For growing organizations utilizing Atlassian Server products, there will come a time when your needs surpass the capabilities of a one-server solution. When this happens, we often recommend they migrate to a Data Center infrastructure.
Naturally, our clients have many questions and may even be hesitant to make a change. In this post, we’re going to share what Data Center is and the benefits to utilizing Data Center so that when the time comes for your organization to scale, you’ll know you’ve made the right choice.
To learn more about Data Center migrations, when to switch, the differences between Data Center and other Atlassian infrastructures like Server and Cloud, please check out our free whitepaper.
In the meantime, let’s discuss what Data Center is first.
What is Data Center?
Data Center is an on-premise, self-hosted deployment option for Atlassian customers who have grown to the point where they must scale their mission-critical Atlassian products such as Jira, Confluence, and BitBucket and more.
Through active-active node clustering, teams are free to work whenever needed, without the concern for service interruption during peak usage hours or maintenance.
Simply put, Data Center is a scaled version of Server which allows you greater flexibility, scalability, and reliability. But if you need more convincing, let’s take a look at all the excellent benefits there are to scaling with Data Center.
Critical Benefits of Atlassian Data Center
One of the premier benefits of using Data Center is high availability. By active-active node clustering, you achieve failover in the event of a load spike so your team is never interrupted and your bottom line doesn’t suffer.
Your load balancer automatically redirects users to a back-up node in the event of a failure, so most users never notice any interruption. Combined with database clustering and shared file systems, you can actively plan against any single point of failure.
Additionally, taking the entire system down for planned maintenance is no longer an issue. Admins can simply direct users to a backup node while maintenance and upgrades are being conducted on the primary server.
- High Availability in Action – For example, let’s assume you’re running Jira Data Center and it’s time to upgrade to a new version. You will upgrade one node at a time while users are redirected to a node that is not currently being upgraded.You will repeat this process for each node until all have been upgraded. No service interruptions.
Performance at Scale
With each additional node added to your Data Center cluster, you increase concurrent user capacity while improving server response time so you can scale your application without sacrificing performance.
Additionally, you can dedicate nodes to specific tasks or route certain types of traffic to allow for better performance and service quality.
With Data Center, you can easily add new nodes to your cluster as needed without experiencing service disruption or downtime. Your existing nodes will automatically sync with new nodes so can deploy without any hassles.
Furthermore, since Data Center is licensed by user count, it allows your organization to be able to predict costs and scale without additional, unforeseen expenses.
For added control and flexibility, Atlassian has made it possible to deploy on whichever environment you choose. Many organizations are choosing to deploy via cloud solutions due to its cost-effectiveness and flexibility.
Popular service providers include Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.
- With AWS, you can deploy in minutes, with multiple nodes, databases, and a load balancer. Atlassian has worked in conjunction with AWS to develop Quickstart Guides for Data Center products to help you get started quickly and easily.
- With Azure, you can also get up and running quickly with templates accessible in the Azure marketplace. You can even create a mock instance with dummy data, to see the configuration for yourself before you use it.
Authentication and Control
As Atlassian products become mission-critical to your organization, it’s important to incorporate standard workflows and processes to control how your users access and utilize your system.
Data Center offers SAML 2.0 support for greater access control that allows you to use your existing identity provider for authentication. This simplifies user compliance and makes the lives easier for your users who now don’t have to remember numerous passwords.
With Atlassian’s Data Center, you gain the benefit of a “cold standby” disaster recovery site for use in the event of a complete system failure.
Your disaster recovery site will be located on its own, standby node only to be used when needed. And you can share application indexes from your production instance in addition to copying the database and shared storage folders.
That way, in the event of a failover, your indexes will significantly reduce the startup time of your disaster recovery site and recover at the touch of a button.
Learn More About Getting Started With Data Center
If you’re interested in learning more about Atlassian Data Center, it’s benefits, and when to know it’s time to switch, we invite you to download our latest whitepaper, Considerations for Scaling Your Atlassian Environment.
And if you’d like a helping hand in preparing for a Data Center migration. Coyote Creek can help.
We are a team of veteran IT consultants and Atlassian Platinum Solutions Partners. We can survey your existing environment, custom build a migration plan, execute, and optimize your infrastructure for best practices.