UPDATE: This post refers to Jira 3.13.x, which has reached end of life status. Please refer to the official documentation for installation steps: https://confluence.atlassian.com/display/JIRA/Installing+Jira

This week’s offer of $5 licenses puts Jira and Confluence within reach of even the smallest of teams. You’d be mad not to take advantage of it.
You’re probably thinking: “Yup, that’s a great deal, but I how do I run it?”. Anticipating this, I took some 20% time last week to find a way to get you up and running quickly. What I’ve worked out will get you started with no up-front costs, and running costs that can be less than $5 a week!
With a few simple steps, anyone can use Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) to get Jira and Confluence up and running for their team in a matter of minutes. Let me show you how:

Setting up

Step 1: Create an Amazon Web Services account

Follow Amazon’s instructions for setting up an account for use with their EC2 hosting service. Skip the part about the X.509 Certificate and the AWS Account ID, as you won’t be needing them. Instead, look for your Access Key ID and Secret Access Key on the Account Identifiers page.
Make sure you record your Access Key ID and Secret Access Key, as you’ll need them in step 3.

Step 2: Install Java

Make sure that you have a recent version of Java installed on your desktop PC. You may already have it.

Step 3: Download and run the Instant Atlassian tool

Download the Instant Atlassian tool to your desktop PC, and at a command line, change to the directory containing the tool and run the following command (substituting the red placeholders with the credentials you obtained in step 1):

java -jar instant-atlassian-1.1.jar "Your_AWS_Access_Key_ID" "Your_AWS_Secret_Access_Key" create 10

This will create a server for you, with Jira and Confluence pre-installed, and 10 gigabytes of space for storing your data.
This tool uses the Amazon Elastic Block Store to store your data. 10 gigabytes of space will cost you $1 per month. These charges stop once you use the tool’s “delete” command (described below) to delete the data.
The server will take a couple of minutes to start. During this process, it will give you two pieces of information that you need to keep a note of: The EBS Volume ID (which you’ll need to stop the server, and hence the time-based charging), and the URL of your new server.
The server is a “small” EC2 instance located in the US and running Linux, so it costs 10 cents per hour (or part hour). These charges stop once you use the tool’s “pause” command (described below) to shut down the server.

Step 4: Complete the Jira and Confluence Setup Wizards

Open the server URL in your web browser, and you’ll see the following page:
From this page, you can click the Jira and Confluence logos to navigate to the respective applications.
To start, each application will display a Setup Wizard which you will need to complete with a few details. To make your life easier, some of the options have been pre-configured for you, and are disabled in this configuration.

Step 5: Share the URL with your team

Once you’ve finished the Setup Wizards, share the URL of the server with the rest of your team. They can open it in their web browser and can immediately get to work with Jira and Confluence.

When you’re done

Cutting costs by pausing and resuming

Your team might not need 24×7 access to Jira and Confluence, so there’s a lot of potential to cut costs by pausing your Instant Atlassian server when you’re not using it: A 24×7 server will cost you $16.80/week, but this drops to just $4/week if you only run the server for 40 hours a week. (Storage and data transfer costs will be additional, but in typical usage scenarios these will be negligible compared to the time-based charges.)
To pause your server, simply run the following command on your desktop PC (substituting the red placeholders with the credentials from step 1 and the volume ID from step 3):

java -jar instant-atlassian-1.1.jar "Your_AWS_Access_Key_ID" "Your_AWS_Secret_Access_Key" pause Your_EBS_Volume_ID

Once this command completes, your hourly charges have stopped (but your data storage charges will continue until you use the “delete” command, described in the next section).
When you need your server again, just run the following command:

java -jar instant-atlassian-1.1.jar "Your_AWS_Access_Key_ID" "Your_AWS_Secret_Access_Key" resume Your_EBS_Volume_ID

When this command completes, your server will be up and running again. The URL will have changed, so make a note of it, and make sure to share it with your team. (Later in the week, I’ll show you how you can set up your very own customised URL that won’t change when you pause and resume your server.)

Cleaning up when you’re done

While your server is paused, Amazon will only be charging you for the cost of data storage. If you’ve followed the instructions above to create a 10 gigabyte storage allocation, this will only cost you $1 per month.
If you have finished with your server, and you’re sure you no longer need any of your data, you can delete your data storage by entering the following command:

java -jar instant-atlassian-1.1.jar "Your_AWS_Access_Key_ID" "Your_AWS_Secret_Access_Key" delete Your_EBS_Volume_ID

When this command completes, your data will have been deleted, and Amazon will no longer be charging you for its storage.

Beyond the basics

These instructions should be all you need to get your team started with Jira and Confluence.
Later in the week, I’ll show you how to give your new server a customised URL of your own, how to backup and restore your data to protect against the risk of data loss, and how you might be able to reduce your costs even further by making an up-front payment.
All currency amounts are in US dollars, and were correct at the time of writing.

Setting up Jira and Confluence in minutes...