Jira Data Center: Everything You Need to Know

Definition: What Is Jira?

Jira is a highly rated agile workflow planning tool offered by Atlassian. It was originally designed for software development teams to plan, track, and release new products. Eventually, non-software teams, such as business and operations, found the tool to be effective for tracking and communicating project workflow and status, and adopted the platform. Jira offers built-in templates for a variety of use cases and can be used across an organization. 

Overview: What Is a Jira Data Center?

Jira Data Center is a solution that allows organizations to self-host Jira software or to access it through managed hosting providers like Contegix. Enterprise-size companies are among the biggest users of Jira Data Center, due to its high level of scalability and performance.

Applications:

Jira Data Center has several applications for organizations of all types:

  • Bug tracking: Jira was originally created to find, record and track bugs in software development as well as assign their fixes to team members. This application remains a strong part of its features.
  • Project management: Jira is a customizable project management system, allowing teams to create a centralized database and fully customizable Kanban and Scrum boards to create, assign, and track workflow.
  • Product management: Jira provides templates that allow teams to track product’s lifecycle, from development to release to positioning and price.

Solution Breakdown: How Does Jira Data Center Compare to Jira Cloud and Jira Server?

Atlassian offers organizations three types of software services for Jira (and other tools in its product suite), each with its advantages and limitations.

Jira Server

With Jira Server, companies host Jira software on their own hardware and customize their own setup. Jira Server is a good choice for companies that:

  • Need advanced control, and an ability to manage all of the details.
  • Have strict data hosting and location requiring.
  • Are experienced with self-hosting applications, have the ability to set up, host and maintain applications on their own servers.

Jira Cloud

With Jira Cloud, Jira hosts and sets up the Jira software in the cloud for you. Jira Cloud is a good choice for companies that:

  • Need quick onboarding, as users can start working as soon as they sign up.
  • Want to reduce costs, saving money on physical hardware, maintenance, installation and support and other hidden administration costs.
  • Work on the go, as team members can access the platform from any browser.

Jira Data Center

Jira Data Center provides the same functionality as Jira Server with additional capabilities geared toward enterprise organizations. Jira Data Center is a good choice for companies:

  • Where downtime could cause significant financial and operational consequences, such as a major loss of business or risk of regulatory fines.
  • Where performance and speed is important due to a large number of employees using the system at the same time.
  • That have evolving security and compliance needs with enhanced security (FedRAMP, HIPAA, PCI).

Benefits of a Jira Data Center:

Jira Data Center offers many advantages and features designed for enterprise organizations. 

Elimination of Downtime: In addition to scaling, the use of multiple servers means that the risk of downtime is greatly reduced due to hardware failure or overload. If a node fails, the load balancer will automatically redirect users to another active node, without noticeable downtime.  In addition, Jira Data Center upgrades its system one server at a time, which means companies won’t have downtime due to system improvements. 

Performance: Data Center auto-scales with the use of multiple servers and clusters, which means a business can grow without the need to change or upgrade to a new platform or the risk of sacrificing performance. Businesses can also dedicate nodes for automated tasks and drive remaining traffic to others to optimize service. 

Scalability: Jira Data Center lets companies easily add new nodes without downtime or service interruption. New and existing nodes are automatically synced allowing companies to scale their business without problems. 

Flexibility: Jira Data Center’s open API and ability to integrate with third party tools make it highly customizable depending on company needs. Businesses can add features and functionality without having to worry about compatibility obstacles. 

Disaster Recovery: Jira Data Center offers the ability to have a disaster recovery site located separately from production to be used when needed. If a disaster occurs, users can be redirected to the disaster recovery system.

What to Look For in a Jira Data Center Hosting Provider?

While it is possible to use your own server to run Jira Data Center, it requires a powerful computer, processor, and operating system, and can be difficult to set up. A hosting partner will optimize Jira for your business, handling mergers, migrations, upgrades, administration and performance audits so you can focus on your business.

When choosing a Jira Data Center hosting provider, you’ll want to look for a company that not only hosts the platform, but also helps optimize it, meaning it continually monitors how the Data Center is functioning and making tweaks to ensure top performance. Look for these services so you can stay focused on the success of your business instead of the complex technical hosting processes. 

Installation and Configuration: Installation and configuration are key factors when choosing a Jira hosting service. Look for a provider with a solid understanding of its set-up, installation, configuration, and migration to quickly get your system up and running.

Support and Expertise: Choose a hosting provider that understands Jira and has worked with it in the past to provide the support and services a business needs. It’s best to look for a provider that offers Jira Data Center as a specialty. 

Scalability: Jira Data Center offers seamless scalability, which means the hosting provider of your choice should also be able to scale its service as business requirements become greater or more complex. Changing providers later can cause downtime or limit a business’s ability to serve its customers.

Customization: Choose a Jira Data Center hosting provider that can help configure and customize applications to business needs to ensure that your company isn’t compromising on the full potential of available applications. 

Compliance: Finally, ensure that the hosting provider is compliant with industry regulations, such as FedRAMP, PCI DSS, and HIPAA, so it can manage even the most secure applications.

FAQ 

When should I consider upgrading to Data Center?

According to Atlassian, Jira Server customers typically need more stability when they reach 500 to 1,000 users. And 45% of current Data Center customers have upgraded at the 500- or 1,000-user tier.

Is Data Center just for Jira usage?

No, Data Center is for the entire Atlassian suite of products.

What are nodes?

A node is a single server that can be used in a stand-alone or clustered configuration. 

What is clustering?

Clustering is a collection of multiple nodes that communicate with each other to create high availability and performance.

Is there a maximum amount of nodes I can use?

Jira Data Center runs in a clustered node environment where the load balancer will automatically direct new requests to any remaining active nodes in the cluster. With Jira Data Center, there is no limit to the number of nodes you can run in a cluster.

How do I migrate from Jira Server or Jira Cloud to Jira Data Center?

First, ensure you are using the latest version of Jira Software. Create a new Jira Data Center instance from scratch, and then migrate the data to it from your Jira Server instance. Use Jira’s instructions for installation and migration. Atlassian recommends using a solution partner to migrate existing projects.

How many users can I have with Jira Data Center?

Jira Data Center supports an unlimited amount of users.

What third-party apps are compatible with Jira Data Center?

Jira can be used with a variety of supported apps. Find the complete list in the Atlassian Marketplace

What does the word “Jira” mean?

The founders chose the word "Jira" from the Japanese word "Gojira," which loosely translates to "Godzilla."