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Why you need to start your Atlassian Cloud migration yesterday

If you’re an Atlassian Server user, you probably already know that Atlassian will phase out all support and offerings for Server by February 15, 2024.

That’s nearly a year away. Plenty of time, right? Many people are surprised to find that it’s not!

There is a lot more time and effort invested into a migration than you might think. Some cloud migrations can take upwards of 9 months, and if something goes wrong – timeframes can blow out even more. It’s not something you can leave until the last minute.

If you haven’t already started assessing your Cloud migration project, you’re probably going to want to get started yesterday.

The good news is it’ll be worth your time investment. Once you’re on cloud, you’ll get the benefits of improved security, cost savings over time, and less downtime than an on-premises server. Oh, and your staff can forget about managing updates, backups, and troubleshooting because that’s all taken care of on cloud.

How long should you allow for your Atlassian Cloud migration?

Well, that depends.

As a ballpark, Atlassian says that organisations with up to 1,000 users generally take at least 3 months. Organisations with 1,000 to 5,000 users are more likely to take over 6 months and for organisations with more than 5,000 users, you’re looking at 9 months or more.

But those time frames can vary a lot depending on a few different factors. Things like the size and complexity of your data, how many users you have, and what kind of apps or customisations you need to transition to cloud can all impact how long it takes.

Things people often overlook when planning for their Atlassian migration include:

  • Size and complexity of data. How many projects or spaces are you migrating? Are you removing or consolidating data in the process? More data and complexity means more time to migrate and more planning needed to ensure accuracy and a smooth transition.
  • Marketplace apps and integrations. What are the migration pathways for the apps you use in your existing environment? Do you still need them all? How will migrating to cloud impact the customisations you’ve implemented? You may need to use different configurations or third-party apps to get the same level of customisation.
  • Is your version of Server current? If not, your existing setup may not be compatible with the Atlassian migration assistants. You’ll need to upgrade to a supported version before you can go ahead with your migration to cloud.
  • Do you integrate with an identity provider? If your staff currently access the Atlassian Server via Single Sign On (such as Office365), you will need to consider if Atlassian Access is a requirement.

The sooner you identify any issues or complexities, the better so you can give yourself enough space to address those and complete your migration. The last thing you want is a surprise mid-migration project, especially if the end (of Server support) is near.

The Strategenics team saw this happen with one of their customers last year. A logistics company needed to migrate their Jira Software data quickly because their server was about to be decommissioned. There were no apps required for migration so it seemed like it would be an uncomplicated lift and shift.

Strategenics was engaged for the delivery.

Once the team assessed the environment, they discovered that the version in use had not been upgraded in over 7 years. Upgrading it was not possible in the client’s situation.

This could have set the project back significantly but with some very quick problem solving, the Atlassian specialists at Strategenics found a workaround. The team installed a local server version to restore from backup, upgrade the localised version and use it to carry out the migration. There were a few other surprises along the way, but the team mitigated them as quickly as they arose. In the end, the delivery team managed to get everything done before the server was decommissioned. Phew!

Fortunately, Strategenics had their crack team on the case, or this could have gone much worse. It certainly illustrates why a comprehensive assessment as early as possible is so important.

What happens if our Atlassian cloud migration is not complete before end-of-server support?

There won’t be any updates and support for Server after February 15 next year. Anyone who hasn’t migrated by then will be leaving their Atlassian environment open to security vulnerabilities and could risk losing their valuable data.

What does end-of-support look like?

  • No security updates – leaves you open to security threats.
  • No bug fixes – how annoying, you may not be able to use certain functions.
  • No support from Atlassian – if something goes wrong, there’s no one to turn to for help.
  • Compliance risks – if you have data security and compliance regulatory requirements, you may be unable to meet those obligations which could lead to penalties or legal action.
  • Third-party app risks – third-party apps can be a security risk if they are not updated to support Jira Server after end-of-support.

It is possible to migrate after support ends for Server but it may be more complicated, or you could face higher costs for the migration process.

How to get your cloud migration on track, fast, if you haven’t started yet

Don’t panic, there’s still time!

Getting started is as easy as one, two, three:

  1. Assess your situation. Get a clear picture of your migration requirements. Strategenics’ cloud migration checklist can guide you through the process. Or, have a consultation with an expert to find out what you’re up against, even if you plan to tackle it yourself. They may help you identify unexpected issues or find brilliant ideas that you wouldn’t have thought of in a million years.
  2. Plan your migration. Either use the Atlassian migration tool or find a trusted Atlassian partner that aligns with your business goals. They can help you choose the most suitable features and tools for your new environment.
  3. Schedule the move. Knowing exactly what you need to do and how long it will take. No surprises! The great news is that once it’s complete, you’ll never have to do it again.

At the very least, we recommend you get started on your assessment right away. That way you know how long to allow for your cloud migration before the countdown timer on server support runs down. You can then schedule your migration to Atlassian Cloud when it suits your organisation, knowing it’ll go as smoothly as possible.

If your migration is complex and you don’t have the expertise or support you need in-house or you need to get it done fast, you can seek advice from a trusted Atlassian partner.

As an Atlassian Solution partner experienced in cloud migrations, Strategenics can review your self-hosted Atlassian instance and do a comprehensive analysis of your migration needs. The team will ask the right questions and harness their experience to develop the best solution based on your unique needs and goals, as well as find opportunities to reduce your data size or complexity during the process.

Want to know more about working with an Atlassian partner? Take a look at the recent blog post about what an Atlassian cloud migration looks like with a solution partner, written by Strategenics’ resident Atlassian wizard, Ash Pitt.

Ready to start a conversation? Book a free consultation with one of Strategenics’ Cloud migration experts to chat about your cloud migration plans.

Emily Pitt (Guest Writer)

Emily is a professional content developer who specialises in creating clever content for thought leaders in tech. With 15+ years of marketing and copywriting nous in software, technology, leadership, government and more, Emily has a knack for making complex topics accessible to everyday audiences.