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Hosting Options for Jira: Self-Hosted and Alternatives

The performance, scalability, and security of Jira depend on the hosting option your organization selects. Using Atlassian’s first party hosting services, attempting to self-host, or opting for a third-party hosting provider all impact these key factors, along with cost and ease. Let’s take a close look at how you can pick the right hosting solution for your company, starting with the first hosting question every organization that wants to use Jira has to ask: Jira Cloud or Jira Data Center?

Jira Hosting: Cloud vs. Data Center

Jira is available on both Atlassian Cloud and Data Center. Atlassian Cloud is a managed hosting service provided by Atlassian, while Atlassian Data Center facilitates hosting on your organization’s servers or through a third-party service provider. Here are the things you should keep in mind when choosing between these alternatives.

Jira Cloud

Jira Cloud is designed to offer a hassle-free experience, as Atlassian maintains the hosting environment and takes care of all necessary backend management, including server maintenance, security patches, and software upgrades. This lets teams focus on core business activities without spending time on IT management tasks or being disrupted by lengthy periods of downtime. Jira Cloud also seamlessly integrates with many other Atlassian products and third-party applications. Organizations can move to Jira Cloud — from an existing Jira Server instance, for example — using Atlassian’s Jira Migration Assistant.

While Jira Cloud is a solid choice for organizations looking for quick setup and scalability, its convenience comes with certain limitations. It lacks the controls needed to manage every aspect of your Jira environment, and does not currently comply with certain regulatory requirements, like FedRAMP. In addition, enterprises with demanding project management requirements or large numbers of users might find the performance of Jira Cloud lacking in comparison to Jira Data Center.

Jira Data Center

Unlike Jira Cloud, Jira Data Center allows organizations to host their Jira instances on their own servers or through a third-party hosting provider. Data Center offers more control over your Jira deployment and additional customization options, making it especially suitable for enterprises with many large, complex projects, the need to meet strict compliance standards, or a preference for maintaining their own infrastructure. As Atlassian has now deprecated Jira Server, previously a popular option for on-premises hosting, Data Center is the only Atlassian-supported choice for self or third-party hosting. If your organization is currently using Jira Cloud, you can migrate to Data Center — ideally with the help of a partner that has experience hosting and administering Jira, to ensure everything goes smoothly.

Jira Data Center lets you tailor almost every aspect of your Jira instance to align with your company’s unique processes and operational requirements. It can scale to handle large volumes of data and users without compromising performance or availability. Jira Data Center also offers the ability to develop custom plugins and integrations with other enterprise systems your team relies on. Its customizability is a significant advantage for organizations in heavily-regulated industries or those that require the highest levels of data security. Opting for Data Center also opens up the possibility of working with an Atlassian Solution Partner to host and optimize your deployment, so you can ensure you’re getting the most value from Jira at the lowest possible cost.

Managing Jira Data Center can be challenging for small or inexperienced teams, especially if they opt for self-hosting rather than leveraging the expertise of a third-party hosting provider.

Self-Hosting Jira vs. Using a Third-Party Hosting Service

Deciding to self-host your Jira instance entails a range of steep requirements and significant challenges. Beyond the infrastructure needed to support your Jira deployment, including servers, storage, and networking equipment, you need a skilled IT team capable of setting up, managing, and maintaining the system. These responsibilities include performing updates, monitoring and optimizing performance, and troubleshooting issues that arise. The time and effort required for initial setup and ongoing support can divert scarce resources from other critical business activities.

Ensuring your Jira deployment’s security and reliability is perhaps the biggest hurdle when it comes to self-hosting Jira. From setting up firewalls and intrusion detection systems to developing robust disaster recovery capabilities, securing your Jira instance comes with more than its share of complexities. Despite these potential roadblocks, enterprises with large budgets and strong IT experience may still want to explore self-hosting due to the complete control it offers.

Those organizations that want the benefits offered by Jira Data Center but don’t have the infrastructure or internal expertise for self-hosting should strongly consider a third-party hosting service. Leveraging the expertise of a third-party provider — preferably an Atlassian Solution Partner with years of Jira expertise — lets your company get the most out of its Jira deployment without the heavy initial investment required by self-hosting. The best third-party hosting services also come with built-in security measures, guaranteed high availability, and disaster recovery capabilities, ensuring that your Jira instance remains secure, reliable, and performant. By partnering with a hosting provider, your organization can focus on its business while relying on professionals to manage its Jira environment.

Third-party hosting services combine the control offered by self-hosting with flexibility, allowing organizations to scale up or down based on changing needs. Your Jira instance can then grow along with your business, accommodating increased user loads and data volumes without compromising performance. Third-party hosting providers often offer round-the-clock support and monitoring as well. This level of service minimizes downtime and improves the user experience.

Find a Tailored, Secure Jira Hosting Option for Your Organization

If you’re looking for a team of Atlassian experts to handle Jira hosting for your company, good news: your search is over. Contegix is an Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner with deep experience providing customized Jira hosting solutions to organizations in a wide range of industries. Contegix has shared, public, and private clouds on its secure hosting platform that offers FedRAMP, HIPAA, and PCI compliance. It also offers remote management services for Jira instances hosted on-premises or elsewhere, saving your team time and money while maintaining a high performing environment for Jira.

Contegix’s Atlassian professionals have the expertise needed to manage complex Jira environments, ensuring that your instance is aligned with your business goals and optimized for peak performance. And with 24/7 support and monitoring services, any issues are promptly resolved by experienced system administrators and Jira professionals, so your team can stay productive.

If you’re ready to experience the peace of mind that comes with knowing your Jira deployment is in the very best hands, contact Contegix today.