What does Jira Cloud have that Jira Server doesn’t? What benefits does it offer, what functionalities are worth noting, and do both these hosting options imply the same way of accounting for maintenance? Here we present the most important differences between Jira Cloud and Jira Server. You should get to know them before making a decision on implementing or migrating your company’s software.
IT infrastructure is an environment of solutions that are carefully suited to what a given company needs, which combined can compose a cohesive ecosystem that streamlines your work; but to make everything run as expected, you should plan all processes, ensure proper implementation, maintain continuous operation of the whole system, and make it possible to respond immediately to any errors. Corporations for whom Jira is a critical system often decide to use the Data Center model, which minimises the risk of failure or downtime. Enterprises that use less extensive solutions host their systems on their own or third-party servers. Atlassian clients were recently offered one more option: Atlassian Cloud, that is the maintenance of Jira (or any other Atlassian system) in the producer’s cloud.
And even if we may think that the hosting option refers only to a “location” or “the owner of the machines” which process the data, it’s not that obvious. Atlassian systems in the “Cloud” version have been optimised for operating speed and user experience. On the one hand, customers who decide to buy a Cloud system don’t have to worry about many things like installation, upgrading software, performance, safety, or conformity with company regulations, but on the other hand they don’t have such a big influence on software configuration, which can make adjustment for the specific and unique demands of an enterprise a more serious challenge (or even turn out to be impossible).
The difference between both platforms (Cloud and Server) mostly concern the interface, user and application management, and integration with other solutions; the method of accounting for maintenance is also different. Below, you will find a description of all the most important differences. Right now, I would also encourage you to contact our consultants.
1. Most important differences and benefits: Jira Cloud and Jira Server
Server: Hosting on your own or external servers stands for greater autonomy and more configuration capabilities, but on the other hand, it also brings more responsibility: it is the customer who has to care about the implementation, setup and maintenance of the system, or commission it to a third party.
Arguments for Jira Server:
- Advanced configuration capabilities. The system can meet requirements specific to a given industry and support many different business processes.
- Data storage restrictions. Companies which require local data storage often decide to host Jira on their own machines or on third-party servers located within the same area.
- A team experienced in the independent maintenance of applications. If a company has specialists for whom software maintenance is nothing new, it prefers to take care of it itself.
- Full control of the instance. The customer has an influence on all the issues regarding the administration and configuration of the software. They do it themselves or use qualified experts so to avoid burdening (or employing) their own resources.
Cloud: The system is maintained on servers which are taken care of by Atlassian. Atlassian Cloud products are ready to use almost immediately after subscribing to the monthly or annual service. What is important, is that Atlassian offers the first month of testing for free.
Arguments for Jira Cloud:
- Quick start. Getting to use Jira Cloud is a question of a few minutes, as it only requires registration on the Atlassian platform. After that, you can invite your teams for collaboration.
- Lower cost. The use of Atlassian Cloud means avoiding the cost of maintaining your own servers or outsourcing the hosting service, as well as the charges for installation or technical support.
- Automatic upgrade. The latest version of Jira Cloud is always available and your company doesn’t have to worry about upgrading the licence.
- Mobile app. Atlassian prepared Cloud Mobile Apps allow the system to be operated on mobile devices (*with the server version, you can use a mobile app for Jira Software 8.3 and Confluence 6.8 or all of their higher versions).
- Scalability. When demand grows, extending available resources on Jira Cloud can be quickly achieved.
2. Jira Cloud vs Jira Server : differences listed in a table
|Activity/functionality||Jira Cloud||Jira Server|
|User management||Global: insight into all users from a single location. You can create groups of users assigned to specific Atlassian solutions within the instance.|
The management of users classified into groups assigned to particular Atlassian products within the instance or by connecting to the Crowd tool.
No global insight into all users.
|SSO and LDAP integration||Possible with the use of Atlassian Access, which provides clear visibility of data, security, and control of the whole Atlassian Cloud infrastructure.||Possible with the use of the Crowd tool, which allows you to individually log a user into all Atlassian products. With the Crowd, user identity is not divided into separate log-ons to every single product.|
|Mobile||Free mobile apps for all Atlassian Cloud systems.||Mobile versions available only on Jira Server 8.3 (or higher) and Confluence 6.8 (or higher).|
|Add-ons||Atlassian Marketplace offers add-ons that extend the functionality of both Cloud and Server systems, and their range is huge! In the event of issues with matching an add-on to your needs, doubts as to how it works, or configuration problems, please just get in touch with us.|
|APIs||Customisation and integration of applications with Atlassian Cloud products is possible with the new Forge framework, for example.||The teams working on applications designed for Atlassian Server products can use the available APIs and SDKs.|
|Page names (URLs)||The URL name is defined on the initial logging into Atlassian Cloud products. The name formats follow the pattern “name.atlassian.net”.||Atlassian Server products can be hosted under any domain that is available.|
Backup copies are created automatically and stored for 30 days. The customer can restore data from a specific day.
Every 48 hours, the customer can also generate an offline backup copy, that is a copy downloaded on a chosen storage medium.
|The company has to take care of backup copies itself. The administrator determines the method and interval of generating backup copies and makes sure that data is available if it must be restored back to a given date.|
Jira Software Cloud, Jira Service Desk Cloud, Confluence Cloud PREMIUM: access to instances may be restricted to users with a particular IP address.
With Jira Cloud, you can also manage access to specific projects or tasks.
Bitbucket Cloud Premium: You may restrict access to private content based on the user’s IP address.
Direct access to databases
|No direct access to database structure, system files or other infrastructure elements.||Full access to all infrastructure elements.|
|Outgoing mail||Notifications are sent by an Atlassian server. The customer may turn that option on or off without any additional configuration capabilities.||For server-maintained systems, it is possible to configure any SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol).|
The customer settles accounts based on monthly or annual subscriptions:
Annual cloud licences – this is a 12-month subscription that must be renewed on each expiry. If it is not, the customer will lose access to the instances.
Monthly cloud licences – this option implies the renewal of licence every month. With this subscription, the customer can licence any number of users (there are no licensing thresholds). The cost of licence is calculated for users who the customer actually assigns to a given licence.
Server licences – awarded for lifetime. On the initial purchase, the customer is given 12-month support by the producer. Once it expires, the customer can renew it. The support gives the right to:
download and activate the current, full version of the software
free access to updates
access to company technical support
access to the area reserved only for registered users and to other associated resources.
The cost of renewing support is half the price of a new licence.
Atlassian was the first producer to establish fixed licensing thresholds, which can be checked here: https://www.atlassian.com/purchase/
As an Atlassian Platinum Partner and a supplier of services centred around Atlassian infrastructure, we offer our customers extra discounts.
3. Considerations on Jira Cloud
Jira Cloud is a new solution that attracts a lot of interest, is rapidly developed, and enables enterprises to start quickly without having to spend much time on preparation. An important argument for switching to cloud solutions is certainly the limited responsibility for caring about infrastructure, which also entails cost reduction. According to our sources, Atlassian Cloud licences are presently used by such companies as Oracle, Redfin and ARM. We can easily imagine that the greatest challenge for enterprises which already use Atlassian systems and wish to switch to the Cloud option, will be to migrate the data and add-ons used in their environment. We recommend taking care to clear the instances of any spaces that are not used in order to “unload” the system as much as possible. Problems may arise from certain add-ons, but app makers are gradually making their products available for the Cloud version, so this will soon cease to be an issue.
In my view, Poland Jira Cloud is a perfect option for start-ups and small companies who would like to learn how a ticket system works but who are not yet sure how to use it. The migration of data to the Cloud version will certainly be interesting for bigger enterprises operating globally. Large Polish companies will probably stay with the server versions in order to control them as much as possible and not to worry about any legal restrictions relating to data transfer.
4. Which decision to make?
Choosing a hosting option may be problematic for those companies who have never used any solution by Atlassian, don’t know the cloud solutions, and are not aware of what they would actually like to achieve. Before choosing your direction of investment, your enterprise should learn about each option and consult it with specialists.
I also recommend training for the proper use of the software, so that every employee knows how to navigate it.
As an Atlassian Platinum Partner, we have knowledge and experience that may prove helpful, so don’t hesitate to contact us.
5. Additional information
Additional information that you may find interesting: