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Why Migrate to Jira Cloud and How To Do It in Phases

Migration from Atlassian Server to Cloud is the talk of the town! But if the mere thought of migrating to the Cloud gives you sleepless nights, you’re not alone! Many people want to benefit from everything that Cloud offers, but don’t know where to start with the process.

This article, based on a recently held webinar, will guide you on simplifying the Cloud migration process and reducing the risk of data losses by migrating your Jira Server to Cloud in phases. You will also learn why you should migrate to the Cloud in the first place and other possible migration strategies.

Webinar: Why Migrate to Jira Cloud and How To Do It in Phases? 


Only interested in a specific part? Jump to specific topics in the video via the chapters below:

  • 00:00 - 01:59 | “Intro.”

  • 02:00 - 02:53 | “Is this the right time to migrate to Cloud?”

  • 02:54 - 07:14 | “Why move to Cloud?”

  • 07:15 - 11:14 | “Migration strategies.”

  • 11:15 - 15:22 | “Migration strategy: Migration in phases.”

  • 15:23 - 19:06 | “How to use Backbone to migrate in phases.”

  • 19:07 - 25:51 | “Practical steps for guiding a migration in phases.”

  • 25:52 - 27:30 | “How to use banners to inform users about the migration.”

  • 27:31 - 31:03 | “How to keep your Server/DC and Cloud instances in sync.”

  • 31:04 - 40:57 | “Wrap up and Q&A”

Interested in a deeper dive for your team? Book a demo of Backbone Issue Sync for Jira.

Is This the Right Time To Migrate to Jira Cloud?

Atlassian support for Jira Server is ending in February 2024, and new Jira Server license sales will already be discontinued from February 2023. Consequently, if you’re currently using Jira Server, the best time to start planning and migrating is now!

It takes an average of 9 months to migrate an instance with 5000+ users (≈ 6 months for 1000+ users and ≈ 3 months for more minor instances). This leaves you with just enough time to plan and execute a well-planned Jira Cloud migration.


The Benefits of Migrating to Jira Cloud

So, why should you move to Cloud? Below are some key benefits of using the Cloud based on a survey of Atlassian customers.

  • Reduced costs: The Cloud removes a lot of hidden costs in comparison to the on-premise Jira instances, such as maintenance, change management, and security.

costs of server vs cloud.png

  • Peace of mind: Updates are taken care of automatically.

  • Speed & accessibility: Better performance and easier access to data.

  • Employee satisfaction: Better UI and features mean happier employees.

why move to Jira Cloud_.png

Cloud Migration Strategies

There are different migration strategies when migrating from Server to Cloud, each with its own benefits and downsides.

Cloud migration strategies.png

The more popular ones include:

1) Start Fresh

2) Lift and Shift

3) Optimize and Shift

4) Phased Strategy

We will only discuss the Phased Migration strategy in this blog. If you’re interested in learning more about other strategies, you can read the complete blog here or watch the chapter titled “Migration Strategy” in the webinar video above.

Phased Migration

The “Phased Migration” or “Migration in Phases” strategy allows you to divide the migration process into phases as per your requirements. For example, you can migrate project by project or any other scheme.


  • Allows flexibility and customization in migration strategy.

  • Allows gathering of iterative feedback along each phase, with can improve the process for the upcoming phases.

  • Reduces the risk of data losses or a significant problem during the migration.

  • Reduces single downtimes for the involved instances.

  • Users can be onboarded gradually, affording them more time to get used to the new system.


  • Careful planning for the phases is required.

  • Working in two environments at once can lead to confusion and misalignment.

  • Configurations on Cloud and Server might drift apart during this process.

Using Backbone Issue Sync to Migrate to Jira Cloud in Phases

Most of the problems during the phased migration strategy can be circumvented using Backbone Issue Sync for Jira!

How to migrate to Jira Cloud_.png

Backbone allows you to sync Jira issues across instances seamlessly. By syncing issues from Cloud to Server and vice versa, changes made on either instance can be kept up-to-date in real-time. This makes it easier to plan and migrate projects dependent on one another.

Furthermore, Backbone’s functionality allows users to keep working on one system while the tool handles synchronizing issues on the instances. This means that the risk of misalignment between teams and data loss across instances is minimized.

Practical Steps for Guiding a Phased Migration

When actually performing the phased migration, we recommend a few practical steps.

tips for moving to jira cloud.png

  1. Freeze the server-side project so that no data is lost and no changes are made during the migration.

  2. Perform migration of the project using Atlassian’s Jira Cloud Migration Assistant (JCMA).

  3. Let your users know that the project has been migrated, and work should be done on the Cloud now. Ideally, you should set up a banner on that project for better visibility and internal communication.

  4. Keep the frozen Server project in sync with the migrated Cloud project using Backbone Issue Sync for Jira. This allows your users to stay on only the Cloud project while Backbone synchronizes the changes made to the Server, which keeps both instances in sync without needing manual updating.


Thankfully, it is still not too late for you to migrate to Jira Cloud! Although moving to the Cloud sounds daunting, it offers many advantages, including the latest updates and apps, better collaboration, and lower costs.

In addition, you can use the phased migration strategy to circumvent the risks and complexities of Cloud migration. And with the help of Backbone Issue Sync for Jira, you can ensure your journey to the Cloud is smooth and incident free!

If you are interested in learning more about how Backbone can help in your phased migration to Jira Cloud, check out the page linked below or sign up for a free demo.

Use Backbone To Migrate to Jira Cloud 




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Michaela Mayer _K15t_
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
January 17, 2023

Nice overview! 🤩💡

Like # people like this
Britta Neugebauer _yasoon_
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
January 18, 2023

Very good article! Thank you @Umer Sohail _K15t_ !

Like # people like this
Umer Sohail _K15t_
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
January 30, 2023

Thanks @Britta Neugebauer _yasoon_ and @Michaela Mayer _K15t_  for the appreciation! 

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