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server VS cloud

may i know what is the difference for server VS cloud version of JIRA?

in terms of installation, maintenance, accessibility.

5 answers

1 accepted

12 votes
Answer accepted

Hi there,

We're excited to share recent updates to Atlassian's cloud products since this question was originally posted.


With cloud, you get instant access to new feature releases and automatic upgrades, alleviating the need for manual work to your internal systems. Additionally, cloud now supports increased user and storage limits which can support most enterprise teams. At the time of this writing, sites can support up to 5,000 users and unlimited storage on cloud Premium plans.

Apps and extensibility

The Atlassian Marketplace offers over 1,000 apps and integrations that extend the functionality of Atlassian Cloud products. These include free integrations with leading SaaS productivity and collaboration tools like Slack and Dropbox, and subscription-based licensing of some of the most beloved server apps. In some cases, you may discover that the cloud version of a product includes functionality that is fulfilled through an app on server.  

We also have a robust set of cloud APIs, so you can build your own custom apps and integrations.

Hosting and security

Atlassian's cloud hosting infrastructure is designed to meet the product performance and reliability standards that our global customers need. Some resources that might help:

For more information on Atlassian Cloud compliance and security, check out Trust at Atlassian and our Trust FAQs.

Cost and other differences

You can easily calculate your cloud price using our pricing calculator. With Atlassian Cloud products, Atlassian handles the security, upgrades, hosting, mobility, support, and more for your sites. 

Since the hardware, database and file systems running our cloud are maintained by Atlassian, your total cost of ownership may be lower. Learn more about cost differences between our self-hosted and cloud products.

Active Directory and account management

With a subscription to Atlassian Access, you can automatically sync your Active Directory to Atlassian with Okta, Azure AD, OneLogin, Bitium, or Idaptive (formerly Centrify) at the time of this writing. Learn more about SAML SSO with Atlassian Access.

More resources

Hope this helps, and please don't hesitate to reach out with questions. 

Thank you for this analysis.  I had no idea. 

One more (totally subjective opinion): cloud seems light and quick. Relaxed, almost. "Hey, let's set up some workflows! A few clicks and we're in business!  Whee!"

The JIRA hosted in my company's data center, by contract, feels massive, clunky, and heavily encumbered by bureaucratic processes.  And heaven help me if I want to allow somebody outside the organization (like a client) to see an issue.

4 votes

Have a look at

The main reasons I see people choosing Server over Cloud are:

Connect vs Type-2 addons.  Cloud has a short, fixed list of type-2 addons you can use, Server lets you install any of them.  Connect addons are only available on Cloud.  Type-2 addons are vastly more powerful and flexible than Connect ones (but more complex to write, maintain and quite easy to get wrong if you write your own)

Scale - as Oliver mentions, there's a storage limit to Cloud.  There's also a user limit, and people wanting thousands of users must use Server (and even its big brother Data Centre for really big installs)

Speed - for some people Cloud is too slow.

Account management - Cloud only supports Cloud accounts and Google accounts.  No Active Directory or other user manangement systems can be used.

Data protection - I don't know about other areas of the world, but UK and European data protection laws make it totally illegal to use Cloud for certain purposes (mostly related to the storage of personal data)

Hi @Nic Brough (Adaptavist) ,

Thanks for your insights. Now I have a better idea of what I can suggest to my clients, especially about the GDPR law in Europe.  I think Cloud should not be recommended for data protection purposes.

I see the latest version of JIRA On-Prem includes GDPR functionality so I would assume this is Cloud as well. @Nic Brough (Adaptavist) , would this resolve the Data Protection concerns you expressed or is there still an issue here?  Thank you.

Actually, Cloud still has the problem to some extent.  We can now choose where we physically locate the service, so that problem goes away, and the core product has GDPR functions. 

But if you use any apps on top of it, you will have to check with the vendor of each app where they physically store your data, what data is stored (in case it's subject to GDPR) and whether their app is GDPR compliant if it needs to be.

Cloud version has limited capability, you can't do everything you can do in server version. You will have nearly all of core JIRA capabilities but  can't install most of the plugins on the marketplace. But it is cheaper and maintained for you. You don't have to deal with server maintenance, backup. You always get the latest version of JIRA, you always get latest security fixes immediately. 

It a give and take relationship. Some things only exist on the standalone, and some plugins are only available on cloud. The main reason for this is that the cloud version is somewhat higher than the standalone version, which means the plugins are available on the market place, but not compatible with the latest standalone versions.

For some it is important, that you have a storage limitation too:

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