The Benefits of a Phased Deployment to Atlassian Cloud

By: Craig Cook
16th March 2022

Are you currently using a Server or Data Center version of Atlassian applications and wanting to take a step towards reaping the benefits of Atlassian Cloud? If so, there are many considerations around integrations, new features, functionality, dependencies, SLAs and workflow for Confluence, Jira Software, Jira Service Management, BitBucket or whichever apps make up your particular Atlassian stack. It can be overwhelming wondering how to get started. However, Rome wasn’t built in a day – and you don’t have to change everything all at once. That’s where creating a roadmap to roll out a phased deployment for moving away from your self-managed server or Data Center environment to cloud-hosted Atlassian applications comes in.

What Is a Phased Deployment to Atlassian Cloud and How Can It Help?

When transitioning to Atlassian cloud, there is a lot of planning required. As every business has unique requirements, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to creating an advanced roadmap to Atlassian Cloud. However, there are certain best practices that will help you create the right strategy.

A phased deployment means that rather than migrating all your apps and “going live” all at once, you take into account the functionalities of your system and introduce changes in a specific sequence, replacing old methodologies and systems gradually and introducing Atlassian Marketplace cloud products like Confluence Cloud, BitBucket Cloud and Jira Cloud, in phases over time.

Using a hybrid environment strategy allows you to tackle new issues as they arise, get buy-in from stakeholders and work in an agile way. This makes the process smoother, enabling you to ensure key administrators and users have been through any necessary tutorials, further enabling long-term business-wide adoption. It also reduces risk and downtime as it makes it easier to roll back a deployment if something is not functioning as it should.

A phased deployment approach gives you more time to provide focused attention on each area as you introduce it and makes the identification of functionality and process improvements easier as you can consider each cloud application in turn.

Last, but by no means least, a phased deployment strategy can make life easier for your employees. It allows your project team to spread out resources and plan ahead, reducing administrative pressure, eliminating guesswork, planning any downtime for times of least impact and enabling a proactive approach to problem solving. It also means employees using the new Atlassian Cloud software, encounter incremental changes daily rather than being introduced to a new system or process overnight, so they can upskill with bite-size Cloud tutorials while they work, rather than undergoing strenuous, immersive training days.


The Challenges of a Phased Deployment

By now, you may well be wondering some of the following:

  1. In what order should my users be migrated?
  2. How can we make sure our server and cloud, or data center and cloud instances communicate with one another properly?
  3. How do I make sure our apps still function and my users can do their work?
  4. Data security needs to be maintained at all times - how can we ensure this?

How you pursue a holistic cloud migration strategy depends on several critical factors.

These include:

  • the number of Atlassian products in your stack
  • which third-party integrations you utilise
  • the number of user licenses for each Atlassian product
  • the complexity of your data
  • your internal and Regulatory data security and compliance requirements

Cloud Migration Strategies and Tools

Take a look at the diagram below to determine how complex your migration is likely to be and which migration strategy and roadmap you are most likely to require.

Let's look at each migration strategy in more detail:

Lift & Shift: by rule of thumb if you have less than 2,000 users you can probably adopt a lift and shift strategy where all your Atlassian apps are moved at once.

Optimize & Shift: If you have 2,000+ - 10,000 users we recommend cleaning up your server data and removing inactive users so you are only migrating the data you really need.

Phased Strategy: If you have more than 10,000 users and your data is complex, then the best practice is to migrate your data in stages, optimise as you go along and ensure downtime is minimalised.

Your migration toolset will include, Jira Cloud Migration Assistant, Confluence Cloud Migration Assistant and the soon to be released Bitbucket Cloud Migration Assistant, which are all available on the Atlassian marketplace.

If you're migrating your Atlassian products to cloud one by one and want to keep them connected, you can integrate Atlassian Cloud and self-managed Data Center and Server apps by using application links or in-product integrations.

An Atlassian Solution Partner Makes it Easier

Given the range of factors involved in cloud migrations, Atlassian recommends working with a certified Atlassian Solution Partner. This is particularly important if you are undertaking a complex phased deployment as your Atlassian Solution Partner will have the skills and experience to assess your requirements and create and execute a future-proof deployment strategy and roadmap for success. If you would like to know more about the benefits of Atlassian cloud, read our blog three reasons to move to Atlassian cloud.

At Catapult CX our Atlassian experts work alongside your teams to develop a tailored, advanced roadmap for your phased deployment to Atlassian's SaaS offering. Our experience means we can help you proactively navigate the challenges; eliminating the risks of downtime and ensuring your apps continue to function throughout. We can help you secure your internal and client data and enable you to focus your time, resources and budget in the right way. 

As Atlassian server products head towards end of life you may be wondering if a phased deployment approach to your cloud journey is right for your organisation. If you want to find out more about Atlassian Cloud before you contact us visit Atlassian Cloud and Data Center