We’ll own it – upgrading Atlassian Server and Data Center products is no joke. And we know that when it’s something as business-critical as Jira, operating at enterprise scale, it’s a big deal. Luckily, the Jira Software 8.5 and Jira Service Desk 4.5 Long Term Support releases for Server and Data Center are now available.

If your organization requires months of advance planning for an upgrade, has complex change management challenges, and/or values stability above all else, chances are you’re already planning to stick to our Long Term Support releases.

Here’s why we like them: we’re able to provide modern, feature-rich versions of our products – born from all the hard work we’ve put into performance and scalability, plus the hundreds of critical bug fixes and other small improvements that we regularly release – in a hardened package that’s ready for Enterprise. We feel confident knowing that many of our customers that are tackling these large upgrade processes can rest easy with a version that’s been through comprehensive performance testing, allows you to unlock battle-tested features with minimized risk, and offers long-term support with back-ported bug fixes and security updates for the full two-year support window.

Read more for all the information and resources you’ll need to make your upgrade journey successful as you move to our newest Long Term Support release.

Jira 8: built for enterprise

Introducing Jira Software 8.0: the next chapter of Jira for enterprise teams

When we released Jira 8.0 in February, we explained that we built the Jira 8.x platform with a speedy new engine to meet the growing needs of our enterprise customers. A ton of the work that went into that platform was focused on increased performance and a better experience for Jira users. For your teams, this means faster agile boards and snappier searches, less email clutter, greater accessibility, and the Jira Server mobile app. For you, this means less time waiting on reindexes and optimizing performance, and more time focused on making your teams successful.

Since then, we’ve doubled down on our commitment to performance and scalability. We enabled you to unlock the productivity of distributed teams with content delivery network (CDN) support, including templates for third-party CDNs and the ability to set up your own caching servers. The Jira team has expanded archiving capabilities to include both project and issue-level archiving, providing a simple but powerful way to remove out-of-date information, reduce clutter, and help users find what they need more quickly. Jira has joined forces with other Atlassian applications (Confluence and Bitbucket) with official Docker templates, and we’ve made it easier to deploy Jira Data Center on Azure or AWS.

Now, with the Jira Software 8.5 Long Term Support release, you’ll reap the benefits of the Jira 8 platform and everything we’ve delivered since, but you’ll also have the assurance that everything you’re getting with this release has been subject to additional performance and scalability testing against both the platform and the past two Long Term Support releases.

Jira Service Desk is better than ever

Improved performance for all with CDN support in Data Center

Because Jira Service Desk 4.x is built on the same powerful platform as Jira Software, it also benefits from the under-the-hood overhaul that went into Jira 8. Lucene upgrades mean you’ll enjoy faster reindexing and smaller indexes, and Jira Service Desk Data Center also supports CDN and issue archiving. And, as with Jira Software, we’ve spent each version since delivering additional performance improvements, making this the fastest Jira Service Desk Long Term Support release by a wide margin. Even some of the most intensive everyday activities will feel fast; SLA recalculations happen 4x faster than in 3.16, viewing queues is 3x faster, and viewing service desk issues is 2x faster. All of this makes for a dramatically improved experience for agents, as well as increased productivity. Between these impressive performance upgrades, a stylish new portal experience, smarter automation, and improvements to SLA calendars, your agents will spend less time waiting for pages to load and more time resolving issues.

Enterprise-ready at launch

Earlier this year, we announced that we’re strengthening our Long Term Support release offering, based on your feedback. Rather than designating a later bug fix version of a targeted feature release, we promised that Jira 8.5 and Jira Service Desk 4.5 would be Long Term Support releases at launch. In service of that promise, we deliberately chose not to add any new features between 8.4/4.4 and the Enterprise release versions, instead using the entire release cycle to focus on additional hardening and testing, so that these releases will be certified from the start.

Because Long Term Support releases are our long-term support line, Jira Software 8.5 and Jira Service Desk 4.5 will continue to receive support and back-ported critical bug fixes for the full two-year support window. In order to benefit from this ongoing support, we recommend periodically upgrading to the latest bug fix version of this release while waiting for the next Enterprise version to arrive.

Planning your upgrade

In addition to the features called out above, we’ve added quality-of-life changes to the upgrade experience for complex instances, building on the functionality of the pre-upgrade planning page and listing out files with custom configuration changes so you can reapply your customizations after a successful upgrade.

Again, we understand that these upgrades take time, so we recommend you begin planning now. Here are a few resources to help you prepare:

Reminder: You’ll also need to upgrade Jira Service Desk at the same time.

A note for Data Center customers: Zero Downtime Updates (ZDU) is not available when upgrading from a 7.x version to 8.5. However, once you’re on the 8.5 Long Term Support release, you can use ZDU to take advantage of our back-ported bug fixes and security updates.

If you work with a Technical Account Manager or Premier Support, consult your contact for a recommendation based on your environment and upgrade cadence.

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments in our Community post.

Upgrade with confidence: the new Jira Long Term Support releases are here