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Does My Organization Need Atlassian Data Center or Cloud?

By Elizabeth Clor

Atlassian has made no secret about its plan to go all in on cloud—announcing last year it stopped selling new server licenses, and will soon retire its on-prem server products

Despite wide shifts to cloud across industries, and Atlassian’s push for cloud, the physical data center is not dead for all organizations. In fact, for those that have strict security or compliance requirements, or a huge user base, a data center can be necessary or more advantageous than cloud (for now). Some server-based products even have features not yet available on the cloud version, such as just-in-time provisioning or zero downtime upgrades, which makes them a more compelling option depending on the use case.  

Understanding the different capabilities of the two environments can help organizations know when they might need each. An experienced Atlassian solutions provider can help organizations realize these differences, and also set up the right strategy to gain the most benefits from their Atlassian products during this transitional time. 

Atlassian Data Center

Since Atlassian is no longer selling server licenses, Data Center licenses are now the only on-premise option for organizations in the Atlassian ecosystem. Fortunately, Atlassian Data Center allows organizations to host Atlassian products on their own infrastructure or by using a third-party cloud provider. 

Data Center offers robust customization, providing full control over all aspects of deployments from security to performance. Hosting Atlassian products via Data Center allows organizations to keep data securely within their network, while leveraging powerful options from SAML and OpenID Connect, read-only mode and smart mirroring for code that are capable of meeting the needs of even the largest enterprises. 

However, the trade-off for this control is that operating a data center does require more work in order to ensure compliance, deploy upgrades and simply keep up with routine maintenance—since IT teams will need to do all of these tasks on their own. Doing so also requires more technical expertise to understand the right implementations, and will also likely cost more to plan, staff and execute, than cloud. 

Organizations that need hands-on control over their infrastructure due to performance, integrations, or security and compliance requirements should consider Atlassian Data Center. In addition, Data Center is also a good choice if disruption to service is a serious concern, such as in industries like financial services where uptime is crucial. With multiple node instances, high availability and self-diagnostics, organizations can achieve maximum uptime for Atlassian services. 

When To Use Cloud 

Atlassian Cloud has quickly become the go-to option for most organizations that want to use Atlassian products, thanks to the simple software-as-a-service (SaaS) experience it provides. 

In general, Atlassian Cloud makes the most sense for organizations that want a software-as-a-service (SaaS) experience and don’t require the customizability or control offered by Atlassian Server and Data Center. It’s also a good choice for organizations whose needs fluctuate wildly from month-to-month, as its tiered pricing solution is based on the number of users who have accessed your instance in the last month.

Atlassian Cloud offers the convenience of quickly available Jira, Confluence or Bitbucket instances, which require only minimal setup or routine maintenance by IT teams. Simplified admin, automatic updates and centralized governance also simplify IT’s job—and eliminate the time-consuming, technical work associated with compliance and scalability of on-prem servers. 

Atlassian Cloud is also a good choice for organizations with fluctuating needs, thanks to its tiered pricing solution based on number of users. And perhaps most important today, Atlassian Cloud ensures teams have instant access to the apps and projects they need from anywhere and on any device. 

Visit our complete guide for detailed information on the differences between Atlassian Cloud and Data Center.

When To Use An Atlassian Platinum Solutions Partner

As the world pushes ahead with cloud, the data center continues to play an important role in supporting enterprises that rely on on-prem servers, and also might need more time to prepare for cloud. But whether an organization knows it's ready to jump to cloud, needs a bit more time or is unsure of which route is best, the support of an Atlassian Platinum Solutions Partner such as Contegix can be instrumental in positioning a business for long-term success. 

Contegix’s certified experts have completed hundreds of Atlassian cloud and data center migrations—helping save enterprise IT teams valuable time to optimize migrations while reducing costs. With the help of Contegix, enterprises of any size can transition their Atlassian instances with minimal downtime or disruption during migration. 

Choosing between a data center or cloud isn’t a decision organizations take lightly, but with a trusted Atlassian Platinum partner like Contegix, organizations can forge ahead confidently knowing they’ll have experienced experts to optimize and future-proof their Atlassian ecosystem—whether it be data center or the cloud. 

Learn more about how Contegix can support seamless Atlassian Data Center or Cloud migrations.