Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m Rahul Asave, the Product Manager for HipChat Data Center (formerly HipChat Server). I have 15+ years of experience in various roles that involve delivering enterprise products. For the past two years at Atlassian, I have been focused on HipChat, particularly for our enterprise customers who have serious requirements around security and scale.
I was born in Canada, raised in India, and then returned back to Canada for college – a land of harsh cold – 55 degrees Celsius winters and absolutely gorgeous summers, Tim Hortons and some of the nicest people in the world. I moved to San Francisco 13 years ago and have been loving it ever since. Outside of spending my days building a great experience for our HipChat customers, I enjoy spending time with my wife and 7-year-old daughter, photography, and traveling (even couch traveling).
Can you tell us a little about HipChat Server and the newest release of HipChat Data Center?
With our latest release of HipChat Data Center, HipChat Data Center replaced HipChat Server as our self-hosted enterprise group chat offering. HipChat Data Center gives you all the same features of HipChat Server plus more.
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We heard that HipChat has become mission critical to your business and any downtime – planned or unplanned – can greatly disrupt your team’s work. We built HipChat Data Center so that your team can communicate without interruptions. In addition to providing high-availability, HipChat Data Center supports greater scale – at launch we’ve verified support for up to 10,000 concurrent users. By scaling with your organization, it will allow you to eliminate silos and ensure strong cross-functional communication.
We also heard that you want more control over the deployment and management of the tool. You want to be able to use your existing data management processes and have more control over the management of HipChat so you can comply with your organization’s policies and industry regulations.
So, HipChat Data Center was built with an architecture that’s similar to the rest of the Atlassian products you know and love. The first step in this journey is that HipChat Data Center does not ship as an appliance with no ability for a customer to manage the HipChat Data Center database and data stores. Instead, HipChat Data Center ships as a VMWare image or AWS AMI with externalized data stores – this means you now use and manage your own database, data stores, and load balancer for both VMware and AWS deployments. Using the externalized data stores in HipChat Data Center, you can now apply your own standard internal data management processes to meet these needs. We would love to hear your feedback about what deployment options you want as we continue on our journey to bring you high availability, performance at scale and enterprise flexibility and control.
Last, we know how important it is that HipChat integrates with the tools you need to run your business. Thanks to HipChat Connect, you can build rich integrations with your existing Atlassian products, internal systems or 3rd party applications to enhance team collaboration.
Looking back at the past 6 months, what has released in HipChat Server and Data Center that’s been the most exciting for you and your team?
SAML 2.0: In February 2017, we announced SAML 2.0 in HipChat Server and it is also in HipChat Data Center. SAML 2.0 gives teams a more secure and painless way to sign in – making the lives of both admins and users easier, especially when it comes to accessing HipChat. It was an exciting release because we are bringing additional security to the enterprise, while also providing end users with their own benefits. By shifting identity management to your identity provider with SAML 2.0, admins can save time, ensure data consistency and gain greater visibility. They can also meet IT compliance needs and reduce password proliferation. End users don’t need to worry about remembering another username and password and the number of password reset requests will come to a halt. We will continue to listen to your feedback and improve your experience.
HipChat Data Center: As I mentioned before, this was a key release for a number of our customers who needed the scale and high availability that Data Center provides. It was a year long endeavor that required a lot of coordination across the entire HipChat Server and Data Center team.
What is your favorite feature in HipChat Data Center?
The control, high availability, and scale that HipChat Data Center provides are all equality important. Our goal is to make sure that the right people have access to the right information when they want it.
How about your favorite feature to use in HipChat on a daily basis?
The ability to spin up a JIRA integration with a specific JQL query and then talk about any issue with the right team members. Countless meetings have been saved as a result of being able to quickly discuss an issue directly in HipChat.
What are you working on in the future?
Over the next year, we will be focused on two broad areas. We want to continue to help our administrators manage large teams in HipChat. With the release of HipChat Data Center admins will be able to bring in thousands of users. We want to make sure managing these users and their access in HipChat is seamless for administrators. Second, we will continue to innovate on features that improve team collaboration and help teams move faster – be it via group chat, video or integrations to other products.