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What is the overall 'profile' of number of users per installed instances of Jira?

For us Jira Admins/experts trying to parse the best practices based on generic advice from Atlassian and Community can be a bit tricky and misleading since if you are an admin for a 100-user instance, the best practice for you is a LOT different than if you were on a team of Admins managing 1,000 users or 10,000 users.

I am using "number of users" here as a simplified metric, of course.

When I see Admins responding to questions/blogs here I've realized that what is right for one person is wrong for the next person reading it.  The same applies for much advice come Atlassian - a lot of it probably comes from the Marketing/Product side of the house vs technical ;-)

It would be useful for Atlassian to publish to us the overall profile of #licenses per instance.  I am sure the Sales department and/or Product department at Atlassian has this info or some approximation.  Any thoughts?


P.S.  I have doing Jira admin for a long time...


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Hi Rodney,

I believe your premise to be inaccurate. You stated, "if you are an admin for a 100-user instance, the best practice for you is a LOT different than if you were on a team of Admins managing 1,000 users or 10,000 users." This statement indicates that scalability is not part of best practice and that is where I believe the flaw is.

As someone who as been admin on multiple 10k+, and many sub-100, user instances, I do not see any difference in administrative activities because I configure my instances to offload much of the work to the source of truth for users or some bit of automation somewhere. To put it simply, user count does not affect how much administrative effort per user I exert.

As someone who has been admin on hundreds of server, data center, and cloud instances, I can confidently say that it is rare to find two instances that are the same. This single item invalidates the possibility that anybody could come up with a single way to manage users in all instances and it explains the variability you are picking up on. To be honest, my take on this variability is that it is necessary because a given Jira admin will likely never find an example of their exact user management case and must collate/aggregate examples in order to approximate their user case sufficiently to understand what their instance needs.

Re: License per instance - Atlassian will likely never publish license data publicly as it may go against contracts with their customers and definitely shows their hand. They do offer some high level data around it, but it is mostly shared internally and is occasionally shared with Atlassian Partners. I'm sure you're right about the data existing, but your hope for it to be shared is misplaced.


Hi Joshua,Thanks for your response.
I think you misunderstood the assumption behind my statements, probably because I was not explicit enough.
Sure, if you and I were admining these different sizes of Jira, we'd do about the same things out of our knowledge of best practices, and habit.  But I am not referring to what you and I would do, as presumably consultants coming into an org, but rather what org does from their perspective.

If person X was a Jira admin for a sub-100 user company, my premise is that X would be doing it is as a side-job besides maintaining e.g. AD, Office 365 etc. or alternatively a Software/Systems Engineer.  If person Y were the Admin of a 500 user system, Y might be the only Admin on the "Atlassian team" (and be a "Professional Jira Admin" like you and me) and the organization barely pays attention to Y's job and tells Y every week that they need a new project or a new custom field etc.    Something bigger and there is some kind "Agile Transformation" happening and people start to take things seriously and hires persons A, B, C etc. and do a lot of planning (hopefully) and probably bring in consultants for a few months... and therefore probably get a clue beyond the hype.  

I've worked as consultant to various companies.  The smaller instances don't tend to have the budget to have "Professional admins" who know what they are doing beyond the basics - and it does really matter because e.g. doing things that don't scale has no consequences.
For medium-sized instances you better have qualified admins on staff... and if you want grow or migrate instances.... oof!

I generally don't care all that much for certifications but believe that, ideally, there should be a recommendation for having a certified/professional admin/s for different "sizes" of Jira just like there are for num custom fields etc.

As an example, I was just reading, again, the recent blog post about "Next-gen" projects being renamed to "Team Managed".  During these 2.5 years that it has been badly-named, only real Jira admin experts would know that Next-gen is something to generally something to stay away from (you really need to know the limitations...). 

Too bad Atlassian probably won't show their hand on the instance distribution, even slightly obfuscated.  There is no reason they need to indicate any particular customers.

I know Atlassian has a tough job marketing to all these different sized customers, so I don't mean to sound too harsh... but I am pushing for improvement here. 

Again, thanks for your response.

Hi Rodney,

I believe my prior point stands. Every instance and organization is too different for Atlassian to tell all of its customers how to handle their business. A recommendation from Atlassian is an over generalization, at best, and will not land for most of their customers. I would recommend Atlassian doesn't do that and instead offers support and a partners to assist those organizations that require it. Fortunately, that is what we have. Cheers!

Like Petter Gonçalves likes this

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