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Buying new license is cheaper then renewing if maintenance expired more than 14 months ago

Today I was wandering what would be the cost of upgrading our company's JIRA to v7. I've noticed, that renewal of our maintenance/upgrades period would cost 16000$ and it would extend the period only to may 2016. It seems that renewal must cover whole time from the last expiration date. That means we have to pay 8000$ to extend our maintenance period from may 2014 to may 2015... yes, pay 8000$ FOR NOTHING!, and then pay another 8000$ to extend it from may 2015 to may 2016, just to get five months of upgrade/maintenace for 16000$...

Am I the only one that thinks this is insane? Forcing a client to pay for service, that never happened seems like a fraud. Current pricing model is set purely to force you to stay on the update/maintenance period.

Why should we stay on the active maintenance? During our maintenance period we have tried support maybe 4-6 times. And less then half of responses were helpful. As a medium company, with quite large JIRA instance with a lot of plugins, we don't need and we don't want to waste time and resources for frequent JIRA upgrades. Upgrading JIRA costs a lot of time, and usually it breaks something, that costs even more time to fix. It is cheaper for us to stay a long period of time on one, stable version of Jira, and switch to newer version if it has new features worth the price. If we don't need maintenance, and we don't need to upgrade JIRA more than once in 1-2 years, therefore it is not cost-effective for us to keep our maintenace up and pay 8000$ per year for nothing.

I have counted the costs per month of renewal of expired maintenance period:


Cost of buying new JIRA license for our tier is 18000$, and you get 12 months of upgrades/maintenance, therefore the cost of one month is 1500$. To be fair I have averaged the cost of renewal per month to new expiration with cost of keeping the maintenance up (8000$/year=666$/month) to average of full 12 months, so it could be compared to buying new license. (chart that counts only active months left after renewal looks far worse: http://s3.postimg.org/3y5oqhyz7/license_cost.png). Basically any renewal cost per month that is higher than cost of new license ($1500/month) is a no-go zone.

It seems that if you your maintenance expired more than 14 months ago IT IS CHEAPER TO BUY NEW JIRA LICENSE! Considering that it allows you to have two legal JIRA instances - one with old, and one with new version - I would say that "green zone" shrinks no more than 12 months...

After counting above, I'm pretty sure that the person, who is responsible for the current pricing model clearly doesn't know what he's doing. This pricing model ENCOURAGES large companies, that cannot take risk of destabilization of system by frequent upgrading, to stay as long as possible on one version of Jira.


There is even more to that: JIRA constantly releases new versions, but the core features still have the same flaws that have had 10 years ago. Sure, Atlassian right now have one-of-a-kind product on the market, and whole policy is based on the fact that clients have no alternative to switch to. However that might quickly backfire if some new player, backed up by large investor, will appear on the market. People will turn their backs on JIRA in no time. So far the ONLY strength of JIRA is the large palette of addons developed by external companies. It is sad to look how this large potential of JIRA is wasted by the crazy marketing policy...

2 answers

11 votes
Jim Conaty Atlassian Team Dec 04, 2015

Hi Blazej,

Atlassian adopted a perpetual license model for our server products so when you purchase the license for a product it is yours forever. Renewing software maintenance is optional, but it does provide you continued access to our technical support team and new releases of the software that include product enhancements and new features. We do outline this in the Licensing & Pricing FAQ under the Software Maintenance section.

When customers renew software maintenance they are continuing to support the ongoing development of the product. If a license is renewed after the maintenance has expired, it provides access to those development efforts, which is why software maintenance is backdated to the last active software maintenance period. 

In the case when a server product has been out of software maintenance for more than 12 months, our customer advocate team will always suggest purchasing a new license as it includes 12 months of maintenance from the date the license is issued.

JIRA 7 introduced purposed built versions for business, software, and service desk teams; I invite you to view the JIRA Core, JIRA Software, and JIRA Service Desk feature comparison chart (toward the bottom of the page). If you decide to upgrade to JIRA 7, I recommend reviewing the Atlassian Migration Hub for more information then when you're ready, you can request a quote/purchase a new license from the Atlassian Store or by contacting one of our offices.

6 votes

No.  It's not insane.  If you let your maintenance lapse, that's fine, it's up to you to proceed unsupported and without upgrades.  If you don't think it's worth it, then don't do it.  It's your business decision.

Note that Atlassian have absolutely no problem with you saying "I've got an old JIRA that we didn't maintain, may we have a new licence for it".  It's worth doing that as soon as paying the lapsed maintenance cost would exceed a new licence.  I'm not sure what the fuss was about, given that most of the competition would not let you lapse (The software stops working) or force you to renew.

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