Could a single JIRA instance be used for both Agile dev and Helpdesk? Or should it be split into 2 instances?

We have used JIRA for a while now for agile development with a pretty default config: standard issue types, basic workflows, standard project setup.

Now we are planning to move our general service requests to JIRA and are playing with config in a temporary borrowed instance. So far I've seen we will need to have a whole bunch of custom issue types, a couple of custom workflows, different permission schemes, different notification schemes, and a different model for "projects" (each business team will have it's own JIRA "project" as opposed to the agile model where each product under development having it's own "project").

So the question is, is it worth trying to add all the new config to our existing instance? Or should we create it in a separate instance? What are the pro's and con's of each and how do they stack up?

Can't wait to hear your thoughts :)

3 answers

1 accepted

1 vote
Accepted answer

Hey Dee!

I would recommend 2 different JIRA installations.

Of course technically it's absolutely possible to do both Development and Support/Service Desk in one installation. There are some disadvantages in doing so.

Some things in JIRA are global, like priority, resolution. Where a priority in developer can be major or blocker, in support is might be Level 1, 2 etc. When you want to include something like SLA measuring, sending mail to JIRA, it easier to do in a separate installation.

With the more recent versions of JIRA is really easy to link issues from different installation to each other. So even if you have 2 installations, it still possible to have Development work, related to support, linked to each other. Even gadget and activity stream can be consolidated.

The disadvantage of having 2 installation is mainly costs; Licenses, servers and maybe some extra administration.

So even in our company (35 people) we decided to go for seperate JIRA's. In retrospect a very good decission as nowadays our support JIRA is also available to customers.


Thanks Stefan! This is a great answer. Now I just hope I can convince the people with the money to pay for two instances. Luckily there are far fewer people working on development projects so at least one licence will be much cheaper.

1 vote

Theoretically, it is possible. JIRA is quite powerful with all its schemes and you can have two themes running in parallel.

The cons are ofcourse admin nightmare, performance etc. Most of it depends on how big an instance it is going to be.

If you have the budget to get 2 instances, that might be a simpler option. But then, you will have to buy a copy extra for all the plugins as well, if the need arises and the plugin is useful on both.

There, my 2 cents!

Thanks Jobin. I had anticipated the possibility of an admin nightmare, and but not the whole issue with multiple plug in purchasing. That's a really good point. I'll have to do a cost benefit analysis.

Hi Dhyana,

I've used JIRA for development tracking and as a helpdesk in the past and when I did I used two separate instances to keep the administration simple and to maintain them as two discrete, self-contained services.

The other advantage of having them separate was that they could be upgraded, restarted, etc. independently and avoids potential situations where the helpdesk people want an upgrade, but you can't because the dev team use a plugin that's not compatible with the version that the helpdesk want to go to.


Thanks a lot Andrew. This is a really good use case. I can see this happening, devs will probably want totally different plugins to support teams and that dependency could mean a really painful upgrade process. I've Got lots of ammo to justify two licences now.

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