Server or Data Center

Server or Data Center? Decide before you migrate Jira to a new hosting type

Server or Data Center? Decide before you migrate Jira to a new hosting type 2240 1260 Tom Pabich

Hey there, fellow Jira enthusiasts! As we approach the deadline for the Jira server version’s end of life in February 2024, it’s time to buckle up and prepare for a smooth transition to either Jira Cloud or Jira Data Center. Trust me, we’ve got your back! Making the right choice between the two options is crucial to ensure that your Jira instance keeps rocking with optimal performance, scalability, and functionality. In this article, we’ll dive into the key differences between Jira Cloud and Jira Data Center, helping you make a decision you’ll be proud of. Oh, and by the way, Genius Gecko, your Jira migration superhero, is here to lend a helping hand throughout the process. We’ll be your experts, guiding you every step of the way. So, let’s jump right in!

Jira Cloud: Unleashing the Power of Simplicity and Convenience

Alright, let’s start with Jira Cloud, the cool kid on the block. It’s all about simplicity and convenience. I will drop some relevant points here, but please also read through the Data Center part later, as some of those will be important too, ok? Let’s go then!:

Easy Setup and Maintenance

Picture this—you’re just a few clicks away from having your shiny new Jira instance up and running. With Jira Cloud, setting up and maintaining your Jira environment is a breeze. Seriously, you’ll save so much time and energy that you can finally take that much-needed coffee break. We’ve seen startups in software development and other industries do just that. They adopted Jira Cloud and quickly set up their project management workflows, leaving them more time to focus on their core business activities. No server maintenance headaches—just pure productivity!

Accessibility and Collaboration

Imagine the freedom of working from anywhere, collaborating effortlessly with your team, no matter where they are. Jira Cloud offers a web-based interface that’s accessible from any device, empowering you to work remotely like a true champion. Cross-team collaboration? We’ve got you covered. To be fair though, it’s not like the Data Center instance can not be available online as well. It’s just a matter of proper configuration and then this section will serve as a plus for both of these versions. And it doesn’t matter how much Atlassian says that this is so awesome on Jira Cloud 🙂

Extensive Marketplace

Atlassian Marketplace is a treasure trove of goodies. Picture yourself strolling through an aisle filled with plugins, apps, and integrations, all ready to supercharge your Jira Cloud instance. Need project management tools? Reporting dashboards? Automation magic? You got it! The Atlassian Marketplace has it all. All of the customers we’re working with are using the power of additional Apps. They enhanced their Jira Cloud instance with customized reporting and automated workflows, streamlining their processes and making data-driven decisions like pros. And again, we need to underline, that Apps are available for both versions and even though it’s great that Cloud has a lot of support in this area, it’s worth mentioning that Data Center Apps are more functional thanks to a more advanced API available there.

Cost-Effective Pricing

Now, let’s talk about that sweet deal called cost-effectiveness. With Jira Cloud, you pay per user. No need to break the bank or worry about tiers like with Jira Data Center. This pricing model is a game-changer, especially for smaller companies looking to grow without draining their coffers. If you work in a smaller company, maybe a startup with big dreams but limited resources, then you can choose Jira Cloud and happily pay for only the users you needed at the time. Smart move, right? You can optimize your budget and scale your Jira usage as your organization grows.

No Infrastructure Headaches

Say goodbye to those pesky infrastructure headaches! Jira Cloud takes care of all the nitty-gritty server stuff so you can focus on what really matters—your projects and goals. Atlassian handles the infrastructure, automatic updates, and quick bug fixes, keeping your Jira instance running smoothly. I remember one of our customers who switched to Jira Cloud and bid farewell to their server maintenance woes. They were able to channel their energy into delivering outstanding marketing campaigns instead of troubleshooting server issues. Peace of mind is priceless! BUT it comes with some drawbacks which may or may not be important so you. More on this later in the article.

Custom Domain Considerations

Now, here’s something to keep in mind. Jira Cloud assigns you a domain provided by Atlassian. If having your own domain in Jira’s URL is a must-have for your brand, it’s important to note that Jira Cloud won’t let you choose it. It’s usually not a big deal but we’ve met companies that were truly passionate about having the right web address. I’m not sure if I agree with this. I do struggle to see this as a big factor in decision-making involving the future of your company’s task, workflow, projects and process management… but who am I to judge 🙂

Limited Database Access

Let’s talk database access. In Jira Cloud, direct access to the underlying database is a no-go. This may be absolutely crucial in some cases. I remember one bank we worked with that had specific customization needs to comply with regulatory requirements. Our team worked closely with them, finding creative solutions. We ensured they achieved their customization goals without compromising compliance, but I’m 100% sure that this wouldn’t be possible with Jira Cloud and its limited API and no direct access to the database. Definitely, something to think about. Consider your integrations with external tools and apps here.


Jira Data Center: Unleashing the Power of Scalability and Control

Let’s shift gears and talk about Jira Data Center, the powerhouse for performance and control. Brace yourself for some serious awesomeness:

Seamless Migration with Server Version

If you’re currently rocking the Jira server version, migrating to Jira Data Center can be a breeze. Jira Data Center shares the same database and storage as the server version, making the transition a piece of the cake. And who doesn’t love cake, right? Genius Gecko has guided numerous companies through this migration process. Some of these migrations were super simple. By leveraging Jira Data Center’s compatibility with the existing server version, some companies migrated their complex workflows and custom configurations seamlessly. Brushing off preparation and testing, essentially all it takes is a license change.

Unlimited User Count and Cloud Storage

Is your organization growing like wildfire? Fear not, because Jira Data Center has your back with unlimited user scalability. No restrictions, no limitations—just pure growth potential. This is a game-changer, especially for organizations with large and distributed teams. Oh, and did I mention unlimited storage? Yeah, Jira Data Center has that too (you control the infrastructure, after all, right?). You can manage mountains of data without breaking a sweat. One of a big tech companies we worked with, experienced this first-hand. With their growing user base and data storage needs, Jira Data Center was a no-brainer. They scaled their instance seamlessly, accommodating their ever-increasing user count and data volume. It’s scalability at its finest!

Enhanced Performance and High Availability

Need your Jira instance to perform like a champ, even during peak periods? Jira Data Center has got you covered. With features like load balancers and multiple nodes, you can kiss performance woes goodbye. Load balancers distribute incoming requests across multiple servers, preventing overloading and enhancing system responsiveness. Multiple nodes provide redundancy and fault tolerance, minimizing the impact of system failures. A fair point to raise here is that Jira Cloud also scales with your needs. You just simply don’t see that, but it happens. The difference is that when you have total control over the infrastructure, you can always add more computing power to make things run faster. The cloud version will always be decently fast, but probably never super-fast. That’s just reality.

Built-in Asset Management and Advanced Roadmaps

Jira Data Center comes with built-in features that can transform your service management and project management game. Jira Service Management allows you to efficiently track and manage your assets throughout their lifecycle. Advanced Roadmaps, a part of Jira Software, gives you the tools to plan, visualize, and track your projects with precision. A large construction company we worked with needed robust asset management and project planning capabilities. Jira Data Center’s built-in features, along with Genius Gecko’s expertise, allowed them to seamlessly integrate asset management into their workflows and gain a comprehensive view of their projects and assets at the same time. It’s like having an ace up your sleeve! One thing I need to add here though: in our opinion, Advanced Roadmaps is not the best project management solution for Jira and many companies reach for more flexible tools like BigPicture or Structure. If you want to explore those, reach out to us, we spend days every week working with those.

Customization and Database Access

Are you a customization aficionado? Jira Data Center is the perfect playground for you. With access to the underlying database and a more extensive API, you have the freedom to tailor your Jira instance to meet your unique business needs. If you work in a company that requires extensive customization to align their Jira instance with your unique processes and compliance requirements, you should consider Jira Data Center. By working closely with Genius Gecko you can gain full control over your instance’s customization, ensuring it meets your industry-specific needs.

On-Premise Hosting and Performance Scaling

For organizations with specific security or compliance requirements, Jira Data Center allows on-premise hosting, providing complete control over the infrastructure (we already know that, right?). This ensures that sensitive data remains within your organization’s boundaries. Additionally, Jira Data Center enables performance scaling by investing in faster and better hardware. We’re talking here about supporting, for example, a government agency, in deploying Jira Data Center on-premise to meet their strict data privacy regulations. This allows such companies to maintain full control over their infrastructure and meet compliance requirements while scaling their performance.

Testing Environments

Jira Data Center facilitates the creation of test environments, allowing you to validate changes and enhancements before deploying them to production. This ensures minimal disruption to your ongoing projects and reduces the risk of unforeseen issues. The trap here is that Jira Cloud in its standard license doesn’t allow you to create test environments (or sandbox environments, as they call it). It is a big issue forcing many companies to reach for a premium version of Jira Cloud, which is significantly more expensive. Definitely, something to think about, especially when you need several test environments for different purposes. One of the banks we’ve worked for had 4 of them, for example.


Genius Gecko: Your Trusted Partner for Jira Migration Success

It’s time to unveil the secret weapon in your Jira migration journey—Genius Gecko! We are here to support you every step of the way, making sure your transition to Jira Cloud or Jira Data Center is nothing short of amazing. Here’s how we’ll be your trusted partner:

  1. Needs Assessment: We’ll kick things off with a comprehensive assessment of your organization’s requirements. Our experienced Jira administrators and migration specialists will dig deep into your team size, project complexity, customization needs, compliance considerations, and performance expectations. This assessment will help us determine whether Jira Cloud or Jira Data Center is the perfect fit for you.
  2. Decision Guidance: Making decisions can be tough, especially when it comes to choosing between Jira Cloud and Jira Data Center. Fear not, my friend, because we’ve got your back. Our experts will provide you with clear and unbiased guidance, considering your specific needs, budget constraints, and future growth plans. We want you to make an informed choice that aligns perfectly with your organization’s goals.
  3. Smooth Migration Execution: Once the decision is made, it’s time for the migration magic to happen. With Genius Gecko by your side, you can rest assured that the migration process will be seamless and stress-free. Our migration specialists will handle all the technical aspects, including data migration, configuration transfer, and integration setup. We’ll ensure that your workflows, customizations, and user data make the journey to your new Jira instance flawlessly.
  4. Comprehensive Training and Support: We won’t leave you high and dry after the migration. Genius Gecko provides comprehensive training for your teams to ensure a smooth transition and rapid adoption of the new Jira environment. Our training programs cover everything from basic usage to advanced customization, empowering your teams to leverage the full potential of Jira. And don’t worry—we offer ongoing support to address any questions or issues that arise post-migration.
  5. Continuous Optimization: After the migration is complete, Genius Gecko can assist you in continuously optimizing your Jira instance. We stay up-to-date with the latest Jira features, best practices, and marketplace add-ons. Our team can help you leverage new features, implement process improvements, and maximize the benefits of your chosen Jira solution.



Hey, my friend, you’ve come a long way on this Jira migration journey, and I couldn’t be prouder! As the deadline for the Jira server version’s end-of-life approaches, it’s crucial to evaluate your options and plan for a successful migration. Whether you choose Jira Cloud or Jira Data Center, Genius Gecko’s migration services are here to be your best friend, guiding you through the decision-making process and ensuring a seamless transition. Our expertise and comprehensive support will streamline your Jira migration journey, empowering your organization to unlock the full potential of Jira’s project management capabilities. Contact Genius Gecko today, and let’s embark on a successful migration to Jira Cloud or Jira Data Center together. With our help, you can make an informed choice, navigate the migration process with confidence, and avoid potential pitfalls, ensuring a successful outcome. Get ready to soar to new heights with Jira—your trusted partner, Genius Gecko, is here to make it happen!

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