When do you move JIRA Server to JIRA Data Center

A frequently asked question by JIRA users or those who are evaluating JIRA.

It is not uncommon that they may be wondering whether they will need to use JIRA Data Center. Thus, we are sharing our experience with JIRA Data Center in this post which hopefully 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 achieved with a cluster of servers to share the workload from incoming requests through the use of a load balancer. Each node is a complete JIRA instance with its own index.

JIRA Data Center Reference Architecture

What are the benefits of using
JIRA Data Center

  • Performance – Faster performance with load being distributed across the various nodes
  • Increased users – A 2-node JIRA Data Center cluster was able to support two times the no. of
    concurrent users with the same response time compared to a single JIRA Server 
  • High Availability – With active-active clustering, users are guaranteed uninterrupted access in
    event of hardware failure as they will be seamlessly redirected to an active node automatically
  • Instant scalability – Additional nodes can be added in real time
  • Disaster Recovery – Option to have another set of hardware on standby

When you should start looking
at JIRA Data Center

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
  • your are growing at 20,000 JIRA issues per month
  • there is a need for high availability or disaster recovery
  • the CPU usage for your JIRA Server is peaking constantly
  • more and more users have started complaining of slowness

Before upgrading to JIRA Data

  • Have you allocated more resources such as CPU and RAM to the JIRA Server?
  • Have you explored performance tuning?
  • Have you checked if the slowdown is caused by virus scanning? You can use our Attachment
    Checker for JIRA
    add-on 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

  • License Cost
    • JIRA Software Data Center is an annual term license. Thus renewal is required to continue using it
    • The pricing is based on user tiers and does not have any limit on the number of servers or CPUs

      Annual Price
      Up to 500 users US$12,000
      501 to 1,000 users US$24,000
      Up to 10,000 users US$24,000 for every 1,000 users
      Next 40,000 users US$24,000 for every 5,000 users
      More than 50,000 users US$450,000
    • 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
  • Compatibility
    • The add-ons must be data center compatible
    • If you are moving from JIRA Cloud to JIRA Data Center, this could be tricky
  • Cloud option
    • You need to have your own hosting infrastructure as there is no Data Center option for hosting with JIRA

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 no. of nodes to allocate will depend on the no. of concurrent users and the usage pattern. The following chart can be a reference on how increasing the no. of nodes increases the no. of requests handled without affecting the time taken

JIRA Data Center Performance Test

Useful resources

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