The forecasted adoption of cloud infrastructure, platform services, and SaaS is more aggressive than ever before. According to IDC, this year at least half of all IT spending will be cloud-based, growing to 60-70% of all software, services, and technology spending by 2020.
You tell us that movement towards the cloud is increasingly becoming part of your team’s conversations; for the cost-savings, the change to reduce overhead, and the uptime and performance benefits. You also want to know more about the best way to leverage cloud capabilities for your Atlassian applications.
Using Atlassian software as a service through our cloud offerings is not the only way Atlassian customers are taking teamwork to new heights with cloud computing. More and more customers are choosing to deploy Atlassian tools using infrastructure as a service (IaaS) providers: 62% of Atlassian’s self-hosted customers are choosing to deploy their applications on a virtual architecture.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a form of cloud computing that provides virtualized computing resources over the internet. IaaS is one of three main categories of cloud computing services, alongside Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS).
For companies who are either not yet ready to leverage SaaS solutions or cannot adopt it (due to the regulated nature of their industry, or geographic requirements for their company data), there are still ways to use cloud computing without giving up complete control over your software’s deployment.
IaaS allows companies to rent computing resources from providers who are solely dedicated to providing and maintaining infrastructure. This creates a few advantages, like money and administrator time-savings, for what can be an even more secure and reliable platform than achievable on premises. One Atlassian customer, media organization KQED, worked with iTMethods, an Atlassian Solution Partner, to migrate their on-premise Atlassian environment to AWS and reduced their run cost by 65%.
What should you keep in mind as you explore further? We’re here to help you find the best deployment option for your Atlassian application.
Start with your needs
For many IT teams, the transition to cloud is a gradual undertaking, and there are many advantages and risks to consider. Start with your organization’s unique preferences and requirements. Is data security a top concern? What about capacity for peak concurrent usage? How about avoiding downtime? Total application costs?
For each company, the priority of these needs can help determine which deployment options you may want to choose for your Atlassian applications.
Here are some factors to consider and prioritize with your team:
- Payment terms: Pay as you go or fixed rates are available for dozens of public cloud services.
- Security: Taking an application off premises doesn’t have to mean sacrificing the security of your data, but it depends on your organization-wide policies towards cloud services.
- Reliability: Industry-leading public cloud providers boast at least a 99.9% uptime SLA.
- Scalability: Renting infrastructure gives you the ability to scale up or down to meet the demand of your users on an Atlassian application.
- Time saved for IT staff: Teams can prioritize other work over maintaining infrastructure.
- Overall application costs: License, hardware, services, migration, and staff costs are all part of the decision of whether to consider moving to a public cloud.
- Support & resources: Some public cloud vendors, like AWS and Azure, have templates for deploying Atlassian’s Data Center architecture quickly and easily.
- Existing IaaS relationships: If your organization is already in a transition to cloud infrastructure, you may already have a vendor in mind that you’re looking to move your applications to. If so, it may be a good time to evaluate the specific benefits of Atlassian products in a public cloud environment.
Also, consider what your long-term plans are for your business. Do you have plans to grow the number of users on Atlassian’s products, or roll them out to more departments internally? Maybe you’re considering a Data Center product from Atlassian and are weighing self-hosting against IaaS. In any scenario, make sure to balance your present needs and priorities with the direction your teams are headed in the future.
Your choice of public cloud vendors
Your investment in IaaS is all about making the right choice for your business. Atlassian’s Data Center applications can be run on a number of different vendors. Here’s an example of three popular choices: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. Of course, there are a number of other options that may fit your needs better, but the ones that we’re highlighting here have been surfaced by our customers very often.
Note on deployment options: This article focuses on the Data Center product line, Atlassian’s recommended option enterprise-grade deployments. Much of the same tenants apply to a single-server deployment.
An IaaS vendor can provide the required architecture elements for an Atlassian Data Center deployment, as well as optional “nice to have” services like containerization, automated scaling, and identity management. Here’s a look at the hardware options you might consider:
Data Center Architecture Elements
- *AWS EFS is not supported for Bitbucket Data Center
- ** MySQL is not supported for Bitbucket Data Center
Typically, Atlassian can’t provide much insight into hardware sizing and pricing, since so many variables in a product instance impact pricing. With IaaS, however, a few of those variables can be controlled. For a holistic understanding of any potential investment, it’s important that hardware costs are factored alongside the software license costs.
What other additional considerations should you make as you continue to weigh out the option of a public cloud for your Atlassian products? Two to consider are autoscaling and identity management.
Dynamically meet demand with auto scaling
Beyond the time saved by not managing infrastructure in-house, you’ll also be able to unlock a key element of high availability in Atlassian’s Data Center products. The multinode architecture of an Atlassian Data Center deployment (see figure below) allows for nodes to be added or removed to meet the demand of end users (e.g. starting with two nodes, but having a third node on standby that can be added). For many Atlassian products, like Jira Software, there are peak usage times that the application may need to scale to meet increased demand. This might be during daily standups, during sprint planning, or close to a release date.
With Jira Software Data Center hosted in an IaaS environment, you have the ability to scale capacity to meet demand during these peak usage times by adding an additional node (available with AWS Auto Scaling and Azure Autoscale.) Between auto scaling and 99.9% or greater uptime SLAs from public cloud vendors, you’ll be able to move away from unplanned downtime and start focusing on your roadmap for Jira Software and other strategic initiatives, like a disaster recovery plan.
Identity management in an IaaS environment
One of the complicated aspects of using IaaS for your Atlassian products can be identity management (IDM). Often the system for managing identity in an organization is kept on premises even after other services have been taken to the cloud. This split means there needs to be a link between the identity store within an organization’s network and the applications outside of the firewall that need that information to grant access. This is an important consideration when deciding how to deploy using IaaS, as Atlassian applications use identity stores in this fashion.
Depending on the IaaS vendor you choose, there are different options available for handling IDM. There are also SAML add-ons available in the Atlassian Marketplace for connecting Atlassian products to SAML providers if SAML is an acceptable solution for your organization.
Evaluating the best option for you
If IaaS is an option that you’re seriously considering for your Atlassian environment, we have more resources to help. First, if you haven’t considered Atlassian’s Data Center product line for your mission-critical instances of Jira Software, Jira Service Desk Confluence, Bitbucket, or Hipchat, 3 steps to convince your team it’s time to get Data Center may help.
Once you know whether Data Center is the right option for you, check out the available templates for Atlassian’s products on AWS and Azure. Although you may want to customize the configuration, the templates are a helpful way to evaluate the products in an IaaS environment.
Finally, try out Data Center on either AWS or Azure for 30 days for free.