Atlassian Cloud vs Data Center

Atlassian Data Center vs Cloud - What to choose and when

Atlassian Cloud or Data Center. Both deployment methods have their advantages and disadvantages. Currently, what you choose mainly depends on your requirements, the number of users you need on your systems, the security specifications of your IT-Department and the long term strategy of your organization.

Before we further discuss when to choose Data Center or Cloud, let’s first tackle the various pros and cons of each system.

Atlassian Data Center

Atlassian Data Center is a self-hosted method to run your Jira or Confluence systems. Data Centers have the feature of routing server requests through different nodes that are self-hosted. In the event of one node failing, the others are able to handle the load. A server system with different nodes would be worth the effort when an instance has 500 or more users. However, there, are occasions when there are as few as 250 users. Data Centers can save you money in the long run, especially if your company is growing quickly or you want to grow.

Using Atlassian Data Center you are able to take full control over your IT Infrastructure. This way you can:

  • Reduce downtime to a self-controlled minimum
  • Scale the required infrastructure to your requirements (on demand)
  • Full control over data protection and data security
  • Control over the updates for your system
  • Unlimited number of users

Data Centers are independent of the number of users you need for your organization. The Atlassian Cloud, on the other hand, is currently limited to 20.000 users. (They are currently testing up to 50.000 users at Atlassian.)

Atlassian Cloud

The Cloud is here, and it won’t go away. On-premise solutions are no longer an option (at least for most organizations). The question though remains, do you want to follow the trend and be an early adopter, or will you miss the opportunity to adopt future-proof technologies?

Serverless infrastructure (cloud) offers many benefits to organizations throughout the world. Additionally, Atlassian's constant work towards optimizing its product is paying off: concerns regarding security and compliance are being taken seriously and appropriate steps are being taken to close the gaps. Let's take a look at exactly why you should consider the cloud option for your business, now that you know how it works in Atlassian products:

  • 100% Availability: The Atlassian Cloud has guaranteed availability of 99,95%.
  • Faster configuration: Setup and configure new instances within just a few minutes.
  • Automatic Updates: The Atlassian Cloud receives updates as soon as they‚Äôre available. No more manual updates *????*.
  • Increased productivity: Leverage modern tools, approaches and features to your advantage and save valuable resources (time)
  • Reduced Management costs: The time for physical hardware, manual maintenance, sunk costs and upgrades are finally over. Moving to the cloud clearly saves you money by removing infrastructure costs from the equation.
  • Pay for what you use and when you use it -> cost-effectiveness

Learn more about hosting Atlassian apps here via Data Center or Cloud here.

Atlassian Cloud or Data Center - What to choose and when

Data Centers are chosen by organisations when their Atlassian applications have become "business and mission critical". Ask yourself what the costs of a system failure would be and how valuable the Atlassian applications are in your organization. In the event that your entire development team were unable to work due to a system failure, this would be particularly adverse for your business as you pay for the work generated.

In addition, certain organizations have an enhanced need for data control and privacy. Hosting your own Data Center on your own servers means you have complete control over the upkeep and maintenance of the servers, but also have full control over the data at your disposal. Companies with extensive security needs, like banks or health insurers, may find this to be a crucial factor.

Cloud is a long-term investment that allows companies to scale, improve employee productivity, increase speed, and increase innovation.

With both models - cloud and Data Center - you gain reliability, increased productivity, and cost savings. Server users who wish to continue to maintain their own IT infrastructure should consider switching to Data Center.

As you can see, both models have their advantages. In the end, the main factors of choosing cloud over Data Center are up to your requirements.

Need help evaluating the different possibilities? Our Atlassian expert will help you choose the right solution for your requirements and needs.

Get in touch with us today.

xalt_crowd_google_app_connector

How to: Configuration - Google App Connector for Crowd

The Google App Connector comes standard with Crowd from Atlassian and can be configured directly in Crowd Administration. The Google App Connector for Crowd allows you to actively use single sign-on (SSO) for your apps and open apps like Docs or Sheets from Jira or Confluence without further authentication.

Learn how to use the Google App Connector in Crowd below.

What is Single Sign-On (SSO)?

Simply put, single sign-on allows you to log into multiple apps (here Atlassian Software and Google Apps) with just one account and use them simultaneously. I'm sure you're familiar with this from apps. You log into your Gmail and can also use Google Docs or Meets at the same time.

How does SSO work with the Google App Conntector?

So in the case of Google Apps, the authentication is your Google user ID and password. Google Apps handles the SSO part with its Google Account website. 

When you sign in to Gmail in the morning, you'll be prompted to enter your authentication information on the Google Account website, which will then redirect your browser back to GMail if authentication is successful. 

Your Google Account remembers that you successfully authenticated this morning, so when you visit a Docs & Sheets page later in the day, it redirects again. This eliminates the need to re-authenticate.

In colloquial terms, it means: 

  • Authenticate: The data used to authenticate a user.
  • SSO - When you log in to one app, you don't have to log in to another app to access it (at least for a period of time in the same browser).

The great advantage of using Google as SSO solution for Atlassian Crowd is that you can configure the SSO functionality yourself. 

Learn how to configure and use the Google App Connector for Crowd here:

Configuring the Google Apps Connector for Crowd

Requirements - YOU need the Google Suite

To Single sign-on in Google Workspace you need the Premier, Education, or Partner edition of Google Workspace. The free standard version of Workspace does not support SSO. So be sure to check your version beforehand and upgrade if necessary.

Step 1: Configuration of the crowd application, directories and group details

In this step, you'll enter the Google App Connector application details into Crowd. You can manage access to Google Apps by connecting people directories and/or groups to the apps.

Atlassian Crowd Admin Console
Crowd Admin Console

9 Steps to Configure the Google App Connector in Crowd

  1. Log in to the Crowd Administration Console.
  2. Click the Applications tab in the top navigation bar.
  3. Click on the link for the application name "Google Apps".
  4. If necessary, you can change the description. Make sure that the "Active" checkbox remains ticked.
  5. Click the Directories tab and select one or more user directories that contain the users you want to have access to Google Apps.
  6. To specify which users within the directory are allowed to authenticate to the application, you can either:
    1. On the Directories tab, change the Allow all to authenticate option to True. This will allow all users in that directory to sign in to Google Apps. (The default setting is False).

OR

  1. On the Groups tab, use the Add button to select one or more user groups.
  1. Click the Permissions tab and set the directory permissions for the application.
  2. If necessary, you can change the application options on the Options tab:
    1. Lowercase output - See Forcing lowercase user names and groups for an application.
    2. Enable Aliasing - See Specifying a User's Aliases.
  3. Click on the Configuration tab and create your SSO keys as described in step 2.

Step 2: Generation of Single-Sign-On (SSO) authentication keys

To be able to link your Google Apps with Crowd, authentication keys must now be created. On the one hand, a "Public Key" and a "Private Key". To do this, go to "Configuration" in the open window and click "Create new keys".

With Atlassian Crowd you generate a public key and a private key and store them in the crowd.

Database. After the keys are created, you will see the message "DSA key generated and saved successfully".

Step 3: Configure Google Workspace and connect to Crowd

In order for Google to communicate with Crowd, the SSO must be adjusted in the Google Workspace Admin environment. Only then is authentication with Google Apps possible. 

Here's how to configure Google Apps to recognize Crowd:

  1. Sign in as an administrator in your Google Apps dashboard.
  2. Then click on 'Security'.
  3. Navigate to 'Advanced Settings'.
  4. Click on single sign-on (SSO) set up.
  5. Copy the URLs from the Crowd configuration screen (see above) and paste them into the Google Apps screen.
  6. Now upload the public key Crowd created for you in step 2 above:
    1. Now click on Browse under "Verification Certificate".
    2. In Crowd, navigate to the Google Apps configuration and download the public key by clicking the Download button next to the label Public key click.
    3. Select the public key certificate (filename DSAPublic.key) and upload it to Google Apps.
  7. If required for your network configuration, select the check box a domain-specific issuer and enter all required network masks in Google Apps. For instructions on these settings, see the documentation.
  8. Save your changes last.

Step 4: Verify that users can authenticate with Google

In the last step, it is important to verify that the Google App Connector configuration with Crowd was successful. 

Proceed as follows: 

  1. In the Crowd Admin interface and app configuration, go to the "Authentication Test" tab.
  2. Enter your login information or the login information of a test user and click on "Test".
  3. Once you've set them all up correctly, you'll get a success message and you're done.

With this, you have successfully configured the Google App Connector in Crowd and all your users no longer need to sign in to Cloud Apps individually.

Bonus Tip

The username must exist in both Google Apps and Crowd.

The username must exist and be identical in both Google Apps and Crowd. The Crowd Google Apps Connector does not support adding users automatically. If the user exists in Crowd but not in Google Apps, they will not be able to sign in.

Need help configuring your Crowd application or other Atlassian software like Jira or Confluence? You can find more information here: XALT Atlassian Services.

Atlassian Cloud vs Data Center AWS vs Azure

Atlassian Hosting: Atlassian Cloud vs. Data Center on AWS or Azure

The cloud is ubiquitous and new apps are released every day that can be used directly and on-demand and natively on the web. But this is not always what companies want. Often there are security concerns from IT administrators or lack of flexibility of apps in the cloud. Atlassian has also decided to migrate its two popular apps, Jira, Confluence, Bitbucket and Co to the cloud. As a result, both apps are still offered as data center variants. So the question is, which solution is best for your business? Atlassian Cloud or hosting on AWS or Azure?

Atlassian Software Stack on AWS or Azure

Cloud solutions on AWS are especially popular in the enterprise sector. This is not only due to the fact that with AWS you can scale your cloud at will and are thus flexibly positioned. But also because of factors like performance and availability. Furthermore, you have the possibility to host your own apps on AWS or Azure in addition to the Atlassian software products. 

Benefits Atlassian Hosting on AWS or Azure

Scalability and flexibility

Similar to the native Atlassian Cloud, data center solutions from Atlassian grow with your business. However, there are some advantages to consider here:

  • Horizontal scalability by adding additional hardware or upgrades through AWS / Azure
  • No user limitEven 5,000 or 10,000 and more are possible with Data Center on AWS or Azure.
  • No downtimeUpgrades happen in the background and cause no downtime to your Atlassian software instances.

Security with Hosting on AWS or Azure

IT security is ensured through additional measures by your hosting partner and IT department. These include:

  • Secure authentication protocols and advanced auditing.
  • Integration of SAML-SSO 2.0: Secure your web access additionally.
  • AWS / Azure Security MeasuresAdditional encryption layers, such as for all cross-region VPC peering traffic and customer or service-to-service TLS connections.
  • Full admin and database access
  • Site selection of the data centersMake sure that your data is stored in your preferred region.

Reliability and stability

  • Access to your systems is guaranteed by operating locally separated data centers in case of server failure.
  • System access even in the event of server failure: Locally separated data centers offer extended reliability in the event of server failures
  • Integrated disaster recovery: Restore your systems easily and minimize downtime

Infrastructure and operations

  • Custom Domain Name (DNS): Connect your own web domain to your Atlassian software solutions.
  • Outsource operations: turn to an external partner to manage and maintain your hosting infrastructure.

Integration and plugins

  • High availability of plugins: Most Atlassian Marketplace partners already make their plugins available (about 3,000).
  • Atlassian API: Application development, customizations and integrations possible.

For whom is Data Center Hosting suitable?

Jira or Confluence Data Center on AWS or Azure is especially suitable for larger teams that need 500 users or more and flexibility of their infrastructure. Additionally, due to the large number of apps available, few cuts need to be made when expanding instances. Additionally, Data Center is suitable for companies that need an extra layer of security and want to have full control over their infrastructure.

Managed Atlassian Hosting

Reduce operational complexity and simplify the operation of your Atlassian products such as Confluence, Bitbucket and Jira

Atlassian license management for Jira, Confluence, and more

Disadvantages of Atlassian on AWS or Azure

Despite some advantages, Atlassian Data Center on AWS also comes with some disadvantages:

  • High costs for operating and setting up the server infrastructure.
  • Especially unsuitable for smaller teams and quickly leads to high costs due to a higher user tier.
  • Operating costs increase due to the deployment of multiple infrastructure components.
  • Increased administrative costs due to more complex infrastructure.
  • Not all apps from the Marketplace providers are available for Data Center yet.

Hosting on Atlassian Cloud - Jira and Confluence 

Furthermore, Jira and Confluence are available directly from Atlassian as SaaS (Software as a Service) and are hosted directly by Atlassian. This means that they can be integrated into your company quickly and without any detours. If you have been using a Server Data Center license, Atlassian also offers free tool to migrate your Jira or Confluence data to the Atlassian Cloud.

Jira and Confluence hosted by Atlassian is available free of charge for small teams of up to 10 users and already offers a sufficient range of functions. 

Advantages of the Atlassian Cloud

Scalability: Jira and Confluence grow with your business

A big advantage of Atlassian Cloud is that both apps grow with your business. That means, depending on how many users you need for the software, the more cost-intensive it becomes. However, this allows you to keep a close eye on your costs and react to changes in your business at any time. Additionally, there is currently a user limit of 35000.

Security of the Atlassian Cloud

As already mentioned, the security of cloud solutions is a critical factor. After all, sensitive company data should only be accessible by your employees. For this reason, the Atlassian Cloud offers several security precautions:

  • Create permissions for your usersUse the integrated role function to control access permissions.
  • SSL, SSO: The cloud is secured and encrypted using TLS or SSL and can be further secured by connecting to a SAML single sign-on provider.
  • Server location selection: To achieve GDPR and DSGVO compliance and know the exact location of your data, it is possible to choose the location of the server. 
  • Password policyDefine which requirements the passwords of your users must have.

Reliability and stability

Your team needs incident-free access to your instances in Atlassian software in the cloud.

  • Cloud availabilityDepending on the expansion stage, an availability of up to 99,5% to reach.
  • UpdatesAll updates are automatically applied as soon as they are available. So no downtimes occur
  • disaster recovery: Backups are made every 24 hours and kept for 7 days to be prepared for the worst.
  • Secure recovery proceduresIf nevertheless something should go wrong, there are controlled possibilities to data rescue

Infrastructure and operations

  • Low effort and operating costs by managing the cloud through Atlassian
  • Functionality is always up to date. You always get the latest features and don't have to update on your own.

Integrations and Plugins

The Atlassian Cloud is constantly expanding. And so is the availability of Marketplace Apps.

  • At present approx. 1000 Apps available in the cloud and more are becoming available every day. 
  • Not all apps from popular providers are available in the cloud yet.

Calculate your costs for the Atlassian Cloud

Find out what the costs are to the and the company when you move to Atlassian.

Atlassian Cloud Cost Calculator

Disadvantages of the Atlassian Cloud

Despite unbeatable benefits, there are some factors to consider when using the Atlassian Cloud that can be challenging for organizations.

  • Number of usersWithout an enterprise solution, the number of users is limited to 1000. So the cloud may not be an option, especially for large enterprises.
  • Restricted Admin Access: With Atlassian Cloud, your IT department does not have direct access to the database.
  • Atlassian Cloud bound: You do not have a choice of cloud provider.
  • Plugins and integrations: Only a limited number of apps are currently available in the Marketplace.

Who is the Atlassian Cloud suitable for?

The Atlassian Cloud is primarily for smaller teams or startups that want the flexibility to have their Jira or Confluence instances and an on-demand system right at their fingertips. 

In any case, for the migration to the cloud (Data Center or Atlassian Cloud), you have a strong partner at your side who can advise you on all relevant questions regarding requirements and problems.

Do you need a strong partner at your side to help you with all your questions about migrating to the cloud? Here you will find you can find more information about migrating to the cloud and what exactly a switch from server to data center looks like.

Data security in the Atlassian Cloud

Data security in the Atlassian Cloud

An essential benefit of having your own environment and using servers is that you always know what is happening with your data and where it is stored. Data security in the Atlassian cloud is one of the core factors for many companies when considering a migration to the cloud.

However, since Atlassian is now in its cloud roadmap has announced that server products will only be supported until early 2024. Ask yourself, many companies are wondering what your options are now. On the one hand, you and your company have the choice to migrate natively to Atlassian's cloud. Or to host Atlassian products like Jira or Confluence via a data center (AWS, Azure, on-premises). Either way, you're using a cloud solution and reaping some benefits.

Want to learn more about the benefits of moving to the cloud? Our article '5 reasons to move to the cloud' goes into this in more detail.

Guaranteed data security in the Atlassian Cloud?

Depending on which system or "cloud type" you ultimately decide on, your data should be secure in any case and secured according to data protection guidelines such as DSGVO or GDPR. 

Secure data in the cloud?

A globally active company like Atlassian must of course also comply with the data protection guidelines of the EU or Germany. This means that if products like Jira or Confluence are offered in the local market, all guidelines must be followed.

Atlassian states that under significant effort, "assist customers in [complying with] GDPR-related requirements and local laws." (More about Atlassian privacy). In addition to DSGVO and GDPR compliance, Atlassian has established additional security measures to further secure access to the cloud. 

Below we have summarized the most important precautions for data security in the cloud for you:

  • DSGVO: The internal handling of sensitive customer data is DSGVO compliant. Tools are provided to comply with legal obligations and local laws.
  • Data classification: Internal control for access restrictions to customer data.
  • ISO 27001 certification: information security management system.
  • ISO 27018 certification: data protection in the cloud.
  • Encryption of dormant data: All of your data is fully encrypted in the cloud.
  • Mandatory two-factor authentication: Ability to enable two-factor authentication.
  • Multiple authentication policies per domain: configure different authentication requirements; e.g. SSO, two-factor authentication, password policy)

For more information about cloud security and Atlassian's precautions, please visit here.

5 reasons to move to the cloud

Where is your data stored?

Atlassian Cloud (Native)

When using the native cloud, i.e. cloud hosted by Atlassian, there is currently no option for the levels Standard and Premium to choose a specific location where your data is stored. This means that despite DSGVO and GDPR compliance, it cannot be ensured that your company's data is also stored in Germany. 

Furthermore, it is stated that data is secured in such a way that latency is minimized. For companies in Germany, it is therefore logical (but not guaranteed) that your data is stored in Frankfurt or Dublin.

For Enterprise customers, Atlassian offers the option to assign data to a "realm". This means that if your company is located in Germany, you can pin your data to the Frankfurt or Dublin realm. 

You can find more information about this here.

Confluence and Jira in Data Center

In addition to the native cloud environment, there is also the option to use the Atlassian Data Center and host the products using a cloud solution provider such as AWS or Azure. This allows you to choose where your data is stored and be compliant with the GDPR. 

Furthermore, Atlassian Data Center products offer similar security measures to protect your sensitive company data, plus the ability to customize Confluence and Jira according to your needs.

Summary: Data security in the cloud

Depending on what security factors end up being most important to you and your business, you have two options for migrating to the cloud. Both offer similar options to protect your data. If the location factor is important to you. And you would like to ensure 100 % that your company data is stored in Germany, then a data center solution is the better choice for you.

Need help migrating to the cloud or want some initial advice on your options? On our cloud services page you will find more information on the topic. We would also be happy to advise you in a first personal meeting.