jira7-migration - Newbie Questions

Hi everyone

I have some general questions about the whole process of upgrading JIRA to 7.0.

We started using JIRA last year and we currently have version 6.4.11. Since we've started working with JIRA, we've found a couple of plug-ins we wanted to install, all which require the newest version of JIRA (7.0). Usually I would think that software should (almost) always be updated to the newest version, so I want to do the same with JIRA.

First of all: Is this the wrong way to think about JIRA? Can we keep using 6.4.11 forever (if we can live without the plug-ins) or is it recommended to upgrade?

Second question: We use JIRA as a database for books, with various data about bound to each book(issue). Each issue has a lot of individual data and some attachments. If I upgrade, can I be sure that no data/information/attachment is lost?

Third question: How is the whole process of updating? We have a cloud instance, so I suppose we would have to download some sort of update and run it locally? Or do we order it from Atlassian, who then update our server/instance?

Fourth question: What does it cost? Or where can I look up what it will cost? Is it a new license or is it included in the license we already have?

Lastly, I'm sorry if these questions are too broad/basic for this forum, but I've been looking around for a while and haven't found an answer.


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  1.  You could stick with 6.4.11 forever, even with an expired licence.  But it will eventually fall out of support if you do.  While 6.4.11 is quite recent and it's supportable, I'd always recommend an upgrade.  Especially as you'll be able to use the add-ons you want!
  2. You won't lose anything.  Some functionality changes, and the data changes shape, but you won't lose anything (and one part of an upgrade is always "keep a backup")
  3. Er, then you're not on 6.4.11.  Cloud is upgraded for you, every time.  That's on 7.2 now, not 6.4.11.  If you want to run it yourself, then you can export download and import the data on your own server.
  4. Nothing.  Cloud updates are part of the service you're paying for.  The Server licence covers any version of JIRA released before the expiry date on it.  Your Server licence can be used for 4, 5, 6 and 7.1 (technically further back, but I wouldn't bother).  If, for example, Atlassian release 7.2 in mid-March, but your licence expires today, you won't be able to use 7.2, but you can still upgrade to 7.1 (even after it expires)

Hi Nic
Thanks for the quick and thorough answer!

There is no doubt we should upgrade. Is it a long process? As in, can we expect JIRA to be updating for several hours?(Uptime is not that critical, it can be down for a day, without causing too much trouble)

I found the quide on: https://confluence.atlassian.com/adminjiraserver070/upgrading-jira-applications-749382701.html abit confusing. We are running Mac OS, but do I really need to upgrade via the fall-back method? It seems a bit complicated. Is there no way the updating process can be done a bit more automatic? Like updating most other software.

Again, thanks for the help!

The problem with the upgrade is not the software.  You can just install the latest version and it'll work.  The problem is the database structure changes, and the data needs to be migrated.  In most cases, such as 5 to 6, or 6.low to 6.higher, the changes are not huge and the migrations can be done using the "quick" method, but the jump from 6 to 7 is a bit more complicated. 

The failback method Atlassian recommend in "failback method" is designed for a production system and to leave you with a working old system if the upgrade goes wrong, so you can just swap back to it.  The process is written in a system-agnostic sense as well - the principles in there try to cover all the various ways all sorts of different people may have their systems configured - I'd say only 20% of the clients I've worked with could use any form of off-the-shelf "automatic upgrade", although that percentage is over many years, and more recently, it's heading towards 80%.

Technically, all you need to do is step 4 in that document - that's the upgrade.  But if you do just that and it goes wrong, you won't have anything to go back to, and worse, you might not be able to rescue anything!  So you MUST think about a full set of backups and your overall process.

Hi Nic

Seems like we have to do it with a backup, my boss would literally kill me if we lost any data.

I'll talk with the IT firm who originally introduced us and set up our JIRA, maybe they can help us upgrade - since following the guide seems a bit to complicated for me and my colleague.

Thanks for all the help!

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