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Atlassian on LINUX

We are contemplating switching from Windows to Linux, hoping to resolve some performance issues and weird stuff that happens when we upgrade. 

Has anyone else done this? Advice ? 


For work I have been managing Unix and Linux systems for about 20 years. For at least 8 years I have also been working on Atlassian installations on Linux environments. Surely if you choose to abandon Windows to switch to a real operating system, you have already purchased 90% of productivity in general. And certainly Atlassian's programs also benefit from it. Take this step and put Windows behind you forever. As a database server I suggest PostgreSQL compared to MySQL, certainly both valid compared to the very slow Microsoft SQL Server.

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OK, I worked very hard to be neutral and polite in my other reply, but...

  • If you don't have to run on Windows, there's a lot of reasons not to. And
  • If you *can* run on Linux, there's a lot of reasons to do that.

There's a reason I haven't run Windows myself for anything but games since '03. BUT, during that same time I managed recovery of development of a product that was on Windows only, which only made sense as a product on Windows. (Also, another product on a ruggedized Linux appliance, which similarly made sense as a product choice.)

Net, "it depends" but for a packaged app from a vendor -- like Jira from Atlassian -- I'd put it on the least vendor-encumbered platform I could manage, closest to the mass of what they ship and use.

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Hi Stephanie,

Answers (and I'm going to commit a couple heresies). Net:

-- "Linux" or "Not Micro$oft" is a solution. Understand what problem you are solving, and why you believe that'll help. Your main problem is knuckleheads pushing work and regressions at your use of your apps (mainly via forced, and often silent "updates") because what they're pushing is "better" some other way. (I have my own opinions about forced updates and worse that occur on their own initiative.)

Some platforms are more work to wrangle and keep up with than others. If you separate the learning curve from doing stuff Linux is way less work. Why is it that Amazon (Google, Oracle, DigitalOcean, who am I forgetting?) provide hosted virtual Linux instances internally on Linux?=

-- Move to apps hosted on Linux is a candidate solution, that you think will get you more transparency,  broader range of responses to problems w/ better control, and some performance improvements in operations. (Yr probably right if you have the right species of smarties on tap.)

-- Listen critically to the story of how hosting, licensing, updates, and product road map play out in the platform & stack, vs the tech road map for your world over several years. For Jira, current architecture, you mostly care about five pieces (the remaining being relatively minor noise) the OS, the DBMS (PostgreSQL, one hopes), the Java run-time, the server app ("Confluence" or "Jira", etc.) and the client browser.

While you're thinking this through, as the The X-Files taught us: "Trust No One."

-- Atlassian products are pretty well-behaved browser-based clients.

-- Server-side, Atlassian tools run just fine on various Linux if you know enough to give the app what it needs. Doesn't hiccup on the named supported platforms unless you did some hackery to the vanilla installs.

-- The Big Deal(tm) is sever-side Java compatibility, which is a universal problem based in competing update mechanisms crossed with "Who gets to decide what real Java means?" Whatever you run on, you'll have to pay attention to that for at least the next few years.

-- I find Linuxes a more transparent & flexible, but, you have to know the tools n architecture to do it, and like the movie says: "With great power comes great responsibility."

-- As a strategy, the closer you can get to the main mass of your vendors' customers and own use, the more their solution will "just work" for you. Last I knew Atlassian hosts cloud app services on PostgreSQL on Linux (CentOS, AIR), on Amazon cloud services.


I've used Linux as my desktop since '03, hosting "server" Confluence and Jira since about '15 (with some hacking around before that.) Wrangled, built on, planned, and consulted-to IT infrastructure n service architectures on and off for a long time, in pretty much every stack n configuration you can name.

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Thanks ! 

My DevOps Atlassian guy is begging to go to Linux (Im the PM for Atlassian here & configured the system on the UI side, but do not touch server side stuff) and of course management is asking "Why?"

This is great justification - but also curious (for PM reasons of course) if there are any anticipated obstacles or issues encountered in making the switch :-) 

Thanks !

Yr welcome.


My DevOps Atlassian guy is begging to go to Linux...

Well, I think that makes him wise. BUT -- here's a PM hack -- find out why, in terms of operationalized anticipated gains for people who aren't him.

"LInux is easier for DevOps guy." is great for him, but, in truth, we don't really care. Maybe the rest of us do less waiting around for him to wrangle a problem into submission; get more new stuff faster because he's doing less ad-hock platform-wrangling. That we care about. So does your management.

There's a lot of resume-driven development in computing, particularly in architecture and component choices. Like: "Linux must be the better platform for us, because -- um -- the last three Tiobe surveys said it was the new hotness in platform admin skillz."

Hmmm. Who's picking that way for, again? Don't be that guy. Don't look like you are that guy, either. (Maybe you and DevOps guy work together to position the gains for the non-nerds in their own terms.)


Management is asking "Why?"

Probably because they're sensitized to resume-driven architecture or component choices. Good for them.

Talk gains first; end with losses avoided. Gains:

  • Hardware costs n gross performance are pennies.
  • Internal IT ops costs and capabilities are dimes.
  • External business-ops impacts are dollars. "We'll get support, features, and integrations sooner and better, being on the platform they build on first. Besides, we'll turn-around outages faster because the platform is just easier to wrangle. To the business, that's worth eighty-kabillion quatloos every micro-instant."


  • "Windows isn't what they're built on or ship on first. We'll always be a bit off the ranch if we run on Windows for the server. Besides, whatever Micro$oft is pitching, they have a history of making competing products work less well on their platform, and I don't see that changing. So, unless you want to eventually be forced into Sharepoint..."

...any anticipated obstacles or issues encountered in making the switch

  • Data migration generally goes clean as it's through the app, or DBMS. If you're switching DBMS at the same time, well... (I'd do that as a two-step, myself.)
  • I already mentioned the Java-wrangling.
  • Integration with network, IT infrastructure, and workgroup services will be different. Crossing platforms adds an integration.
  • There are *some* document format compatibility issues from time to time. (Because office document formats are a standard now, which literally no doc tool robustly supports. Don't get me started.)

In principle everybody's implementation, admin, and monitoring "integrates" everybody else's. In practice they all make it work better with their own stuff. "It works with that." means "You can make it work with that."

Then watch out for pushed updates, that "break" your integration with them. (I have the most lovely story about one of the name-brand webby companies doing this with one of their *iconic*, *self-identified core and strategic* integration APIs. Not lovely because the event is unusual, but because it's so clear and blatant. Net: Pay attention to what business they're actuallyin. And trust no one.)

Any concerns with running Oracle 12C DB on Linux for Atlassian? (remember I am not that technical, but will provide answers to my tech-guys)

With a paid license, you can ask that directly in the product support forums -- you'll get a better answer.

Meanwhile, maybe sit with your tech guy and make a compatibility matrix for your world.

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