Every classic installation on a single server reaches its limits at some point, which are noticeable in the form of performance fluctuations, frequent maintenance downtimes and administrative bottlenecks. Atlassian has created an enterprise model as an alternative to traditional server installation: Atlassian Data Center. The data center deployment is designed for high availability, performance and seamless scaling. Data center versions are available for Jira, Jira Service Desk, Confluence, Bitbucket and Crowd.
Customers should look the fact in the eye: Atlassian Server has no future as a product line. This clearly belongs to Data Centers in the on-premise area. Atlassian's strategic investments and marketing efforts make this just as clear as the prioritization of new features for servers vs. data centers. Surely there will be servers for a few more years and new releases, but Data Center will become more advanced during this time, while the server versions will be even more dependent than it is today in administrative terms.
Our advice is: At the latest when the current maintenance and support period expires and the next license extension is due, customers should consider switching. In the meantime, Atlassian Data Center will be a must for on-premise customers.
Advantages of Atlassian Data Center
Data Center provides active-active clustering to ensure that users have uninterrupted access to critical applications when unexpected hardware errors occur. The data load can be distributed across clusters, using any form of load-balancing technology, whether hardware or software-based. Data Center also supports integration with industry-standard technologies for database clustering and distributed file systems to minimize single fail-over points in the architecture.
Atlassian Data Center covers the entire system with disaster recovery - an essential requirement for enterprise-level deployments. Organizations can set up a cold standby instance to take over in the event of technical failure at the main site. Data Center thus ensures that the system remains available with all data and provides a mature foundation for establishing or modernizing an individual disaster recovery strategy.
Performance at scale
Each node in the Data Center cluster increases concurrent user capacity without sacrificing performance. During controlled load tests, Atlassian has found a nearly linear capacity increase when using clusters with two and four nodes compared to a single JIRA server with the same response time. This additional capacity provides better resilience in the case of load spikes.
Exclusive additional functions for data centers
The data center executions offer powerful additional administrative features that specifically address the needs of enterprise companies - such as project archiving in Jira and Jira Service Desk, read-only mode in Confluence, Smart Mirroring for Bitbucket or delegable administration in Crowd.
The architecture of the Data Center cluster allows you to add new nodes without having to go offline. To add a node to a JIRA Data Center cluster, the only requirement is that JIRA must be installed and the configuration file updated. This supports fast capacity growth as usage increases.
Free choice of infrastructure
Data Center provides customer deployment flexibility. You can run a data center system on your own infrastructure or implement it with IaaS vendors such as AWS or Azure. For this purpose, the data center versions come with their own templates that support an efficient setup.
Scheduled downtime to perform maintenance on systems is often particularly common for heavy-duty installations on a single server. Meanwhile, the productive use of the systems is at a standstill. The data center solutions minimize the necessary downtimes. Thanks to the zero downtime upgrades in Jira and Jira Service Desk and the read-only mode in Confluence, software updates are even possible during runtime.
Signs that suggest a switch to Data Center
Strongly growing user base: Strong growth can lead to unsatisfactory performance and potential outages. Instability and unavailability, in turn, are bad for user retention.
Lack of disaster recovery strategy: If the work of the entire company is centrally organized and stored, there must be no danger of losing this information if something goes wrong. Clustering provides security in the event that a single node fails, but what if the entire instance is down?
Nobody can do their work when the system is down: An unexpected failure devours productive time: Important information and features that people need at that moment are not accessible and available. Tasks that users are currently working on are lost and need to be recreated. Important, perhaps time-critical tasks must be postponed, etc.
This is a public system: If companies operate a system like Confluence or Jira publicly, so that customers, partners and users come into contact with it, the instance must run flawlessly. Service and support are inextricably linked to the product. Anyone who publicly holds information in a system must ensure that access is possible at all times.
Management uses the system: In many companies an operational necessity is reached when upper management works intensively with the system and management organizes their work and strategic projects in the system. Downtime is unacceptable in such cases as it would have a significant impact across the organization.
A cost comparison between server and data center licenses using Confluence as an example.
|Kosten Data Center pro Jahr¹||Erstlizenz Server||Verlängerung Server||Mehrkosten Data Center im 1. Jahr||Mehrkosten Data Center ab dem 2. Jahr||Data Center Laufzeit 5 Jahre||Server Laufzeit 5 Jahre|
¹This example is based on a new Data Center license. If you have existing server licenses, you can charge them with the correlated costs above. Please contact us and we will be happy to advise you on the concrete savings.
Do Data Center services justify the additional costs? Yes, if...
As you can see in the example above, the Data Center Service (with the exception of the lower costs in the first year with 500 users) is already significantly more expensive in the initial purchase than the server counterpart. Due to the subscription model, where the same costs are incurred annually in the renewal, the costs are even higher from the second year onwards. Is it worth considering the use of data centers at all? The magic word in this case is "business critical", i.e. how deep are the Atlassian solutions already embedded in your company or are they supposed to be, and what business value results from this. The following examples show which questions you have to ask internally in order to grasp the value of Data Center.
The choice between Atlassian Server and Atlassian Data Center is an individual question that depends on specific requirements, priorities and usage approaches.
The costs for Atlassian Data Center are very granular and offer predictable scaling options in clear user scales of 1,000 users. Existing server app licenses are compatible if the number of users is greater than or equal to that of the data center product. Data center licenses are not perpetual, but must be renewed annually.
How can I evaluate Atlassian Data Center software (JIRA, Confluence)?
- You can evaluate Data Center by downloading JIRA or Confluence and requesting a Data Center evaluation key that enables active clustering.
What infrastructure and technical requirements must be met by the customer?
- Please refer to Atlassian's detailed Data Center documentation.
Can the end user see any difference between a standard installation or a Data Center deployment?
- No. Data Center offers the same features as a standard installation.
How are Marketplace add-ons for Data Center licensed?
- At the moment, there are no Data Center specific licenses for Marketplace add-ons. You can use any licensed Server add-on, as long as the number of users in that license is equal to or higher than the number of users in the Data Center license.
What Marketplace add-ons support Data Center?
- A Data Center symbol is displayed in the profile of Marketplace add-ons when they support Data Center. You can filter add-ons in the Marketplace to display only those that support Data Center.
How does the cost-benefit of Data Center compare to Atlassian Server?
- Please refer to our page on comparing Server vs Data Center to see when Atlassian Data Center is worthwhile. There you can see how the additional costs of DataCenter will depend on the increased numbers of users and the questions you should ask internally. For the full cost of data center licenses, please go to Atlassian Data Center - Pricing.
Do you have any questions? Would you like more advice on using Data Center for Atlassian products? Can we help you with licensing or technical implementation? Feel free to contact us, with no obligations!