JIRA applications offer a number of different configuration options, depending on the version you’re running, plugins, network, and hardware set-up. This makes it an incredibly versatile and adaptable tool – but it can also make diagnosing issues more than a little complicated.
Getting to the root cause of your JIRA issue requires a mix of system familiarity, detective work, and patience, as you’ll often need to make and test small, incremental changes to see if they impact the overall performance. But knowing some of the more common problems is a great first step towards being able to successfully assess and tackle any performance issue.
Running an anti-virus program like Norton or Avast or Symantec could cause the lags or performance issues you’re experiencing. JIRA apps create a lot of temporary files, so it’s possible that disk input/output (I/O) operations and other system resourcing are making this difficult for the app to complete. Antivirus programs are designed to scan all of your application installations and home directories, and that can cause sluggishness as well.
How to Troubleshoot: Uninstall the antivirus program, or set it to exclude JIRA apps and files from its scans.
Out of Memory
JIRA applications run in “Java virtual machine,” often abbreviated to JVM, rather than within your computer’s operating system. The JVM is usually allocated a set amount of memory that it can dole out to JIRA apps. The default amount is 64m, which is usually sufficient for most medium to large JIRA apps. However, lack of memory may be slowing down performance.
How to Troubleshoot: You are able to manually increase the memory allotment by opening the Java properties tab, identifying JIRA applications, and increasing the memory. It is recommended to do small increases of 256m at a time, or 512m for larger apps.
Remote API JIRA apps often work with remote API (application programming interface) scripts, which are a prime culprit for performance issues. Similar to what can happen with Wordpress, external scripts can slow down your system processes as your application searches for and accesses outside data.
How to Troubleshoot: Go into your JIRA app’s general settings tab and disable remote API to see whether this provides a solution.
HTTPS (or SSL)
Depending on your business or organization, you may be required to run your site using the more secure HTTPS or SSL (although SSL is considered essentially obsolete) protocol. Both of these could cause problems with JIRA apps because, although JIRA apps are able to work with either system, Atlassian does not provide any configuration assistance for them.
How to Troubleshoot: In this instance, partner with a support provider because if there is some kind of HTTPS or SSL interference with the JIRA app, you will need to manually set up SSL encryption for JIRA. This can be a very complicated process depending on your operating system.
Of course, you could always be experiencing standard network slowness. Communication between the database server and the server hosting the JIRA apps is rife with performance issue potential, especially if the database is hosted on a different machine than the JIRA applications.
How to Troubleshoot: If you suspect that this is the problem, you will need to diagnose the “ping” times between servers. This can be done easily in Windows by opening the Run dialog box, entering “cmd” into the open field, then typing in “ping –t google.com” (without the quotation marks) at the command prompt.
JIRA apps will only work on supported versions of Java, so if you are experiencing frequent issues, stagnation, or crashes, it’s possible that you may be trying to run your app on an outdated version of Java.
How to Troubleshoot: You can check with Atlassian to see a full list of supported platforms for the most current version (JIRA 7.3).
As anyone who, say, repairs cars or does a lot of home maintenance for a living can attest, it’s better to spend time thoroughly and accurately diagnosing an issue before rushing to fix it. Yes, the problem is costing you time and, yes, in many cases the solution will cost you even more, but at the end of the day, you’ll save yourself a lot of lost productivity and frustration by developing a familiarity with the kinds of issues that can most often plague JIRA apps, and the steps needed to fix them.
Contegix has an entire team of Atlassian support engineers and we're happy to help manage (and troubleshoot) your toolset. Just click the contact button below to reach out!