When do you upgrade Jira Server to Jira Data Center

5 January 2016
Comments are off for this post

It is a frequent question – Why should I buy Jira Data Center?

Due to that, we are sharing our experience with Jira Data Center as an Atlassian Solution Partner in this post. Hopefully, we can help to shed some light on it.

What is Jira Data Center

Jira Data Center is a deployment option designed for high availability and performance at scale when hosting Jira Server in your own premise.

This is possible with a cluster of servers to share the workload from incoming requests through the use of a load balancer. To add on, each node is a complete Jira instance with its own index.

JIRA Data Center Reference Architecture
Jira Data Center Architecture

What are the benefits of using
Jira DC

  • Performance – Faster performance with it distributes the load across the various nodes
  • Increased users – A 2-node Jira DC cluster can support double the load of concurrent users with the same response time as compared to a single Jira Server 
  • High Availability – With active-active clustering, it guarantees uninterrupted access in event of hardware failure. This is because it will redirect requests to an active node automatically
  • Instant scalability – It is possible to add more nodes without any scheduling any downtime
  • Disaster Recovery – Option to have another set of hardware on standby

When you should start looking
at Jira DC

The Jira Server should be sufficient for most users until you encounter one of the scenarios below:

  • your existing Jira issue count is hitting a million
  • you are growing at 20,000 issues per month
  • there is a need for high availability (HA) or disaster recovery (DR)
  • the CPU usage for your Jira Server is peaking constantly
  • more and more users are complaining of slowness

Before upgrading to Jira Data Center

  • Can you allocate more resources (e.g. CPU and RAM) to the Jira Server?
  • Have you explored performance tuning?
  • You may want to check whether virus scanning is slowing down the system. Likewise, you can use our Attachment Checker for Jira app to limit virus scanning to file attachments
  • Have you upgraded to the latest version of Java and Jira? Do you know Jira 6.4 is 30% faster than Jira 6.3 on average? Check out 5 Things to Know for Scaling Jira Performance

What are the considerations

Licensing Costs

  • Jira Software Data Center is an annual term license. That is to say, you need to renew annually to continue using it
  • The pricing is based on user tiers and does not have any limit on the number of servers or CPUs
  • There is a discount for upgrading from Jira Software Server to Jira Software Data Center
  • If you are only setting up a cold-failover server, you can use a free development license without additional cost


  • The apps must be with Data Center compatible
  • If you are moving from Jira Cloud to Jira DC, this could be tricky

Cloud Option

Atlassian is also launching Jira Enterprise Cloud which you can find out more from the differences between Free/Standard/Premium/Enterprise for Jira Cloud.

Recommended Strategy

For those who do not need HA setup, we recommend the following strategy

  1. Start with Jira Software Server
  2. Do performance tuning to stretch the limit of Jira Software Server
  3. Conduct benchmarking tests to measure the improvement with Jira Software Data Center
  4. The number of nodes to allocate depends on the number of concurrent users and the usage pattern. The following chart can be a reference on how increasing the nodes increases the number of requests handled without affecting the time taken
JIRA Data Center Performance Test

Useful Resources