Migrating Atlassian Applications from Server to Cloud: FAQ

by | Nov 16, 2021

Moving your Atlassian applications from Server to Cloud is no small endeavour, but the ROI of moving to Cloud is worthwhile for many of our clients. In this article, we explore the process for migrating Jira and Confluence from Server to Cloud, based on our experience helping several large organizations successfully migrate to Cloud. We’ll share answers to commonly asked questions we’ve encountered over many discussions with clients. 

For even more details on the aspects to consider when migrating to  Cloud, we highly recommend you check out our free Data Migration Guide, offered in partnership with Atlassian. The guide will assist you from a business perspective while planning for every aspect of a migration — from the phases of a migration to the resource planning you need to consider. 

Download the Atlassian Data Migration Guide

A free step-by-step guide for moving your Atlassian instance to Cloud

General Atlassian Cloud migration tips

When is the best time to perform a migration?

The best time to migrate your Atlassian applications from Server to Cloud depends on your particular business. Organizations should plan a migration for the time that would be least disruptive to business continuity. Just as the MLB wouldn’t roll out technical changes during the World Series, you aren’t going to plan a migration during your busy season.

So when is your offseason? A lot of businesses are shut down over the Christmas/New Year break and find that to be the best time to perform the Cloud migration. For others, it’s the busiest time. We suggest you look at the data in Jira to see when the least amount of Jira tickets are created. Or look in Confluence to see when pageviews are the lowest.

Do we need to migrate Jira before Confluence?

When migrating both Jira and Confluence to Cloud, we recommend importing Jira first, particularly when using Atlassian Access for advanced user management features. Otherwise you might encounter user management issues.

How can we redirect old links after a migration?

You can avoid huge post-migration headaches and improve the experience for users by using a proxy to redirect old links to the new URLs. We’re sharing a sample configuration below. The purpose of this configuration is to demonstrate the ease of set-up. Please note that the specifics in this section will depend on your Server deployment details.

Apache with mod_rewrite

RewriteEngine on
# Jira

RewriteRule "^(.*)$"  "https://<Site Name>.atlassian.net/$1"  [R,L]
# Confluence
RewriteRule "^(.*)$"  "https://<Site Name>.atlassian.net/wiki/$1"  [R,L]

Apache with RedirectMatch

# Jira
RedirectMatch "^(.*)$" "https://<Site Name>.atlassian.net/$1"
# Confluence
RedirectMatch "^(.*)$" "https://<Site Name>.atlassian.net/wiki/$1"


What should we do if information is missing after the migration?

If you need to redo the import while testing, it’s time for a reset. Cleaning up information by hand can be a huge pain in the butt. If you encounter this, the best thing to do is reset Confluence or Jira entirely. Here’s how to reset and delete all data from your Cloud site.

Don’t forget to create a site back-up before you do this.

Jira Cloud migration tips

When should we use the Jira Migration Assistant?

Since we first published this article a few years ago, Atlassian has released the handy Jira Cloud Migration Assistant to handle migration in many use cases. However, some products, like Jira Service Management, are not yet supported. Atlassian provides plenty of documentation about all the methods for cloud migration — including working with a partner like us to take care of it for you.

Keep in mind that if you use the Jira Cloud Migration Assistant, certain information, like timezones in user profiles, will not carry over. 

How do we avoid security issues during a Jira migration? 

The security of user info, project contents, dashboard, filters, and agile boards in a Server deployment is often provided in part by Jira running inside of your corporate network. When you migrate to Cloud, here are a few tips to ensure past security issues don’t come back to bite you:

  • Check all of your permission schemes to ensure that none of them grant access to Group: Anyone.
  • Check your “Browse Users” global permission to ensure this is locked down.
  • Make sure that you are not leaking data via public dashboards, filters, or agile boards by running this query before exporting your data. This query will require that people at least authenticate before seeing these assets:
    update sharepermissions set sharetype = ‘loggedin’ where sharetype =‘global’;

Confluence Cloud migration tips

What is the Confluence Cloud Migration Assistant?

Like Jira, Confluence now offers a Migration Assistant to make moving to Cloud a lot easier. The main benefit is that it does the migration on a Space-by-Space basis. If everything except for one Space works, the effort required to continue your work is drastically lower than doing a full reimport.

But, as mentioned above, if you find you have to redo the import while testing, it’s time for a reset. If you end up with broken macros, you can fix these by going here and running the Jira Macro Repair tool: https://<SITENAME>.atlassian.net/wiki/admin/jim-validator/view.action

Starting on the migration journey

We hope this information provides useful knowledge to make your Atlassian Cloud migration successful. The most important thing we can tell you is: planning is key.

In many cases, having a trusted partner makes sense. Learn more about Atlas Authority’s migration services or contact us to discuss how we help organizations migrate Jira and Confluence instances from Server to Cloud.

And don’t forget to also check out the Data Migration Guide for a step-by-step guide on every aspect of migrating your Atlassian instances to the Cloud.

This post was originally published April 2, 2019, and updated on November 16, 2021.

Micah Figone is Principal Enterprise Solutions Architect at Atlas Authority.

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