It is often said that it's not recommended to have more than 200,000 issues on one JIRA instance.
Regarding this, we've got following questions.
1) Does this mean that JIRA's performance goes down dramatically once you get more than 200,000 issues on one JIRA instance?
2) Is it possible to make JIRA more scalable by switching database? Right now we are using PostgreSQL and does it work if we change it to, say, Oracle?
The official quote is 200k - 300k, but it's never backed up by any explanation of where the bottleneck is. You should take it with a pinch of salt, many sites including mine have way more than that, although you need to tune often.
IMHO you won't get any benefit from switching to oracle, probably the opposite.
To support what Jamie says, most of the instances I've worked on are way over 200k, and are mostly working fine.
Things that do help when the systems start to struggle - better hardware, tuning the users (getting them to stop hitting it with hundreds of large xml queries or downloads), tuning the memory, and upgrading Jira. Where I inherited a 3.10 system which was struggling with 600k issues, the upgrade to 3.12 essentially fixed it until it hit 800k-ish. 4.0 helped again. One trick I've seen on a site with an even bigger list was to rewrite the indexing function so that it dropped "archived" issues (a rule like "closed for over a year"). Means you can't search or report on those issues properly, but it made the system a lot more responsive.
As for the database, don't change. I've run Jira on several types of database, and I'd thoroughly recommend PostGreSQL over all the others. MySQL is a very close second though. I've had no significant problems with Oracle (in a couple of cases migrating from MS-SQL to Oracle fixed all sorts of horrid problems), but I'd still go with PostGreSQL every time, given the choice
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