5 min read

Atlassian Cloud vs. On-Premise

Enterprises must constantly adapt and change as technology (and customer needs) evolve. If your business is to remain competitive, it has to adapt quickly and seamlessly to changes. In doing so, most companies opt for a SaaS solution. Software as a service (or SaaS) is a way of delivering applications over the Internet—as a service. Instead of installing and maintaining software, you simply access it via the Internet, freeing yourself from complex software and hardware management. The Atlassian Cloud Suite can combine the flexibility of a SaaS solution and accessibility from a decentrally hosted environment that allows enterprises to compete in this challenging market. 

As a result, many organizations are moving away from traditional on-premise or data center hosted products to the Cloud. Gartner predicts that by 2025 80% of enterprises will have migrated away from on-premise data centers in favor of Cloud infrastructure. In addition, SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions will help enterprises manage and maintain their software, even as their business evolves. 


Image Credit: Atlassian

Atlassian is gradually terminating sales and features support on February 2nd, 2021 and February 15th, 2022, respectively. Thus users will only be supported with fixes for critical vulnerabilities as of February 2nd, 2024 ending the official support for server hosted versions of Atlassian products. It’s a big change, and it can seem daunting for many organizations that need to choose whether to migrate to Cloud or data center hosted products. In anticipation of this need, Atlassian has increased its investment in the Cloud and simplified its self-managed options for organizations that are still in the process of becoming Cloud-ready. 

This article will explain the differences between the two offerings and provide recommendations.


What is the difference between cloud and on-premise hosted products?

Before determining which solution is the best fit for your business, let’s look at the differences between Atlassian on-premise and Atlassian Cloud deployment. 


What is Atlassian Data Center? 

On-premises software is installed and runs on computers on the premises of the person or organization using the software and is thus a self-managed deployment option that provides high levels of availability and performance. Commonly available on-premise hosted Atlassian products are Jira Software, Confluence, Bamboo, Bitbucket, Crowd, and Jira Service Management. 

Image Credit: Atlassian 

Opting for Data Center means that you will host Atlassian’s product in your own infrastructure. This allows your organization to keep your data within your own network, but it will require additional internal resources and technical expertise to implement, run and maintain Atlassian software yourself. 

It can be deployed as a single node or clustered, on your own physical hardware, or via an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) server, like AWS. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is a Cloud computing service that offers essential compute, storage, and networking resources on-demand, on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Data Centers are a good option if you have business requirements that prevent your organization from moving to the Cloud, such as security compliance or if your product data is mandated to remain in a self-managed environment. In addition, Atlassian Data Center offers numerous cleanup features that will help optimize and ready your data for future Cloud migration. 


What is Atlassian Cloud?

Atlassian Cloud allows companies to access information securely over the Internet without using a virtual private network or VPN. Products are highly secure, always-on, connected, and regularly updated to allow teams to collaborate while easily reducing costs and increasing efficiencies. Atlassian prioritizes the development of its Cloud products; hence new exciting features are available on Cloud First. Additionally, Atlassian provides the ability to specify where data and content are hosted with Data residency, available for standard, premium and enterprise tier customers.

Companies should move to the Cloud to make the best of their Atlassian investment and future-proof their business. The Cloud offers enhanced security, greater reliability and ease of management and accelerates innovation. Businesses can improve their speed to market and their ability to make and act on critical decisions by taking advantage of the newfound agility in the Cloud. Migration will give users access to a host of new features, improvements, integrations and improved capabilities as soon as they are rolled out. 

The Cloud platform eliminates the need for manual upgrades and maintenance, allowing organizations to focus on their core business and IT operations. It can dramatically reduce operational and hardware costs because maintenance, compliance, and security are built-in. Data is protected with encryption both in transit and at rest. Additional safety measures are included, such as mobile device management and IP allow lists (whitelists). Access controls include SAML SSO, multiple authentication policies, and SCIM user lifecycle management. As Atlassian is officially able to comply with the outsourcing regulations of the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) through a signed EU-FSA, this measure has now been realized for the benefit of affected financial services customers.

Accordingly, Atlassian is authorized to unlock EU financial services customers who have specified EBA and/or BaFin compliance as a Cloud blocker by offering the EU FSA their Atlassian Subscription Agreement. Thus making Cloud-hosted products a reasonable fit for businesses relying on operating within the frame of a compliance agreement.

Suffice to say that Atlassian has recognized the inevitability of the Cloud transition and has invested the vast majority of their Research and Development (R&D) budgets in Cloud developments, and innovative businesses need to get on board to take advantage of the technological advances they roll out. You can learn more about your migration options here.

  On-Premise Cloud
Pros - High performance at scale

- Security and compliance in a self-managed environment

- Cleanup features to optimize data for future Cloud migration
- No maintenance

- Access to best of breed security updates at all times

- Complete mobility for teams 

- Reduce expensive IT workforce requirement 

- Accelerate digital transformation, and improvements
Cons  - Requires internal resources and expertise to manage 

- Requires ongoing maintenance

- Expensive 
- Compliance requirements may prevent a speedy transition to the Cloud for some organizations 


The benefits of the cloud

The Cloud isn’t merely a differentiator for enterprises. It’s a critical foundational requirement for businesses that want to compete in a fast-moving environment. Here are some of the most crucial and attractive benefits that Cloud technology offers:

The cloud frees up/reduces the need for internal IT resources

The most significant difference between Atlassian’s Cloud and on-premise implementations is the Cloud dramatically reduces IT costs and the need for internal IT resources. On-premise solutions require purchasing hardware and near-constant attention to address ongoing administrative and infrastructure issues. The Cloud frees up internal IT teams to focus on business-critical issues instead because upgrades, security, maintenance, and compliance requirements are built into the solution. 


The ability to collaborate, from anywhere

Let’s face it: the global workforce has changed dramatically in the last few years, and the trend will reverse soon. Atlassian’s Cloud solutions are ideally suited to a modern, remote and globalized workforce as they can be accessed from any browser or mobile app, anywhere in the world, without using a private network. Unlike on-premise server solutions, the Cloud enables collaboration and convenient file-sharing options that automatically sync and save files in real-time. 


The cloud offers scalability and flexibility 

Atlassian understand that business’ needs fluctuate over time - and sometimes, unexpectedly. The Cloud gives enterprises the ability to scale up or down and adapt to changes as they emerge without compromising on reliability. Storage space and inventory are handled by Atlassian, offering seamless transitions and additional resources whenever it is required. 

Access to best-of-breed security 

Data is precious, and security breaches can be devastating to modern enterprises. Maintaining security and compliance standards with limited IT resources and expertise can be extremely challenging. Atlassian Cloud offers state-of-the-art security, including backup and data recovery solutions, that are constantly updated to protect businesses against even the most sophisticated cybersecurity threats. 


Features and development

Atlassian provides various new and exciting features as they prioritize the development of Cloud products. Features such as Automation for Jira or Jira Work Management are built-in and ready for use right out of the box. 

Furthermore, Jira Cloud ships with native Roadmaps and Insight Asset Management. Service Management Teams are happy to rely on Opsgenie to set up and optimize Alert Management, thus keeping their business on top. Opsgenie is just one of the products not available in the data center. 

The Cloud offers essential tools like Jira Work Management, Statuspage, Halp, Trello and Atlassian Access, which are unavailable for data center clients. 


The first steps to realize the cloud migration

Whether you plan on moving to the Cloud immediately or opt to use on-premise solutions while preparing for your own Cloud migration, you will need experts to help navigate these complex changes. While the Cloud will reduce the burden on IT teams significantly, implementation and planning will benefit from the guidance and knowledge of Atlassian solution experts. 

As such, venITure will help you with your transformation, including tailoring the Atlassian Cloud Suite to meet your needs, providing advanced support and training to internal administrations, and helping you migrate your on-premise implementations to the Cloud. If migrating to a Cloud-hosted environment might present itself as a viable option for you currently, venITure can help you migrate to a data center hosted environment and/or further optimize your system.

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