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So whats wrong with the embedded database?

Atlassian says the embedded DB is only for evaluation purposes and isn't sutible for production.

Why not? I have found zero docs on why I should move to an external DB. What problems will I run into running the embedded HSQL DB? What about it makes it not production ready?

What if I have a client that has a production bamboo installation but they are still using the embedded DB. What do I tell them, move to an external DB because.... why?

2 answers

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Answer accepted
Brant Schroeder Community Leader Apr 26, 2017

When using the default HSQLDB database, you run the risk of irrecoverable data loss mainly during system crashes because HSQLDB is not transaction safe.  You can also suffer from performance issuse as the database increases in size. An external databases will most likely provide superior speed and scalability.

If you client finds those issues acceptable then there is no reason to switch.  The following information is from Atlassian's website:

Production sites should use an external database. See our guide to database configuration. When using the default HSQLDB database, you run the risk of irrecoverable data loss because HSQLDB is not transaction safe.

Corruption is occasionally encountered after sudden power loss. It can usually be corrected using the data recovery procedure documented in our knowledge base.

HSQLDB is suitable for evaluation purposes, but the risk can only be eliminated by switching databases. This is essential when you move from an evaulation to a production site. External databases may also provide superior speed and scalability.

Thanks, are there any more docs about this, I mean the possible issues with the embedded DB? Just curious

Brant Schroeder Community Leader Apr 27, 2017

Are you looking for Atlassian docs or documents in general?  

0 votes


  • it doesn't scale well for the way Atlassian applications use a database (less of a problem for things like Bamboo or Crowd, but massive for JIRA and Confluence)
  • each byte in it consumes active memory (imagine a 2GB hsql database - that has to be loaded into the JVM memory and held there in full)
  • best of all, it can (and will) fail catastrophically without any warning and you lose everything.  Everything.


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