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Everything You Need to Know About Moving to Atlassian’s Public Cloud

By Elizabeth Clor

Earlier this year, Atlassian stopped selling new licenses for its on-prem server products, also ceasing upgrades and downgrades, new feature development and support for these licenses. For organizations with existing Atlassian on-prem server licenses, the announcement means an eventual migration from Atlassian’s on-prem servers to Atlassian’s public cloud by February 2024 (data centers will still receive support and new features for those not ready for cloud). 

Atlassian has made no secret about its plan to go all in on cloud. But for some users, this shift may seem worrisome, especially for larger enterprises out there who rely on on-prem servers and don’t feel ready to move to the cloud. However, the move doesn’t have to be entirely stressful, expensive or uncertain. 

In fact, Atlassian Cloud offers some truly transformative benefits to IT departments and overall business operations. And with the right knowledge and support from an experienced third-party partner, organizations of all shapes and sizes can successfully migrate their existing infrastructure to the cloud—and start making the most of all the short- and long-term benefits of this shift.

What Other Changes are Happening to Atlassian Servers and Data Centers and When? 

As of February 2, 2021, Atlassian has decommissioned new on-prem server licenses and continued support. Atlassian on-prem servers will continue to receive routine support until February 2, 2024. However, there will no longer be new feature development, upgrades or downgrades of licenses, or new app sales.

Even by 2024, some businesses might not be ready to migrate fully to cloud, due to regulatory compliance mandates or other obstacles. That’s okay, and Atlassian has planned to continue offering its self-managed enterprise edition, Atlassian Data Center, for these companies. Simply put, the differences between server and data center come down to scalability and performance. Atlassian Data Center is built for enterprises, and can handle more volume and users while delivering better performance.


Why Should Users Move to Atlassian Cloud?

The benefits of making the switch to cloud are no secret to businesses today: lower IT workloads, cost savings, greater agility and scalability and the ability to meet today’s need for remote work. However, for the thousands of companies using Atlassian’s suite of tools—Jira, Confluence, Trello, Bitbucket and more—there is an even greater set of benefits to shifting these tools over to the cloud.

The biggest benefit for existing Atlassian users moving to the cloud is that internal systems can run smoothly in the cloud without routine maintenance. Instead of manual upgrades on nights and weekends, Atlassian cloud provides simplified admin, easy updates and centralized governance that take the frustration out of IT administration, allowing teams to reap new benefits by taking the manual work out of compliance and scalability. Atlassian cloud also ensures teams have instant access to the apps and projects they need from anywhere, and on any device—as nearly every server app now has a cloud version to support and scale work from any location. 

While the benefits are clear, some organizations might be worried about whether they can shift all their workflows to an Atlassian cloud environment. To that end, Atlassian has developed flexible migration tools that enable users to move to the cloud at their own place, either in stages or using a hybrid approach. In addition, there are free demo tools and trials to help users migrate, like extended cloud trials to evaluate cloud solutions from Jira and Confluence migration assistants to support project-specific migrations from server to cloud. 


Planning a Server to Cloud Migration

When an organization has decided it’s ready to migrate to cloud, there are several factors to consider to ensure the move is as smooth and secure as possible—and also sets the business up to maximize the benefits of cloud for the long haul. While the production migration gets most of the attention, it’s actually the planning, preparing and testing that both takes the most time and has the greatest impact on success.

So before an organization spends a single dollar on any solution, they must first determine which kind of deployment model will best suit their needs and best complement their existing IT infrastructure. That deployment could be 100% cloud or consist of some hybrid combination of server, data center and cloud services. Just keep in mind that Atlassian on-prem server licenses will need to be ported to an Atlassian data center or cloud-based solution by February 2024. 

Next, estimate the total migration timeline and what planning is required to prepare. Moving from server to cloud can be a complex process, and it doesn’t happen overnight. Complex data center migrations can take several months (or longer), and even simple migrations for email or app suites can take 1-2 months. Having realistic expectations for how long it will take is key to understanding how much downtime might be involved, preparing users (both internal and external) for this and also executing a successful migration. 

In addition, enterprise IT teams should be mindful of other critical elements for cloud deployments. This includes how many users the cloud will need support to ensure app performance, as well as whether plug-in app functionality is possible out the gate. Organizations must also consider compliance requirements and disaster recovery capabilities are included to both adhere to regulatory policies and reduce downtimes. Perhaps most importantly though, IT teams should assess what type of IT support offerings are available, since cloud migration and implementation itself can be a complex undertaking. 

Investing in a Third-Party Partner to Execute Atlassian Cloud Deployments

When bringing Atlassian tools from on-prem servers to the cloud, enterprises need to make sure the migration goes smoothly and positions the business for long-term success. To do this, organizations may look to a trusted third-party partner to perform the heavy-lifting of preparing and executing their cloud deployments. For example, a certified Atlassian partner can offer enterprises a suite of customized professional services and expert support for Atlassian cloud deployments. 

Whether looking to migrate Jira, Confluence or another Atlassian product to the cloud, a trusted Atlassian Platinum partner can save enterprise IT teams valuable time, reduce the overall cost and also optimize the migration to future-proof critical apps and services for the long haul. Experienced partners have certified Atlassian experts have completed hundreds of migrations, and can help enterprises of all sizes navigate potential pitfalls or roadblocks that may arise to a seamless and cost-effective transition with minimal disruption. For an initial upfront cost, these partners can save enterprises hours, days or even months of work—and help free up IT teams and reduce downtime to deliver value faster and improve ROI. 

Cloud migrations can be a tricky process even for seasoned and fully staffed IT teams. But by tapping a trusted Atlassian Platinum partner to make sure their cloud deployments are properly set up, IT teams can ensure their move to Atlassian’s public cloud is seamless, while freeing themselves up to focus more on strategic business priorities.