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Why did you choose enterprise over cloud

Brant Schroeder
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November 22, 2020

Why are you running enterprise over cloud?  Is it due to cost, security, compliance, etc.  We are looking at both options now and are wondering why individuals are using enterprise over cloud.

 

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Lawrence Smith November 22, 2020

For my company it was because most of the plugins we needed weren't supported in Cloud at the time.

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Brant Schroeder
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November 22, 2020

Thanks

Lawrence Smith November 22, 2020

We also integrated Jira into a couple of our internal applications which is easy from a networking and security aspect when the instance is on premises.

It would have been a nightmare to try and replicate the same functionality on a Cloud instance - and that's if it was even possible.

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jairo cabello November 22, 2020

It's a matter of scalability (of company processes) and adaptation.

If your company can adapt to the way Atlassian hopes you'll use the tools, cloud is the way to go.

But in many cases, we have to adapt the tools to processes that already exist. In this situation, the fact that enterprise has a really powerful API allows for a really big amount of personalization that cloud can't provide, at least now.

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Chamara November 23, 2020

We have few reasons to stay in enterprise;

1. Most of the plugins we use are not cloud compatible yet

2. We have number of in-house developed plugins which can not be used in cloud

3. Database access- number of back-end reports are generated by accessing DB. this is not possible in cloud

4. It is difficult to maintain Integration with internal applications

5. System file modification is not possible where we have applied few hacks to  overcome some limitations in apps

This may change in the future with  the development of Atlassian Cloud,

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Benjamin Horst
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November 24, 2020

In advance: we have been using Jira and Confluence for >10 years now. Both is running on-premise. A few years ago Atlassian Cloud offerings just didn't scale for bigger companies, so we didn't have much of a decision process when we set them up. 

So my perspective is currently "Why not switch to the Cloud?". I will split this into "general hassle when moving to another system" on the one hand and to "Cloud/DC specific points" on the other.

Cloud/DC specific points and why we won't move to the Cloud

  • Update (March 2023): this point is not completely valid anymore if you pay for Premium or above
    In Cloud I have no option to delay an update if Atlassian should decide to throw unready stuff at me. In my biased completly personal perspective the new Jira issue view in Cloud is a great example.
    For us Jira is a support tool. It is there and it has to work. While the new view will likely be an exciting piece of work when it's done, I fear that I have to train users after every iterational improvement of it. In DC I can delay such an update for a few months and hopefully work with a more mature version.
  • Update (December 2023): this still hurts, but we decided to move anyway. We can rollback our database to the minute. If my system breaks at 5:30, I can roll back to 5:29 and start from there. To my information, rollbacks of your system can only be done on a daily base. Official statement by Atlassian about their cloud offering "Atlassian cloud sites don't support the use of backup data to roll back changes." (see here: https://confluence.atlassian.com/cloud/data-storage-faq-873871367.html)
  • While there's smaller plans like standard, in enterprise environments you will have to use the higher tiers. Not just because of the storage limits. See below. 
  • Update (December 2023): some services will be cut, when moving to the Cloud. Or we will develop services to cover the system. A public on-premise Jira (Server/DC)  instance can integrate with cloud services as well as with our on-prem services. Some of them have a strict policy of getting no direct connections to the Internet. 
  • Update (December 2023): After migrating Confluence to the Cloud and now taking a look at Jira, I am going to have AO table nightmares for months :) We once merged two Jira instances with some specific Add-Ons with lots of AO tables into one. It cost us a fortune. Since these Add-Ons have no equivalent in the Cloud, we'd have to merge all those tickets.
  • Update (March 2023): not valid anymore. Both Cloud and DC are equally expensive ;). Cloud is way more expensive.
  • Update (December 2023): we bought Atlassian Access. If you try to integrate from Google, you should have a good look at what Atlassian Access can do for you.. Our user base is not Atlassian internal. To use the user directories that our dev tool chain uses to reuse groups and such, I have to pay even more for Atlassian Access and add our 2FA to it as well as the user directories.
  • Update (March 2023): this has been ported down to the cheaper pricing layers. Still, User Account information data can't be pinned. In Jira Cloud I can pay (a lot) extra to have my stuff run in Europe. But my user data is still transferred into other regions when using Atlassian access (simple AWS plan, if I am correct) or even Bitbucket (Bitbucket cloud infrastructure is hosted with NTT in the US at the Ashburn, VA and Santa Clara, CA locations.). Same goes for the data of the Apps, cached content, Confluence permission data and so on. See here: https://confluence.atlassian.com/cloud/manage-data-residency-976763149.html

General hassle when moving to a new system

  • Update (December 2023): do not underestimate this point when you migrate All links in other systems to our instance would not work anymore and would have to be set up again. 
  • There's a lot of integrations in our own ecosystem. Even if we opened up all of those by pinching holes into our firewalls, we'd have to rewrite them all. 

All in all

Don't get me wrong. I am not an Anti-Cloud guy. We have a hybrid system in our company. But I can use it all if I am running on-prem. We love to use the workflow engine in Jira. It's incredibly flexible and has an API that just lacks a few minor things. This is why we use it to drive processes that are bound to be INSIDE our company. And we have a complete infrastructure that enables us to host services for the public. What Atlassian can offer us is just a step back in various ways.

A look into the future

Atlassians statement that "if you are not ready to move to the Cloud, yet, you can go for DC" makes me guess that they will be Cloud-only in the coming years. If not, then this was not a smart thing to tell your customers. 
My guess would be that in that case, we will keep using Confluence in Cloud since I don't see any solution on the market that is as mature and feature rich as Confluence.

But we'll most likely move away from Bitbucket if it's Cloud-only and will compare Jira Cloud to other tools, since we have to rewrite most of our integrations anyway. After a first rough check, moving Jira to the Cloud is about as much hassle as moving a part of our Jira data to another product on the market, leaving our Jira Server/DC instance for legacy projects until it dies. So I'll sure have to make comparisons there.

From a business view ..

and based on the statement by Atlassian, I would recommend strongly to take a look at the risk.  If you set up an enterprise system to use a DC product. According to the aforementioned statement and seeing that they already discontinue the Server licenses there is a good chance that you will face a major migration to Cloud in a couple of years. Either Cloud is for you or you will have to look around for other vendors.

 

edit (26.4.2021): while checking if Bitbucket Cloud might be a solution for us I stumbled over: Enable two-step verification , which I think is a great option that speaks for Bitbucket cloud.
But just as I was getting excited I found this: Ability to provision users to Bitbucket Cloud repositories with SCIM . As an enterprise with about 800 Bitbucket users and a directory with thousands of groups this is an absolute blocker for me. We control access based on (organizational) teams that are automatically synched. Access is granted to a project group and we use that same group for authorization to the teams items in BB, Jira, Conlfuence, Jenkins and a couple of other CI/CD chain tools.
We have a complete team managing our IdP. I wouldn't want to create all those groups in some tool and synch them manually. In my eyes it's yet another thing that blocks me from seeing the Atlassian cloud as an enterprise option for us.

 

edit (22.12.023): didn't update this for a while. We have made the decision to the Cloud. The main reasons were

a) Feature and roadmap comparison Cloud/DC. On the one side: when it comes to new features or smooth integrations, DC seems to be a dead end. Reading the roadmap on DC last year felt like "Oh, you chose DC because you want security, then you get 80% security updates". And the answer to  "will this feature be ported from the Cloud to DC?" was pretty much always "no" or "we will see". On the other side: To make it positive: I seriously like where the Features in the Cloud are going. And they are moving fast. Working in the Cloud is pretty smooth most of the time and I like the different Jira views, Confluence Whiteboards and such.

b) reduction of maintenance tasks (at least we thought that until we started trying to integrate Atlassian Access with Google.. but that's a different story). On-Prem you can adapt Jira to all your needs in every smooth or dirty way and integrate with everything using the REST API. And we did a lot of it. This led to an increasing load of maintenance work. With the Cloud we will sure develop our own Forge Apps for some additional functionality. But we'll keep it down to a minimum. This way we aim to have more time to do the consulting work for new processes, projects and spaces.

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Chamara November 24, 2020

Great explanation !

Atlassians statement that "if you are not ready to move to the Cloud, yet, you can go for DC" makes me guess that they will be Cloud-only in the coming year.

I'm under the same impression.

Brant Schroeder
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November 24, 2020

Thanks for the insights, greatly appreciated.  

Mirek
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February 3, 2021

Yes a lot of valid points @Benjamin Horst 

Sharon Helms
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February 23, 2021

Thanks for this thoughtful response -- really helpful!

Hana Kučerová
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March 20, 2021

Thank you!

Kishan Sharma
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July 28, 2021

The user base is definitely one of the reason, well articulated points @Benjamin Horst , thank you!

Dave Liao
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January 22, 2021

@Brant Schroeder - hi Brant! Curious, how did your comparison turn out (if you can share)?

If you're still looking, have you considered Cloud's various plans (Standard, Premium, Enterprise) and features against your organization's needs?

Brant Schroeder
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February 2, 2021

Yes we have.  Thanks

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Dave Liao
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February 2, 2021

Glad to hear!

Alexander Bondarev
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February 22, 2021

I enjoyed reading the discussion, thanks everyone for the detailed and helpful answers!

Fadoua
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February 24, 2021

For us it is more because of compliance that's why the company decided to go with DataCenter.

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Fabienne Gerhard
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March 3, 2021

Thanks for this interesting Discussion - I think many SMEs are struggling according this decision.

Would love to hear the exact discussion of people in 1 and 2 years again.

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Rob Horan
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March 4, 2021

For my 2 cents, for some, the lack of compliance is a deal breaker for Cloud.  Some believe that the cut off of new server licenses should not even have been considered until compliance such as HIPAA and FEDRAMP were actually in place.  Are they on the roadmap?  Sure.  Are they on the roadmap for the near future?  NOPE. So with no compliance in Cloud and prohibitive costs in DC some prospective customers are finding alternate solutions.

On a side note, why else Enterprise Confluence over Cloud?  Working with images is a nightmare in Cloud, the table editor lacks the same features as server/DC, the UI is blindingly white, and there is no way to set alpha sort on pages in a space in a way that sticks.

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Huwen Arnone _Deiser_
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July 30, 2021

This is a very insightful thread, @Brant SchroederI'm basically starting to really interact with the community, and this offers interesting answers. Thanks!

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Rob Horan
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July 30, 2021

If you use Team Calendars there are two issues which, for my 2 cents, are absolute deal breakers in the cloud.  Bear in mind, the only way (as of now) to migrate TC data is by ICS export and import.

1 - ICS export is broken.  The "who" information for events is not exported.  There is a bug filed for it, but since it's been 3 years since filing I'm not holding my breath on a rapid fix.

2 - the Cloud UI does not show "who" information, even for new items.  You can't even get this on hover - you need to explicitly click on each item you need information for.  When you're trying to get a lot of information at a glance, especially when you've grown accustomed to this on server, this is a severe loss of funcitonality.

Also - if you are a Jira Service Management user, note that in the cloud, you cannot add attachments to or remove attachments from JSM projects as you would any other project.  You must add them via comments, which not only is more time consuming, it is also much riskier, as it is very easy to make a mistake and expose information to customers that they should not see.

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Paloma Fondon Araujo
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August 8, 2021

Most customers choose server instead of cloud is because some of the addons they use are not yet compatible with cloud, or are custom addons that can not be used in cloud, sometimes because they have integrations with the customer's own tools. In some cases we have found customers who prefer to have the data on their own servers...

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Dave Liao
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August 8, 2021

Thankfully more and more add-ons are offered on Cloud so customers have more of a true choice when deciding between platforms 🙂

Daniel Eads
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August 9, 2021

It's been pretty exciting to see some apps launch on Forge. Some cases of on-prem/P2 apps have been about hosting; it's easy to install a plugin file into the application and have it run directly on the instance, but difficult/impossible to have separate app hosting (such as you've needed to do for Cloud in the past). Forge lets you deploy an app on Atlassian-run infrastructure, making it really easy to just focus on the code.

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Daniel Eads
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August 9, 2021

Thanks for this interesting discussion @Brant Schroeder . I'm interested in seeing what we can help with moving forward as well - this time last year, there were several discussions across Community about data residency. At the time, residency was limited to Enterprise plans in the Cloud and only in a few regions. Adding regions was a clear need-to-do, but thanks to some of the feedback, Atlassian made the determination to include residency options in Standard and Premium plans too. Feedback is incredibly important.

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Brant Schroeder
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August 9, 2021

@Daniel Eads Thanks for that great information.  Do you have plans to offer FERPA environments? 

Daniel Eads
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August 9, 2021

It's not currently on the public roadmap, but we do have an open suggestion about it: CLOUD-11090 

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Fabian Lim
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October 2, 2021

For us it was scalability.  We have 10k licenses.

We also have key plugins that are still not available in cloud.  

Regards

Dave Liao
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October 2, 2021

@Fabian Lim - I believe Cloud supports up to 20,000 users per instance now! I remember the days when Cloud only supported up to 2,000... 😅

Yeah, I know a number of customers (ourselves included) that rely on add-ons that aren't (yet?) on Cloud.

Fabian Lim
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October 2, 2021

Thanks for the info. 

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