data Center managed services

It could be that Data Center seems like the right choice for the needs of your business, but you’re not in a position to manage the day-to-day management of infrastructure or admin. In this case you may want to outsource your Atlassian tool management altogether. 

Whether you outsource management for your own equipment, or move to a seamless cloud experience with a cloud provider like Amazon Web Services (AWS), working with an Atlassian partner like Adaptavist allows you to maintain control over your Data Center set-up.

You can find out more about our Data Center managed service here and be sure to check out our Demystifying Data Center Migration eBook for best practices and technical advice. 

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Disadvantages: There are no two ways about it—migrating to Data Center can be a costly option. That said, if you have the infrastructure and team to support Data Center, and a whole host of business critical apps to migrate, it may in fact be a less costly option than Cloud.

D) Take a hybrid approach

Ideal for: Businesses that want the security and reliability of Data Center for some of their Atlassian tools, but are happy to have a Cloud experience for others. There are many organisations currently running with this hybrid approach, especially if they rely on tools that don’t exist on one of the platforms. 

In addition, moving some parts of your solution to the Cloud, whilst keeping others on-premise, can actually reduce your total cost of operation. This is especially true if you minimise the use of your on-premise solution. 

Want to prolong the Server vs Data Center vs Cloud conundrum? Again, this hybrid model is a good option for companies looking for a slower transition to the Cloud. Stay on Server or Data Center while trialing Cloud for free, and take the time to see what’s best for your organisation. 

Disadvantages: This may still be a costly option and not the best choice for smaller businesses. One final point worth mentioning is, with a hybrid approach, you must ensure you have a clear demarcation between your on-premise and Cloud solutions and help your user base understand which one they are using.

You don't have to go it alone

With so many different options, and a myriad of factors to be considered when making your decision, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. Remember, you don’t have to decide alone and our experts are always here to offer a helping hand.

From guidance on migrating your add-on apps to working out the best licensing option for your organisation and everything in between, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to see how we can help.

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