6 min read
Server to Cloud Migration
By: Chris Bland on 16 Nov 2020
Thinking of migrating to Atlassian's Cloud?
If you are, this post is aimed at you. There is a lot of information on the internet about this topic. We've summarised some of the key points, and provided links to more in depth documentation, if you wish to go into more detail.
As a brief introduction, Atlassian's Cloud is a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution. Many businesses are looking to move to SaaS solutions, rather than keep infrastructure on-premise. Gartner estimates that by 2025, 80% of all enterprises will migrate entirely away from on-premise servers and data centers, making it easier to quickly scale their operations in the cloud.
Atlassian themselves are now accelerating that process, by ending the sale of Server licenses. It is still possible to have a "self managed" installation i.e. where you install the software on a machine, be it on AWS or locally, but that option is only available for Data Center.
In short, the SaaS business model means that a customer buys a subscription to a vendor's application and uses it over the internet. The vendor maintains, supports and hosts the software, and the customer focuses on using it. This is a model customers will prefer to move to if they don't have Atlassian, Windows/Linux and RDBMS system administration expertise in house.
Should you do it?
As of writing, the two options in the future will be Data Center - high availability, clustered and self managed, or Cloud. Free Cloud migration trials are now available, so you can "try before you buy". If you want to be self managed, e.g. for data sovereignty reasons, then Data Center will be the main choice. As of writing, this is a subscription product (not a perpetual license), and the minimum tier is 500 users. It can be deployed on one or many nodes. Used in conjunction with AWS, Data Center can provide a highly redundant, and very performant solution, without the need for your own data center.
However, the majority of customers are expected to switch to Cloud. Atlassian's own figures show that over 90% of all new customers are starting on Cloud.
There are 4 main Cloud Plans as of now. A very high level summary is below, correct at the time of writing:
- This has a limit of 10 users, and has a very good base feature set for what is a free product. Permissions are limited, however, and storage for attachments and files is 2GB.
- Support is via the community
- This is a very popular choice, and is good for customers who want a straightforward, publicly available solution.
- It has permissions and local business hour support, plus 250GB of storage.
- Companies who want the type of control they had with Server should look at this. It includes IP Whitelisting, preventing public access to your SaaS system. Storage is unlimited, and there are more sophisticated admin features in the pipeline.
- Support is 24/7
- This has the features of Premium, plus Data Residency (EU or US).
- It includes Access (SAML SSO)
- The highest level of 24/7 premium support.
- It has organisation level billing, rather than per-instance.
Many Server customers use the LDAP connector in conjunction with Active Directory to achieve SSO. With Cloud, you will need Atlassian's Access product to provide this, which should be used in conjunction with your SAML SSO provider. We've helped users configure this with Azure Active Directory, for example.
In summary Atlassian are working very hard to provide plans which give customers the features and control that they are used to with Server based offerings. For more information on Cloud vs Server, please see this link
Return on Investment
We started writing this blogpost before Atlassian announced that Server licenses were going to be phased out. This does mean that Cloud now becomes the default choice. However, we had many customer who were migrating to Cloud before this, based on ROI. The common reasons cited were:
- No staff available who are Jira Server application management specialists, with skills in Windows/Linux, RDBMS, networking etc. It is also very expensive to retain staff to support applications or to run occasional updates. Some customers simply don't have the skills at all, and put off upgrades, and have backup strategies which are less than optimal.
- A corporate SaaS strategy - in short, all services should be consumed as SaaS
- Reducing the size of their data center
- Don't want the hassle of ongoing maintenance - customers want to consume the service, but they don't want to have to run the service.
Many customers say that when they add up the costs of application maintenance staff, support staff and data center space, along with having to retain skills which are rarely used, the ROI on Cloud makes sense.
Simply put, we know both Server and Cloud applications, we have years of experiences, and we've done it for other customers. Customers who do it themselves have to spend time skilling up staff to do a one-off job which they will never do again.
The first and only time they will do it, will be on the customer data. Unless you have staff who are skilled in this, and who are otherwise unoccupied, we can do a migration for you in a managed and efficient way.
We can do it all remotely, and when it is necessary for us to clone your data as part of the process, we always keep it on a secure, dedicated AWS instance, which is deleted after the project is complete. We will always provide a test instance for user acceptance testing (UAT), so that you can ensure that you will be satisfied with the end result, before the final migration.
Having worked with multiple customers, we feel there are two categories:
- Straightforward migrations which we can fix price
- Complex enterprise migrations which require a bespoke approach
Please see our Migration Service page for more details. Where possible, we provide fixed prices to customers for Atlassian Server to Cloud migrations.
Atlassian now use the phrase "cloud-first", and this is their direction of travel. The majority of our customers were going to Cloud before this announcement. Unless there are compelling reasons concerning data sovereignty or control, it is the best choice going forwards.
Please get in touch if you are considering migrating to Atlassian Cloud, to see if we can help.
We also also recorded a webinar entitled "Migration from Server to Cloud" on Wednesday, 2nd December 2020. Click below if you would like to watch the recording.
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