5 min read

Why you should be migrating to Atlassian Cloud in early 2023

By Luis Machado on Nov 1, 2022 12:00:00 AM

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To say that the early 20's (2020's) was a tumultuous and unpredictable period of time, is an understatement. Entire industries were challenged in ways they could not have fathomed, on a scale that nobody could have predicted. Classrooms went virtual, suddenly all meetings were on platforms like Zoom, Google meet, and others. Many businesses suffered a great deal of losses, and some didn't make it. There are those businesses though that thrived, or at the very least, managed to emerge from the proverbial storm relatively unscathed.

Some of this we can attribute to industry, the fact is that some markets are just positioned to do well in a remote environment, vs others that rely on in-person interactions. But there are plenty of examples of businesses that thrived despite what their typical model of approach would normally be.

Cloud in a Post-pandemic setting

To this day, the impact from the sprint to cloud and the changes to how businesses operate can still be felt. While some businesses have managed to fully return to the office, it's clear that full-remote and hybrid models of operation are here to stay. At this point, from a business perspective, you might be asking yourself "if 2020 was the cloud boom, and I didn't migrate to the cloud, did I miss it?" and more importantly, "do I even need to migrate now?"

These are some great questions, and I'm here to tell you * spoiler alert * , the answer is still a resounding yes. A report put out by Research and Markets showed that the expected Compound Annual Growth Rate of the cloud computing market size is expected to grow by a whopping 17.5% from $371.4B back in 2020, to $832.1B by just 2025. That's a huge increase from a pre-2019 market value of $266B. Not only is the trend towards cloud continuing, but a combination of rocket fuel and red bull seem to have been funneled into the gas tank.

The benefits of cloud are still... beneficial

All of the things that held true for cloud at the start of the pandemic aren't going anywhere, and the considerations that need to be taken into account when planning a cloud migration still exist as well. I wrote a blog breaking down the pros and cons, you should go check it out. That is not to say that the climate around cloud isn't changing, in fact it is. The reasons around migrating to the cloud still apply today:

  • Reduced IT Costs
  • Increased business agility
  • Improved Security
  • Eliminating concerns around maintenance and end-of-life

For a while now the challenge with cloud was figuring out if your business needs were more aligned with moving your infrastructure to something cloud-based, allowing you to maintain your self-hosted capability, or something more in the realm of the SaaS model, migrating your applications into a 3rd-party hosted infrastructure that manages everything for you. Around this is when the question evolved from "should my business be in the cloud?" to "how should my business be in cloud."

Corbin Dallas Multi-cloud

With the widespread adoption and rapid normalization of cloud-based computing, two major shifts have begun to happen, one on the consumer end, and the other on the provider and it's a real "chicken or the egg" scenario.

On the consumer side, with the number of provider options at their finger tips, it seems only prudent to shop around. One of the major focuses of businesses in cloud computer is maximizing cost savings. The initial move to cloud for most of these businesses already allowed them to realize savings compared to a self-hosted, on-prem solution, now they're looking to really dial that in.

On the provider side, the race has shifted from simply offering a cloud solution, to offering targeted or niche solutions. Businesses are OK having different cloud providers for their appropriate needs, if it comes with an overall lower cost benefit.

These shifts have led to a growing couple of trends dubbed "hybrid-cloud" or "multi-cloud" architectures. Whether it's trying to min-max their infrastructure by leveraging both public and private servers depending on the nature of the business function they house (hybrid-cloud), or utilizing a wombo-combo of SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS to optimize their cloud footprint (multi-cloud). Businesses are no longer choosing between one type of cloud implementation or another, and are fully embracing the idea "why not both?"

How to get your foot in the door

That brings us to today. You're looking to get your business into the cloud and start down your digital transformation path. Given all the options out there, where do you start? As someone that represents a Platinum Solution Partner with Atlassian, obviously my opinion is a bit biased, but that doesn't mean it's wrong. If your business leverages Atlassian products, it's a great place to start. Atlassian has already taken the position of doubling down on cloud, so it's not a matter of if you'll have to migrate, but when.

Atlassian is focusing heavily on supporting their customers during their migrations and is both making big moves on investing in their cloud-based products, and feverishly improving existing features. With a network of knowledgeable and seasoned solutions partners such as Praecipio, migrating your Atlassian products to cloud is positioned to be one of your smoothest cloud migration efforts.

If you're still using Atlassian's on-prem server products, the case to migrate is even stronger. The most complicated cloud migrations can take upwards of 18 months so if you're looking to make the switch before support for server is deprecated, it's critical to start now to meet the February 15, 2024 deadline.

However you approach it, this next year is certain to be a big year for cloud migrations and there's never been a better time to take the leap. Be sure to check out our Cloud Migrations FAQ, and if you're interested in how Praecipio can help get you off the ground, drop us a line.

The TL;DR breakdown

  • Cloud is still relevant in 2022, if not even more so, and it's not going anywhere any time soon
  • The move to cloud continues to have the potential to benefit your business
  • Diversifying your cloud to fit certain business needs will bring added value to your cloud footprint
  • Migrating your Atlassian products is a great starting point, and Praecipio would be more than happy to assist you with the move
Topics: cloud cloud migration
6 min read

Cloud the New Frontier

By Praecipio on Oct 17, 2022 10:00:00 AM

 

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The NIST Definition of Cloud Computing is "a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction."

Is your cloud a place where platforms of services share a set of common security and monitoring tools linked to a data lake that safely and compliantly stores information such that you can rapidly create and introduce a new feature or service? If yes, welcome to the digital cloud age. If not, you need to reconsider where you are on your journey and accelerate the path to cloud and digital. While hybrid strategies will exist for the next few years, Gartner believes that by 2025, most organizations will operate out of the cloud with limited personal capacity.

The cost of maintaining your infrastructure is becoming prohibitive, but more importantly, no longer making sense. Where do you want your financial resources allocated: keeping the lights on or generating innovation? The COVID pandemic has forced your customers and staff to rely on internet-based services. SaaS and the cloud are now the only viable technology strategy. The way you work should no longer be underpinned by software you write, but instead provisioned by trusted partners (Cloud Service Providers – CSP). The only exception is for unique products associated with your organization, but even then, these should be supported by the cloud. To read about some frequently asked cloud migration questions and our expert advice, check out this eBook.

 

Cloud challenges and opportunities

A useful analogy is thinking of your migration as a journey to a new land. You will encounter a variety of obstacles along the way, but when you arrive, the benefits will more than reimburse your effort. 

Your journey must adopt these five principles to be successful:

    • Relentless customer and staff usage focus with frequent feedback
    • Never forget that continuity and sustainability of the business is a daily requirement (not an annual test)
    • The shiny tools are not the solution. The culture of technology is what leadership must embrace and portray
    • Data is king, and all of your design-thinking must be on how to obtain information safely that leads to the creation of quality and secure services
    • Agility is fact-based decision-making on a real-time basis, which can now be performed by AI and cloud services

Cloud is a subscription-based model, so you must understand how and when you will be charged. Think of a mobile phone. If used in your locality, it is inexpensive but utilized elsewhere, and you will get an unpleasant surprise at the end of the month. In order to be more cost-effective, consider these questions: 

    • Should I rewrite the applications, or is there benefit to lift and shift them?
    • If lift and shift, will this result in technical debt shortly?
    • Should we stop supporting our custom-built applications and instead use SaaS (cloud and internet)?
    • Do we have the skills to move to the cloud, and if not, how do we obtain them? Partnering with a CSP is a possibility, but we also want to avoid vendor lock-in.

It is easy for cloud initiatives to fail as the organization rushes towards automation and references architecture models without considering the impact on services, data flows, and security. You must learn how to take advantage of your CSP optimization offerings. Pilot, test, assess, understand, revise, and complete the move is the flow must be encouraged in small but rapid steps.

Software is the tool that underpins the way you work and services a customer or member of staff. Therefore, moving to the cloud does not begin with assessing what applications are in use but instead with how you want to work to take advantage of digital services. When you look at your applications, you can lose the ones that no longer fit with your future and apply the savings to cloud provisioning and skill training. 

Your new culture requires technology skills across all levels to remain in business. Your move to the cloud will impact budgeting, funding, procurement, HR, marketing, and other processes. CSP's and coaches can help you begin your journey acting as guides to highlight how to circumvent obstacles or take advantage of shared services. No single CSP will provide everything you want, so ensure that your strategy is flexible enough that you can blend their capabilities with your requirements. 

Currently, your applications probably do not provide you with real-time information on usage, cost, demand, and issues. Cloud services, no matter the source, all give this ability, which allows you to receive notifications that are customer and technology relevant, enabling rapid scaling to occur. Consider the news stories on organizations that have not planned for customer demand and therefore crumble under requests' weight. You need to scale up and down as necessary to service your customers and staff.

In your current infrastructure environment, you would never consider turning anything off until it was needed. Cloud finds this action expected: the development environment not in use, so turn it off. Even completely disassemble and reconstruct it when needed at the push of a button. Think of the savings as you consider the new ways of using cloud services.

Applications are no longer disparate pieces of code but instead modules of software that can be used by various users. Your services need to be blended such that a platform in the cloud can deliver them. Instead of hundreds of applications, think of 20-30 platforms (services or products) that your staff and customers need.  Build them with a mix of SaaS and your own software based in the cloud facilitated by APIs, service catalogs, microservices, and containers. Those that adopt a platform strategy see savings 30-40% faster than those that move applications in other manners.

The cost of cloud is not in what you place into it but instead is priced on the way you utilize data. Your information is the essential asset after your employees in your organization. Careful consideration on what data you have, you need, how it is shared when it is archived, and how long, the rapidity of retrieval and all compliance rules must be part of your information cloud planning. Get it wrong, and you might find your data in a location that breaches local government rules resulting in a hefty fine. 

DevSecOps is the data and platform design thinking that makes the cloud safe. Using zero-trust platforms ensure the best protection and cost model. Your security practices are now software modules embedded in your platforms to ensure that compliance is being met at all times. Test this rigorously and frequently. Trust nothing in your software until it passes these tests. Only by automating work and data flow wrapped around secure software can you keep your organization and customers safe. Cyber first thinking is mandatory to avoid hackers, data loss, and compliance breaches.

Cloud scalability is a push button or automated. The good news is then that what you need can be provisioned when you want it. The bad news is that this capability is not free. Think carefully as to how and when scalability will be allowed. The same goes with business continuity, whereby an outage can trigger the use of another location within seconds. This is not a given CSP service, and you must carefully plan and test (often) for its use.

Cloud encourages collaboration across your management team to work together to achieve the advantages of this technology. Cloud is no longer solely IT's domain, instead being an organization commodity for business product-platform owners. As such, avoid misuse with guardrail type governance. Avoid vendor lock-in by ensuring that your products can be quickly migrated to another CSP if required. Remove the human middleware where possible in your processes and rely on abstracted automation.

Conclusion

Moving to the cloud is a complicated journey. Learning from a cloud expert like Praecipio can help ease that complication and turn it into a flexible, tailored approach to your migration. We create custom migration plans to fit your organization's size so you can focus on the work that matters most. If you're looking to stay agile, deliver exceptional customer experiences and keep up with today's digital business infrastructure, drop us a line and jumpstart your Atlassian cloud migration.

Topics: cloud atlassian-cloud cloud migration
3 min read

Unlimited instances with Enterprise Cloud

By Brian Nye on Sep 22, 2022 10:00:00 AM

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Atlassian Cloud Enterprise is the highest cloud tier for Jira Software, Jira Service Management, and Confluence. This tier is targeted for companies with large server instances or global requirements in mind (800+ users or 200+ agents). At this tier customers get the following capabilities beyond the Cloud Premium tier:

  • Unlimited instances
  • 99.95% uptime SLA
  • Atlassian Access
  • Enterprise support

While everyone will find these capabilities attractive, it does come with an enterprise cost. By far the most attractive feature is unlimited instances, which we will explore in-depth, as well as what type of organizations should consider investing in Atlassian Cloud Enterprise.

Who should consider unlimited instances?

Many of of our customers have more than one cloud instance of these core three products. Now before you go and say, "Well, I clearly need to be an enterprise customer," I would encourage you to evaluate why you have these instances in place. By far the biggest reason is that one of your teams wanted their own place to work and didn't want to (or didn't know) that the company already had an instance for them to do their work. Other reasons typically include the need for additional security/permissions and cost control. While all these reasons are valid, they are usually poor reasons to not be in a single instance where teams can collaborate much more freely.

With that being said, we have seen several cases where customers should definitely take advantage of an Enterprise Cloud license:

  • A global company with Data Residency requirements
    • The data has to reside in a particular area or region
  • Industries requiring segregated data
    • Companies that operate in both regulated and unregulated markets such as the Energy Industry
  • Sensitive data
    • Projects that are restricted due to classification or privileged information

The Enterprise option allows for these customers to pay for a single licensed user to multiple instances. For Standard and Premium plans, this would require users needing multiple licenses to access each instance. Typically we find that when our customers have more than one instance of the same product they pay for a portion of users to be licenses in more than one instance. One customer of ours had over 50% of their users who needed to be licensed in multiple instances of Jira Software and Confluence due to data segregation issues. For this customer, it would cost them less money to move to Enterprise Cloud to eliminate the additional license cost. 

Become a cloud-first organization

Are you still on the fence if Enterprise Cloud is right for you? We are happy to help. As a cloud-first company, Praecipio has worked with many companies to figure out the best strategy for operating their Atlassian instances. Contact us to set up a discovery call, where we can discuss your specific needs and determine if you should go with an Enterprise Cloud solution or go through with a Cloud Merge. 

And if you still have questions about cloud migrations in general, watch our on-demand webinar where we answer the most common questions we have received from clients about Atlassian Cloud migrations.

Topics: migrations cloud atlassian-cloud cloud migration
8 min read

How to Achieve an Effective Data Migration

By Praecipio on Aug 1, 2022 10:00:00 AM

If your Atlassian Platform is the heartbeat of your organization and you are still on Server, then you already know that cloud migration is in your future since Atlassian will no longer provide support for its Server products as of February of 2024

So, there is no time like the present to start putting your Atlassian Cloud migration in motion. Every organization is unique and will require a different approach. If you're overwhelmed about the entire migration process, a good place to start is getting familiar with these four Cloud Migration Strategies and the pros and cons of each one.

The strategy you choose will determine the success of your migration outcome, so it’s important to spend time designing one that best fits the needs of your organization and investing the time to properly prepare your instance and teams. This blog post will discuss how to prepare, plan and carry out a successful migration strategy, including which Atlassian tools can help you along the way and how working with an Atlassian Solution Partner can support you throughout your migration journey.

Preparing for an Effective Data Migration

As an Atlassian Cloud Specialized Partner, we’ve seen it all when it comes to cloud migrations and can attest to the importance of investing the time in planning and preparing for an Atlassian Cloud migration. While many organizations mistakenly think that the migration itself is the most critical part of the process, it’s actually the prep work that will set you up for success. For example, we’ve helped our customers achieve a 100 percent migration success rate thanks to these 6 steps that involve diligent planning and rigorous testing:

Assess

During this phase, you'll find out what you need to prepare your environment for Atlassian Cloud. Take stock of your Atlassian footprint–including current applications, integrations, and customizations–to understand the complexity and level of effort required to migrate your instance to cloud.

Plan

Now that you know where you are going and how to get there, it's time to start planning the technical and operational aspects of your Atlassian Cloud migration. You'll also choose your migration strategy and method, as well as establish a timeline. 

Prepare

With your migration plan and timelines in place, you're ready to prep your instance and teams for the big move. You'll also want to clean up your data and build a communication plan for keeping users and key stakeholders up-to-date with migration milestones. 

Test

Doing a test run of your Atlassian migration is a critical step to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. This is also an opportunity to uncover any issues and determine how long the migration will take. 

Migrate

It's go-time! Now is your chance to resolve any last-minute issues and carry out your migration by moving your instance over to Atlassian Cloud. You're finally on the path to brighter days.

Launch

You've made it to your final destination! Now that you have successfully migrated to cloud, it's time to get your users onboarded and resolve any post-migration issues or questions.

Minimizing Downtime and Risk During the Migration

Organizations want to protect their data and systems to comply with industry regulations and earn customer trust. While migrating to Atlassian Cloud may feel somewhat intimidating—considering the level of risk and resources involved—there are several strategies you can use to minimize both downtime and risk.

Effective Project Management

Having a clear migration plan helps to set out the processes, workflows, and individuals that will make your cloud migration successful, as this planning enables you to avoid expected surprises that could cause downtime.

During migration planning, you can establish KPIs and performance baselines that you can use to determine how well your application/service is performing once migrated and highlight any errors that can cause downtime post-migration. You might select areas related to user experience (latency and downtime), overall performance (error rates and availability), and infrastructure (network throughput and memory use). Having these baselines in place helps you determine potential risks of downtime or other areas that can cause delays during migration.

As you prepare for migration, you should prioritize migration components and establish your migration plan. Will you migrate at once, or in pieces? Understanding system dependencies can help you prevent downtime from occurring, which is especially important to prevent downtime snowballs.

Before migrating, perform refactoring or other work on your applications/services as needed to ensure they’ll work properly once migrated. This helps to reduce any downtime that could stem from application performance. Additionally, paying attention to the resource allocation of your application helps to prevent any unforeseen resource consumption that could lead to downtime or application unavailability as a consequence of nonexistent or over-extended resources.

Establish Good Communication

Having a solid communication plan can minimize downtime and risk during the migration process. Everyone involved in the migration, whether taking on a more active or passive role, needs to be familiar with the established plan, who to contact in the case of an unforeseen incident, and how to respond to incidents if they do occur.

Additionally, since cloud migration does pose risks to security and can cause potential downtime if not handled in a thoughtful and well-planned way, it’s important to communicate with stakeholders, too. 

Communication and project management tools like Jira and Trello help everyone understand what they need to do to ensure a smooth migration. If downtime does occur, or resources and data aren’t available and working as anticipated post-migration, these tools help notify those in the migration process about the issues so that teams can move swiftly to begin resolving incidents to minimize interruptions. 

Secure Your Data and Resources

Before migrating, it’s good practice to encrypt data with secure network protocols (like SSL, TLS, and HTTPS) to minimize the risk of a data breach. Encrypting your data helps to keep it secure, preventing bad actors from being able to capture, distribute, or generally see sensitive or critical data during migration. 

Not having adequate security protocols in place when migrating data can expose your system to malicious or unauthorized users and systems. So, you need to prioritize security to ensure systems aren’t compromised and protect data both in transit and at rest.

To maximize your security measures and limit the blast radius, you can also adopt a security information and event management (SIEM) solution that centralizes alert management to identify and respond to suspicious behavior in real time.

For example, Atlassian Access is available as an enterprise-wide subscription, providing added security across all your Atlassian Cloud products. It comprises a central admin console for complete visibility into your system. Gain insights into your network, proactively repel cyberattacks, customize authentication policies, and effortlessly orchestrate everything across your environment.

Practice Identity Management

Before, during, and after the migration, all users accessing your resources should be identified and verified to ensure that they’re supposed to access data, resources, and other sensitive information. Having a central governance system ensures that no unauthorized users can access the system and minimizes risk during the migration process.

Identity and access management tools like Atlassian Cloud IAM help ensure only the correct people and tools access the new cloud system and data. Atlassian Access’s helpful features include SAML single sign-on (SSO) for increased security and seamless authentication, audit logging for monitoring activities, automatic product discovery to identify shadow IT, enforced two-step verification upon login for improved security, and integration with CASB software McAfee MVISION Cloud to monitor suspicious activities. These features help ensure the correct people and systems access the new cloud environment and data during migration.

Perform Frequent Testing

Testing your data management tools helps you to identify—and prevent—potential issues that you’ll encounter during migration, thereby helping you minimize disruption and prevent delays. This form of testing is called migration testing, and its goal is to verify that the migration will be smooth. 

In addition to reducing the risk of downtime, migration testing also helps you ensure that your migration won’t result in data being lost, data integrity being sacrificed, and helps you ensure that all data is available, accessible, and functional in its new environment.

Effective Planning

Every migration is unique, so what holds for one company may not apply to another. For instance, the technologies you use, the applications you need to migrate, or the compliance rules you must follow differ from organization to organization.

Accordingly, you should establish a migration strategy that helps you get the most out of your investment in Atlassian Cloud and sets you up for success throughout the entire migration process. When deciding on your migration strategy, you should consider:

  • Long-term goals
  • Budget
  • Migration process duration
  • Apps and integrations
  • Compliance privacy requirements
  • Recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs) of applications that you plan to migrate
  • The total cost of ownership (TCO) of cloud infrastructure

Atlassian has resources available to help you with planning and carrying out your migration. For example, the Atlassian Cloud free trial enables you to test new Cloud-only features, helping you build your case for migrating cloud and gaining stakeholder buy-in. Also, Atlassian’s free Jira Cloud Migration Assistant helps migrate projects from Jira Service Management, Jira Software, and Jira Work Management on-premises to Cloud.

However, even with these helpful tools, migrations are still a complicated undertaking and come with unexpected roadblocks, especially when dealing with more complex instances. We recommend bringing on an Atlassian Solution Partner–specifically one that is Cloud Specialized—to do the heavy lifting and guide you through the entire migration process.

Conclusion

While migrating to Cloud can be challenging, taking the time to properly plan in advance and prepare will minimize those unexpected roadblocks and set you up for success throughout the migration journey. 

To learn more about how to plan, prepare for, and carry out an Atlassian Cloud migration, download our free guide: 6 Steps for a Successful Cloud Migration, which is packed with insight on what to expect before migrating, how to avoid common mistakes during the process, and how Praecipio Consulting used these six steps to guide Castlight Health through their migration journey. 

If your organization is ready to migrate to Atlassian Cloud or Data Center, reach out to the Praecipio team to support you through your migration journey. 

 

 

Topics: data-center atlassian-cloud cloud migration
5 min read

Atlassian Cloud Migration Webinar Q&A

By Praecipio Consulting on Jul 22, 2022 1:15:00 PM

No cloud migration is created equally, and because there are several factors to consider when planning your migration, it can all feel overwhelming. As an Atlassian Specialized Partner in Cloud, our goal is to help guide you through the messiness of migrations and develop a path that fits your specific business needs and leads you to a successful Atlassian Cloud Migration.

Our team of migration experts recently hosted a Q&A-style webinar about the most common issues they see with cloud migrations and provided their insights about moving to Atlassian Cloud. Below is a list of all the questions that were asked and the answers that our team gave.

 

Q: What is the easiest way to determine if all the add-ons are still in use in the system prior to the cloud migration/test?

A: Have Praecipio Consulting run a database query.

 

Q: How do I migrate from Server to Cloud? What are the options?
A: Outside of a custom solution, there are 3 potential methods of migrating server data to cloud.

  1. Leverage the Jira and Confluence cloud migration tools developed by Atlassian.
  2. Run a full site export/import.
  3. Use an add-on like Configuration Manager for Jira from Appfire.

Of these options, Atlassian only supports 1 and 2, and 2 will be deprecated as a supported method in the near future. None of these methods are perfect, there are pros and cons to consider for each, and potentially have additional objects and elements that would have to be solutioned for.

 

Q: Do you see any challenges with having a hybrid environment with, for example, a Cloud Confluence linked to an on-prem Jira?

A: The main challenge to a hybrid approach is going to be related to security. In order for the applications to communicate rules and allowances will need to be put in place between the cloud site and the internal network. If the current scenario is that both Jira and Confluence are on-prem, and Confluence is migrated to Cloud, there are some additional challenges to consider with existing issue links between the two that would have to be overcome depending on the migration method.

 

Q: How to deal with SSO for our partners whom also have different IdP at their end on Jira Cloud configured with Atlassian Access SSO.

A: When talking about Atlassian Access, the main consideration you have to take into account is that in the server setting, all user accounts belong to the individual application, but in cloud, all accounts are Atlassian accounts and exist independently from the cloud sites. This allows a user to have permissions on multiple sites but potentially be governed by a different organization. If you have partners that you wish to grant access into your cloud site, and they have their own SSO policy in place, you can freely grant them access without any impact to your current user base.  As an example, for our customers we frequently leverage our @praecipio.com accounts, which we have managed by our own IdP.

 

Q: 1. Do you have any automated way to clean up an on-prem instance of Jira before migrating to cloud, things like filters and boards that belong to legacy projects that no longer exist?

2. Can the ability to have team-managed projects be disabled to ensure teams do not create a mess and stick to enterprise standards?

A: 1. We have developed several scripts and queries over time that can be used to help identify orphaned boards and filters, but this process is seldom completely automated and often requires additional input and context.

2. Yes, in cloud there is a global permission associated with who can create team-managed projects.

 

Q: When it comes to merging of Jira Server projects into an existing Cloud instance (where the projects are replacing previous existing projects), is there a preference of whether going on-prem to cloud or go to a cloud instance and then go cloud to cloud?  Or is that hop unnecessary? Do you have a preference as to whether to use Appfire's cloud migration tool or Atlassian's native migration tool?

A: Going from server to cloud and then cloud to cloud is more than likely going to be an unnecessary hop, but this depends largely on the migration method and the context surrounding the environments involved. We tend to leverage Atlassian's cloud migration tools when possible to gain the benefit of having support from Atlassian, but there are scenarios where Appfire's Configuration Manager for Jira needs to be leveraged, especially if there's a more complex instance merge happening.

 

Q: When migrating Jira from on-prem to cloud, is there a way to migrate a project without its data (i.e. keep issue types, dashboards, etc BUT not the issue tickets)?

A: This functionality does not exist natively within the migration toolset developed by Atlassian, but it is certainly a scenario that could be accomplished. There are several factors that would have to be considered such as preference of data archival.

 

Q: Do I need to have Atlassian Access to use the claim domain?

A: Yes, Atlassian Access is required to claim domains and set up authentication policies, including the use of SSO.

 

Whether you're looking for a speedy, low-cost migration or have complex enterprise requirements, we have a path for you. While the journey to Atlassian Cloud comes with its fair share of challenges, our experts are equipped with a deep understanding of migration intricacies and have helped hundreds of enterprise organizations successfully move to cloud. With our team as your guide, start planning your migration with confidence. Watch the full webinar on-demand!

Topics: webinars cloud configuration atlassian-cloud cloud migration
4 min read

The Cost of Not Moving to Cloud

By Charlotte D’Alfonso on Jun 28, 2022 10:00:00 AM

If you're feeling confused about migrating to Atlassian Cloud, you're not alone. One of the biggest unknowns when deciding whether to make the move to cloud is right for your business is what the investment looks like, or better yet, how much will not moving to cloud cost your organization in the long-term.

The standard question to start with when investing is, "What is the ROI?" When determining the cost of moving to the cloud, the benefits are easy to calculate. Cost savings, increased efficiency, improved security,  better environmental footprint, employee safety can all be calculated by the ROI.

Henry Mintzberg once said “Strategic planning is not strategic thinking. Indeed, strategic planning often spoils strategic thinking, causing managers to confuse real vision with the manipulation of numbers.” By all means, determine your ROI. However, keep in mind that calculating the ROI doesn't answer the question, "What is the cost of not investing?"

In this article, we'll take a look at how to calculate your ROI, determine TCO, and examine the costs of not moving to cloud that organizations often overlook. 

Calculate Your ROI

The standard formula for ROI (Return on Investment) is:

(profit from investment - investment)/investment = ROI

 

When moving from a data center to cloud, the cost would be calculated as:

(Savings from moving to the cloud - cloud migration costs)/cloud migration costs

 

Savings from moving to cloud are calculated by determining your Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

Determine Your TCO

TCO is calculated by identifying all the costs associated with your current server infrastructure. Keep in mind that operational and fixed costs both need to be calculated. Some of these costs include: 

  • Servers - The average lifespan of a server is 3-4 years.  
  • Physical location - A location to house the servers
  • Maintenance and support  for the servers - This includes supporting hardware, cooling systems, and all the parts needed to purchase, maintain and replace the servers
  • Staff -
    • Asset Management - IT staff time monitoring system
    • Maintenance - Maintenance staff fixing and maintaining system
  • Software licensing - Systems used to run your server infrastructure
  • Energy bills - Impact that running servers has on energy bills
  • Downtime for upgrades

Here is a great example of how one of our clients–Castlight Health–drastically reduced their TCO when moving to cloud

Consider Cloud Migration Costs

  • Cloud services - Subscription fees from your cloud computing provider
  • Internal resources - IT team (and any other staff members) working on the migration
  • Software licensing - Any new software licenses acquired as well as forfeiture of licenses you already purchased but won’t be necessary anymore in cloud
  • External resources - A team with cloud migration expertise to help make the transition as smooth as possible

Examine Not-investing Costs

  • How far behind your competitors will you be? Apps are being developed and strategic partners are investing in cloud-first solutions.
  • How much is downtime costing you? Consumers want 24/7 immediate results.  
    1. Lost sales revenue
    2. Lost employee productivity
    3. Damaged reputation with customers and key stakeholders
    4. Data loss 
    5. Potential compliance/regulatory penalties
  • How will the supply chain affect my data center operations? Are you relying on others to have the products needed in stock? The recent semiconductor shortage due to Covid is a prime example. 
  • What opportunity costs am I missing?  According to Investopedia, Opportunity Cost is listed as the “potential benefits one misses out on when choosing one alternative over another”.  Could your IT costs be transformed from a cost center to a consumption based revenue source?
  • What is the cost of scalability?

The Price You'll Pay 

CEO's must look at a changed and continuously evolved business landscape. Seizing near term revenue opportunities without the upfront CapEx or long-term support costs or quickly winding down without worry about unused infrastructure helps you navigate today's digital economy. The price you'll pay is more than just ROI. It is the potential cost of opportunity lost, stagnation, and falling behind in the rapidly changing world. Strategic thinking means looking at ROI and opportunity and considering your long term vision. 

With Atlassian's Server quickly approaching end of life, cloud migrations–especially their costs– are top of mind in the Atlassian community. If you are overwhelmed or confused about how much an Atlassian Cloud migration will cost you, your best bet is to bring in an Atlassian Cloud Specialized Partner to help guide you through every step of the process. Praecipio Consulting proudly holds a 100% migration success rate thanks to our highly customized approach that involves a diligent planning process and rigorous testing. Reach out to our team of cloud migration experts, and we'll help you determine costs, next steps, and what it will take to migrate your organization to Atlassian Cloud.

Topics: roi cost-effective atlassian-cloud cloud migration
10 min read

How To Decide Between Cloud and Data Center

By Praecipio on May 19, 2022 9:30:00 AM

Everything is Easier to Manage in the Cloud_Featured

Software and data have become the most valuable resources for modern businesses. As such, a central part of your overall business strategy should be fully harnessing the infrastructure on which you host your applications and data. Identifying the right hosting platform – like Atlassian, AWS, or another – enables organizations to remain flexible. It helps them scale successfully, meet their objectives more quickly, and respond with agility to business trends.

Not all businesses are created equally, which is why a “one-size-fits-all” hosting solution doesn’t exist. 

In this article, we’ll compare the benefits and drawbacks of hosting on the cloud vs. on-premises specifically related to Atlassian Cloud vs. Data Center. Additionally, we provide insight to help you make an informed decision about which is the best fit for your business.

Cloud Versus On-Premise Data Center

Cloud software is hosted on a third party’s infrastructure and is accessible to an organization through a web server. The underlying hardware is often widely geographically distributed and complies with global regulations.

Traditionally, on-premise software was installed locally on data centers run by the organization. This model of data center has evolved to include “on-premise” data centers that use hybrid or outsourced infrastructures, including co-located servers running your apps, VMs, or private clouds. Although the servers aren’t on a company’s premises, the hardware is physically accessible and on-premises that you can visit and inspect.

Atlassian offers both categories of products for enterprise teams: Atlassian Cloud and Atlassian Data Center. First, let's introduce the options.

Atlassian Cloud

Atlassian Cloud is a delivery model for Atlassian products that hosts software on Atlassian’s globally distributed infrastructure. It enables your company to stay agile and invest more in your core business by freeing up your resources from having to manage security, upgrades, and maintenance. 

Atlassian offers a suite of collaborative tools to get work done at scale in a hosted environment. These tools include Jira Software, Jira Service Management, Trello, Confluence, and Bamboo just to name a few.

Atlassian Data Center

Atlassian Data Center is a self-managed solution that lets you control product hosting and perform version upgrades yourselves. Unlike Atlassian Cloud, your company is responsible for managing security, upgrades, and maintenance, but you have the access and flexibility to build a custom-tailored solution. Atlassian Data Center also offers a similar suite of tools for teams to the one available on Atlassian Cloud.

In early 2021, Atlassian began the process of ending support for Atlassian Server, leaving Data Center as the only self-hosted option for organizations joining the Atlassian platform. Organizations with existing licenses can continue to use Server, but support for Atlassian Server products is scheduled for early 2024.

Breaking Down Pros and Cons

Let’s discuss the differences in control and support, ease of deployment, and cost benefits between hosting software in the cloud and on-premise.

Control and Support

Cloud environments are managed by a vendor that offers support, monitoring, and built-in reliability functions. These environments are highly available and can be set up quickly.

On-premise hosting, on the other hand, is controlled by the organization. This means that you can customize your systems and choose which tools to deploy. But this also gives you or an external partner the responsibility of managing them effectively.

Ease of Deployment

Atlassian Cloud and Data Center both present unique challenges when setting up infrastructure.

Cloud infrastructure is the simpler option when starting fresh with a new instance, but any other type of migration requires more careful planning and preparation. Setting up the new instance is normally simple, as it only requires you to sign up for a subscription, choose your configurations and then your new software is in place almost immediately and Atlassian takes care of any installation.

However, if you need to migrate an existing instance — which entails your users, apps, and data — you’ll be balancing cost, downtime, and complexity. We don’t recommend doing a cloud migration on your own, so it’s important to bring on an Atlassian Solution Partner to help successfully guide you through the migration process. 

In contrast, deploying applications on-premise involves setting up new hardware or configuring your existing hardware before you install any software. It also requires you to perform maintenance on your hardware and ensure software is updated and patched.

Even if you choose to deploy your application on a non-clustered architecture, much of this work is time-consuming and requires additional specialized staff. A more complex setup provides all the performance, scalability, and reliability you’d expect from a clustered architecture, but demands a correspondingly greater investment and more work.

To successfully deploy on-premises, you need to hire staff — not only to build and implement your infrastructure but also to maintain it and ensure it meets regulatory requirements. You then need to document and benchmark your existing processes before optimizing your application.

Testing your deployment is the most intensive part of a deployment or migration. It can take 3 to 6 months to fully test your application for functionality, performance, and integration, after which your team is then responsible for ongoing infrastructure monitoring.

If you decide to hybridize your Data Center infrastructure, you can deploy Atlassian Data Center via cloud hosting infrastructure, like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Although this removes the burden of physical server maintenance, migrating is still a work-intensive and lengthy procedure.

Cost

Cloud service models free you from the expense of hardware, software, and additional IT professionals. Many businesses, especially startups and small companies, choose this option for its low upfront cost. Cloud hosting’s excellent scalability and high availability are expensive features to achieve in on-premise solutions. You don’t need to purchase the infrastructure (capital expense) with cloud environments you’re only left to deal with operational expenses.

Atlassian Cloud's monthly or annual subscription model can help organizations save money by eliminating upfront infrastructure purchases. A subscription also includes frequent updates to maintain up-to-date security features, which can become a significant recurring cost if your organization is responsible for its own updates. Additionally, Atlassian works around the clock to ensure that your data is secure, so once again, once less cost that your business has to incur. 

On the other hand, some organizations may have specialized needs that require data to remain within their jurisdiction. These companies must usually purchase and maintain all their hardware, ranging from the obvious — like servers, routers, and networking software — to the less obvious and often surprisingly expensive — like HVAC, fire suppression, and backup power solutions. In general, on-premise systems require significantly more upfront capital than cloud solutions.

Although it gives you precise control over your deployment, Atlassian Data Center requires an investment in staff. Even if you decide to run a hybrid architecture and avoid the costs of maintaining physical servers, your team still needs to maintain your infrastructure’s software layer. Security patches, integrations, and network performance become your organization’s responsibility. 

Comparing Atlassian Cloud and Data Center

Let’s look a little more closely at Atlassian Cloud and Atlassian Data Center. We’ll evaluate them based on a few factors that most organizations prioritize.

Time and Expense of Initial Setup

Depending on the scale of your infrastructure, setting up an on-premise architecture could take weeks. You need to install and configure all of the Atlassian products and infrastructure you need, and then migrate any data you currently have. You’ll need to do this for every product.

Atlassian Cloud is quicker to set up because Atlassian manages everything for you. If you are starting fresh with a completely new Atlassian instance, you could begin using your Cloud infrastructure within minutes — or seconds, if you use SSO.

If you are migrating your Atlassian instance to Cloud, things get a bit more challenging. While Atlassian itself provides free tools to support your team through the migration process, including the  Jira, Confluence, and Bitbucket migration assistant resources. However, even with this help from these tools, cloud migrations present unexpected roadblocks — especially during more complex or specialized migrations.

That’s why we recommend going a step further and getting help from an Atlassian Solution Partner. An Atlassian Specialized Partner in Cloud, like Praecipio, guides you through the entire migration process, sharing their proven expertise to accelerate your journey to cloud. For example, during a migration with Praecipio, any legacy or duplicate tooling is adjusted and your architecture is cleaned up, giving you peace of mind and a refreshed final product at a lower cost than if you were to complete the move yourselves.

Required Skills and Expertise 

Atlassian Cloud customers don’t need to manage instances because Atlassian provides and maintains the infrastructure. Cloud services are updated automatically, so you don't have to perform regular maintenance updates or worry about version compatibility.

At the other end of the spectrum, Atlassian Data Center offers more customization options, but it requires a higher level of expertise to manage successfully. You’ll need dedicated internal resources and skilled personnel to install, configure, upgrade and maintain instances.

Security

Atlassian handles all security concerns in its Cloud offering, which includes compliance with a broad set of industry standards, network security scans of both internal and external infrastructure, and regular penetration testing.

One of the main features of an on-premise setup is the additional control you have over your data. When using Atlassian Data Center, you have control over hardware and network security, but Atlassian manages application-level security for you.

Scalability Potential

Atlassian Cloud is inherently much more scalable than a Data Center. Atlassian Data Center also offers a solution with scaling potential, but the scalability is limited to the infrastructure deployed.

When using Atlassian Data Center, you need to forecast and build out capacity ahead of time to meet your predicted peaks. Many data centers are somewhat capable of being refitted to scale vertically, but horizontal scaling demands more space and power. You can easily scale out horizontally using Atlassian Cloud to get higher throughput and configure the environment to accommodate additional resources as needed.

Ability to Work Remotely

Atlassian Cloud is a hosted platform that you can use from anywhere, at any time. Team members can easily access Jira issues, Confluence pages, Bitbucket repositories, and other tools remotely from anywhere around the globe.

Atlassian Cloud also allows you to have teams of any size in the cloud and on-premise, working together in real-time. Employees working remotely can collaborate and access company products securely from mobile apps and browsers without signing in to a VPN. 

Data Center lets you stay flexible while retaining control over the security and stability of your instances. You can freely add nodes to your cluster to handle large numbers of geographically distributed users, and then use built-in features like rate limiting to prevent instability caused by external tools, automation, and infrastructure quirks outside of your organization’s control.

You can alleviate some of these concerns by using a content delivery network (CDN) to reduce peak load times on application instances running on Atlassian Data Center. This increase in performance extends to all your users, not just those who are geographically distant from your servers.

Cloud

A business with fluctuating needs requires a tiered pricing solution based on the number of users who access an instance in a certain period.

Organizations often have information spread across several different platforms. Your business may have messages on Slack, spreadsheets in Excel, and other documents in Google Docs. For example, you can bring these resources together using dynamic pages in Confluence Cloud to distribute communication materials and create company policies and marketing plans.

Confluence Cloud is used by many companies — such as Netflix, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Udemy — to create collaborative workspaces and consolidate information into unified dashboards.

Data Center 

In contrast, Data Center is better suited for organizations looking to meet specialized needs. It allows businesses to access their system’s back end and databases and create tailored integrations and add-ons.

For example, if you use Jira Service Management Cloud, you’re limited to specific customizations in some Jira plugin features, such as BigPicture Dashboard Gadgets or ScriptRunner scripting functions. However, you can use and freely customize these plugins by using them on Jira Service Management Data Center. 

Organizations that want to collaborate with their teams at a high velocity while meeting strict compliance standards can use Jira Service Management Data Center. Instead of having to build in-house ITSM systems, JSM Data Center acts as a single source of truth and allows you to extract and share data between teams without the complex processes of a conventional ITSM platform.

Conclusion

Unless an organization fully understands what it needs from its infrastructure and how the business might grow in the future, it can be difficult to determine whether to move everything to the cloud or run production systems in a data center. To evaluate how you can best serve your customers and employees, you must weigh the increased control and flexibility of Atlassian Data Center against what it could potentially cost your organization to operate out of the Cloud. 

Avoiding the switch to Atlassian Cloud will be more difficult to justify in a couple of years as support for Atlassian Server ends. So, organizations looking for longevity have an even stronger incentive to begin their migrations soon. Outside of specialized use cases, it’s often more beneficial to switch over to Atlassian Cloud.

Although migrations have a reputation as formidable undertakings, there’s no need for them to be overwhelming. The tools provided by Atlassian offer a good starting point for simple migrations if your IT department is provisioned to handle the risks.

However, working with an Atlassian Solution Partner like Praecipio to help with your migration will save you a lot of time and headache. Experienced migration experts provide peace of mind by helping you mitigate potential risks and by supporting your teams throughout the entire process, from deciding on the best migration strategy to onboarding users in the days following a migration.

If your organization is ready to migrate to Atlassian Cloud or Data Center, reach out to the Praecipio Consulting team to learn how we can help you achieve a successful migration.

Topics: cloud data-center atlassian-cloud cloud migration
4 min read

What Happens During an Atlassian Cloud Migration?

By Shannon Fabert on Mar 1, 2022 9:52:09 AM

what happens during an atlassian cloud migration

Since 2021, Atlassian users across the globe have inquired about Atlassian Cloud products. In talking with multiple clients and users, the inevitable questions are 1) how do Cloud products differ from Server and Data Center and 2) what happens during a migration? 

First, for Atlassian Cloud products, the user interface is slightly different, not to mention downtime for database or application configuration changes such as upgrades are a thing of the past. While there are innumerable differences between the Cloud experience vs. your current Server experience, let’s focus on some of the distinctions that are explicitly associated with the migration experience and, most importantly, the transfer of data.

Atlassian’s Cloud Migration Assistant

As applications such as Jira and Confluence have been upgraded, most system administrators have seen an added System menu item of “Migrate to Cloud.” In three easy steps, one would assess applications, prepare applications, and migrate data. Easy-peezy, lemon squeezy. Here the migration process is focused on cleaning up any process transfers using the Cloud Migration Assistant, often referred to as JCMA (Jira) or CCMA (Confluence), etc. 

This is Atlassian’s free tool that migrates configurations along with data to get you up and running in the cloud smoothly. As an administrator, this would be my preferred option for an organization. The ideal migration would be the simple push of a button, waiting on the data to transfer into the cloud, and then team members fluidly begin work.

The reality is your migration experience and level of effort required is determined by your organization’s governance practices and the complexity of your environment, specifically your use of and reliance on add-on applications. Four years ago, the vendor app space was limited. Then, it was easy to take a cursory glance at available options and make the decision to stay with your on-premises environment. Today, the vendor app space has covered most use cases. It is less about the number of applications available to the cloud instances than nuanced custom use cases.

Assessing Your Applications

A full review of vendor applications is one of the first steps your organization should complete before you consider moving to Atlassian Cloud. Your organization should understand how the app is used, by how many people, and if it is a transferrable application. In some frequent use cases, native cloud functionality might prove to be a more viable option, as it serves as a way to improve your current processes and makes your configurations less complicated. Migration plans need to be made around apps that are part of essential functions. Therefore, it is imperative to work with key stakeholders regarding their specific use cases. 

It is also essential to review and understand your specific use case during your migration journey. More mature Jira applications often have very embedded processes that have been tailored to years of adoption. As an Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner, Praecipio Consulting has had a hand in these types of customizations. This can be an eye-opening experience for an organization because oftentimes they uncover that administration has been left to developers or super users without governance, and the reality is that customizations built using homegrown scripts need to be closely evaluated.  

Cloud Migration Case Study

For example, working with a marketing organization, we completed a cursory review of its workflows. In reviewing the workflows, we found custom scripts that were doing basic permission functions, which could have been controlled through update permissions schemes, conditions, and validators common to more advanced workflows. The scripts themselves were not problematic in the on-premises instance. 

However, the lack of administrative knowledge led to a less than ideal practice, and when moving to cloud, they would need to be built out using best practices for an easy transfer of data and fluid transition in use. Finding solutions for custom development work is worked through before the migration, which makes the migration easier and also allows team members time to get acquainted with the prescribed best practices and changes.

Free eBook: 6 Steps to a Successful Atlassian Cloud Migration

Learn how to assess, plan, and launch a successful Atlassian Cloud Migration with our new eBook. We explore what you should expect before migrating, how to avoid common mistakes, and how we partnered with Castlight Health to guide them through a successful cloud migration. Learn how we've maintained a 100% cloud migration success rate, download our 6 Steps to a Successful Atlassian Cloud Migration eBook today.

Conclusion

The ideal situation for each organization is to have a seamless experience between Server and Cloud utilization. Depending on their on-premises version, there could be a need to deploy change management plans to ease user apprehension of the new look of their Atlassian applications. While the risk is low, the appetite for change can vary.

Hopefully, you have been working closely with the stakeholders in preparing them for these changes well before the actual migration. For most organizations, the “heavy lifting” happens in preparation before the actual migration. For large organizations, this could be a slow and daunting process.  

Whatever your journey to the cloud may be, it does not have to be done alone. Praecipio Consulting is an Official Cloud Specialized Partner in Atlassian Cloud migrations and can assist with the actual migration and prepare the organization for life after Server products.

Learn more about why you should be migrating to cloud in 2022 by checking out this blog. Also, if you’re interested in learning how Praecipio Consulting maintains a 100% Cloud Migration success rate, you should reach out to us here.

Topics: cloud atlassian-cloud cloud migration
3 min read

Cloud simplifies creating valuable workflows

By Luis Machado on Feb 22, 2022 11:04:51 AM

2021 Q1 Blog - Cloud - Cloud simplifies creating valuable workflow - Hero

Workflows are the backbone of every process in every business around the globe. Efficient workflows can help your business scale effectively. However, flawed or fragile workflows can lead to issues within your company, disruptions to your bottom line, and more. 

Until not so long ago, if you wanted to create a new way of working, you had to:
  • Create a request to solve this issue and make a business case for it
  • Once approved, brainstorm with stakeholders on ways to improve the process
  • IT had to create a development and test environment to code the changes and test them
  • Documentation and training
  • Launch with (hopeful) success

How long did this take? Days? Weeks? Traditionally, months.

Cloud shortens that time and provides several other benefits—such as reduced IT overhead, strengthened security, and more time spent focused on your customers and product. You can learn why you should migrate to Atlassian Cloud in 2022 here.

You can learn more about our approach to Atlassian Cloud Migrations and discover how we've maintained a 100% cloud migration success rate.

Your Cloud and digital improvements won't provide greater customer satisfaction, staff enhanced capabilities, or lower costs unless you begin to apply DevOps practices and tools.

How do we make it faster?

Using the concepts of IT service management, and leveraging the right software, you can automate creating and approving requests or resolving an IT issue (incident). This approach can be applied to other business tasks such as sales, HR, marketing, and essential accounting functions. Cloud-based software lets you implement these processes with a few clicks or by pressing a button on an online catalog. Atlassian and their partners like Workato are leading the way in creating business as a Service process. 

If we look at Onboarding, for example, one of the most common workflows companies have a strong desire to automate. The steps to source an applicant, store their CV, arrange an interview, track the responses, make an offer, track the request and organize the start date, training, and IT of the new employee used to take several days. Now software can complete your onboarding process by your morning coffee break.

The same is true for:

  • Approval workflows – product or service improvements currently require many approvals from finance, security, users, operations, and even external suppliers. These hand-offs add days to time to market, which could be saved if you allow software to manage your approval process.
  • Creating application environments – we have seen where the request for a new environment took 11 weeks. Coding the demand to deploy process allows an entire domain to be ready in less than 10 minutes. Taking advantage of this, you can even code the removal of the environment if not in use saving money.
  • Automating payment of services (debit cards, online products like PayPal, online ordering) is nothing more than leveraging code for the cash flow from request to the supplier.

How do you take advantage of this new way of creating work?

Consider these questions:
  • What work processes are vital to you, and why?
  • How do they work today?
  • What is wrong with them today?

This is where a partner like Praecipio comes into the picture. Leveraging lean techniques like value stream mapping (VSM) that have been embraced by DevOps and ITSM the world over, we can work with your teams to design for your future. Making collaborative decisions on improving the workflow or outsourcing the workload to a SaaS provider (see Praecipio SaaS blogs) can be agreed upon. The goal is to introduce innovation, speed, and scalability with a cloud service enabled by software workflow products. We bring context and expertise to the table turn your ideas into reality.

Free eBook: 6 Steps to a Successful Atlassian Cloud Migration

Learn how to assess, plan, and launch a successful Atlassian Cloud Migration with our new eBook. We explore what you should expect before migrating, how to avoid common mistakes, and how we partnered with Castlight Health to guide them through a successful cloud migration. Learn how we've maintained a 100% cloud migration success rate, download our 6 Steps to a Successful Atlassian Cloud Migration eBook today.

The goal is to have cloud-based operating models that can accelerate your strategy. Through 2020 and 2021, we've seen what happens to companies that do not react quickly enough. Ask for assistance and coaching, and go digital in 2022. Get started with your Cloud Migration by reaching out to the experts at Praecipio Consulting.

Topics: workflows cloud cloud migration
9 min read

How to Use Appfire's Configuration Manager for Jira Cloud Migration Tool

By Luis Machado on Jan 18, 2022 10:15:00 AM

2022 Q1 Blog Partner - How to use Appfire's Config - Hero

Recently, Atlassian announced their shift in focus to the cloud and the decommissioning of their server product. As a result, Atlassian customers are no longer asking "if" they're moving to the cloud, but instead "when" and "how can we get there?"

Anyone who's ever been through migration can tell you that it can be a painful process. No team wants to sift through years of accumulated data to try and identify what stays and what goes. The process is about as appealing as cleaning the attic out of your grandparents' house. And potentially with more surprises. So, teams are looking for ways to make the process as smooth and surprise-free as possible.

The Praecipio Consulting team has empowered our clients to make their transition to the cloud as smooth as possible. We are constantly exploring the ecosystem, searching for options and partners to assist in that effort.

We've had the opportunity to do beta testing for a Jira add-on developed by our good friends at Appfire, which is an evolution of their Configuration Manager for Jira product (CMJ for short). The CMJ Cloud Migration Tool is Appfire's answer to the "how" part of companies' question.

We'll review some of the tool's current features and functionalities, explore potential use cases, and finally, talk through some possible features we're excited to see in the future.

 

The Migration Process

Let's walk through what migration looks like using the CMJ Cloud migration tool. We won't get into the nitty-gritty details of the process, but it's essential to understand how the tool functions at a high level to provide context around the features we're covering.

Setup

The setup process is straightforward, but there are a couple of pieces.

  • You'll first install the tool like any other add-on from the marketplace on your server instance. This app is free, so you can explore the features and functionality as much as you want.
  • In addition to having the on-prem app, you'll need to install a cloud counterpart as well. You can get a trial license for this app, which can be installed in the same manner as any cloud add-on.
  • Next, create an API token for your cloud site. This is what allows the on-prem add-on to talk to your cloud environment. A step-by-step process for setting up an API token can be found on Atlassian's Support site.
  • Once you've created your token, you can create a connection between your on-prem site and your cloud environment.

Create a Migration

With your environments all set up to talk to each other, you can now plan your migration.  Under the main page for CMJ, you get a dashboard that tracks the ratio of projects and issues you've migrated in your instance, as well as a list of reports around the migrations you've created. We really like the dashboard for this tool. It's sleek and clean and also provides some great information at a glance.

Creating your migration is easy and straightforward:

  • Create your migration and name it.
  • Attach your previously configured cloud connector (or create a new one).
  • Select the projects you wish to migrate.
  • Run the Analysis.
  • Review and resolve any data conflicts.

There's some nuance to be worked through with this. The above example is a simplified representation, but we wanted to highlight the core capabilities' value.

 

Key Features

Expanding a bit on our outlined process above, I'd like to emphasize that the CMJ Cloud Migration Tool does a couple of things well that I want to highlight, as these features would potentially bring a lot of value to a migration given the right situation.

Error Handling

Like its on-prem migration counterpart, the single best feature that this software has to offer is the ability to handle error correction against your data prior to migrating. Using the in-line correction tools, there's no chance of accidentally migrating broken data to your cloud environment, and you don't have to wait through the entire migration process to the end to receive errors. The analysis function checks the data before migrating to give you a clean and detailed overview. As a migration architect, one of my responsibilities is assessing the environments intended to be migrated, and sometimes that means telling clients that their baby is ugly. No migration is perfect, though, and usually, the older the instance, the more potential there is for issues.  The CMJ Cloud Migration tool does a great job of helping you tackle these issues to make sure none of that erroneous data attempts to make its way into your cloud environment.

Selective Migration

You can effortlessly get an overview of the projects and issues that exist on your instance and get an idea of how much of that data has been previously migrated. This can help you keep track of what's being migrated over a period of time to help facilitate phased migrations for those larger enterprise customers that just have way too much data to move in a single migration window. This can also be handy if you have specific teams that are ready to move to cloud while others still need more time or if there are some projects that are not intended to be brought over. Combined with the ability to choose all or a subset of projects in the migration creation phase, you get a lot of flexibility.

Conflict Avoidance

For combination migration/merges, this feature is handy. One of the main challenges around migrating to cloud comes up if you have both an existing cloud environment and an on-prem environment that you're looking to migrate and merge into one. With any merge migration, you will have data elements that may conflict from both sides. This could be custom fields, workflows, or any global Jira object.

We often see (especially with clients looking to do a merge migration) that some efforts have been to duplicate work in both environments. Either because one team decided to start over in cloud, or maybe the permissions were set up as such that a certain group couldn't access data that was in one environment or another. Whatever the reason, it's not uncommon to have duplicate or conflicting data.

The CMJ tool allows you to identify and resolve those conflicts in-line during your migration or as part of your testing, so you can get a full sense of what to expect, and make a plan to resolve them. This is something that normally has to be done in a painstaking manner prior to the migration, or results in a lot of man-hours utilized for cleanup in the target instance after the fact.

 

What's coming in the future

In its current state, the CMJ Cloud Migration Tool offers a lot of great features and functionality. It's a top contender for companies looking to do a migration from an on-prem Jira instance to the cloud. There's a lot to be excited about from Appfire's roadmap for the tool. In particular, there are several features that we're really excited to see come to fruition.

Cloud to Cloud Migration

Right now, cloud-to-cloud migrations are one of the most nebulous types of migration engagements that we perform, as there is currently no available solution for directly merging two cloud instances together. The process involves exporting and importing the cloud sites to an on-prem solution and re-importing the final product into cloud. This can be a complex and cumbersome endeavor, depending on how the cloud sites are configured, because of the feature differences between cloud and on-prem. Suppose the final evolution of the CMJ Cloud Migration tool allows users to have as smooth a merge/migration process in cloud as they do with merging server/data center instances. In that case, that's a massive win for everyone.

Jira Service Management

While the climate around migrating Jira Service Management (JSM) projects to the cloud is improving, it's still a bit of a wild west trying to get these projects migrated. JSM projects are currently a liability regarding cloud migrations and an immediate complexity increase if they're present. Having a fully fleshed-out solution for migrating these projects would be huge and provide some much-needed stability and reliability to the process.

Rollbacks

One of our favorite features of the CMJ tool is the rollback functionality. If there is an error in the migration, the app immediately kicks off a rollback and provides an error log when complete.

There's nothing like this that currently exists for cloud migration.

Once the data is moved, it's still there. If something is wrong and you get only a partial migration, it can be a bit of a bear to restore the instance to a usable state. Having a rollback functionality built-in that will revert the target instance to its pre-migration state automatically is not only a time saver but grants peace of mind.  This can also be useful in testing; sometimes, with migrations, it's hard to pinpoint what's going to work and what's not without just testing the migration. A rollback feature frees up the time it would take to restore a test environment if there are still adjustments to make.

 

Conclusion

Every migration is different, and it's essential to find the right tool for the job. The CMJ Cloud Migration Tool has a lot to offer out of the box, and the roadmap for future features looks incredibly promising.  In fact, during beta testing, the Appfire team shared with us that the Cloud Migration Tool successfully performed a single migration of 100 projects, 200k issues, and over 2 million configuration changes — so it's built to handle those large, customized, and complex Jira instances.

If you're an enterprise customer with a large instance and a lot of history behind it, you're going to need a solution to match. We encourage you to consider CMJ for your migration project, and if you are looking for a partner to help guide your organization through the process of an Atlassian Cloud migration, reach out to Praecipio Consulting.

Topics: jira technology-partners cloud migration
4 min read

4 Cloud Migration Strategies: Their Pros and Cons

By Isaac Montes on Jan 4, 2022 9:57:00 AM

2022 Q1 Blog Cloud - 4 Cloud Migration Strategies - Hero

You have decided that moving to Cloud is the right decision for the future of your Atlassian products. Now, how do you go about doing so? Migrating to the Atlassian Cloud can be a complex process that could have a big impact on users, data integrity, and system performance, so there needs to be a strategy in place to meet any business requirements specific to your organization and industry.

We will cover the 4 cloud migration strategies you can implement when moving to Atlassian Cloud. Note the importance of planning properly for the cloud migration, deciding on your migration strategy, and carrying out that strategy first requires an assessment of your Atlassian footprint. 

Clean-Up and Migrate

When we use this strategy, we are looking at evaluating your source instance and cleaning up anything that may not be deemed necessary to migrate. All the necessary data is then migrated to the cloud at once while leaving behind items in the server for reference.

Pros:

  • Only one migration outage
  • Can reduce the time of the outage
  • End up with an improved instance
  • Potential performance improvements
  • Reduce costs

Cons:

  • The outage window may be longer than other methods due to the size of the data
  • Requires additional time to clean and prepare the instance

As-Is Migration

Migrate your entire instance at once with one migration outage. This includes all instance data and users.

Pros:

  • Reduced costs
  • Timeline is reduced
  • Less effort and simpler process
  • One migration window
  • Can migrate Service Management and Advanced Roadmaps

Cons:

  • Increased downtime depending on the size of the instance
  • Unnecessary data and users may be moved to the cloud increasing cost and complexity

Phased Migration

With a phased migration, we take the approach of cleaning and migrating but with an extended timeline and without having to move everything at once. Users and instance data are moved depending on a scheduled plan. 

Pros:

  • Outage times are reduced
  • Possible phased user onboarding
  • Cleanup can happen while migrating
  • Easier phased adoption of Atlassian Cloud

Cons:

  • Does not support Service Management and Advanced Road maps
  • May support fewer third-party apps
  • Overall longer process may increase the cost
  • Multiple outages
  • Increased complexity
  • May require a third-party app to meet business requirements

Clean Sweep

If on-prem (server or DC) data is not required and teams want to start using the cloud right away, starting fresh on a brand new instance may be the simplest of strategies.

Pros:

  • No downtime required
  • Server can be kept for closing out projects or archiving
  • Easier to onboard new teams
  • Allows clean slate to improve processes and implement new things

Cons:

  • Old on-prem data will not be available on the Cloud instance

Conclusion

Every company and industry has different needs, but our experts have the experience necessary to make yours easy and efficient. If you are considering a move to Atlassian Cloud but are worried about how this new environment will impact your mission-critical apps and add-ons being, we’re here to help!

Free eBook: 6 Steps to a Successful Atlassian Cloud Migration

There are 6 steps to any successful Atlassian Cloud Migration process. We've created an eBook to explore each step in detail and demonstrate how we've maintained a 100% migration success rate. Download our 6 Steps to a Successful Atlassian Cloud Migration eBook here.

Want to learn more about the Cloud Migration process? Check out this blogs on the Pros and Cons of Cloud Migration and this on 4 Things to Look Out for When Migrating to Atlassian Cloud.

Topics: atlassian atlassian-cloud cloud migration
5 min read

Pros and Cons of a Cloud Migration

By Luis Machado on Jul 5, 2021 12:23:50 PM

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Thinking a move to cloud might be the way to go for your company, but you're not exactly sure if such a move is right for you? There are a few questions you should ask yourself about your organization to understand the context of what a migration to cloud would mean for you.  As you're navigating the pros and cons associated with migrating from on-prem solution to cloud, you have to understand that how these factors are weighed largely depend on the context of your organization. Asking the following questions will help you establish that context:

Why move to cloud?

For context, the term 'Cloud' can be somewhat ambiguous, so if not otherwise stated I'm referring to cloud in the SaaS sense (Software as a Service), that is, maintained by a 3rd party and available in a cloud setting, such as the Atlassian product suite. There are other flavors of cloud out there, but the SaaS model is where we'll maintain our focus. The first question you want to answer is why? Why are you considering moving to cloud in the first place? Are there any specific pain points you are feeling in your current setup that you think might be alleviated by moving to cloud? Understanding what your potential need is for a cloud migration will help you to develop a business justification for the endeavor, as well as allow you to start to build the context of your specific situation. If the reason is "We're spending too much time on maintaining infrastructure for our on-prem solutions" then something like having no maintenance in a cloud environment would be weighed very heavily in your case.

What are you moving?

What are you going to be moving?  What does your current on-prem setup look like? How big is your userbase? What 3rd party add ons or apps are you using? Are you using a single instance and are wanting to consolidate in addition to migrating to cloud?  How much historical data do you have? These questions can help to establish the potential complexity of the migration you're looking to perform.  One of the major considerations that has to be factored into a cloud migration is the cost of entry. This extends from just the literal monetary cost to include time and human resources as well. If your company can't afford to divert labor to perform a migration, is it worth it for you to contract the project out to a 3rd party? Having an idea of what you are migrating will help you weigh the various options and give you perspective to consider the impact.

Pros

Now that you've established the context for you migration, let's take a moment to talk about the potential pros around migrating to cloud.  When comparing cloud to an on-prem solution, you can really break down the pros into four main points:

  • Accessibility
  • Scalability
  • Maintenance
  • Cost

Let's take a look at the first point, Accessibility. One of the great things about cloud is that it's accessible from almost anywhere in the world right out of the box. You don't have to configure any VPNs or allow lists, no special permissions groups to modify, all the data replication and content delivery is managed for you, and has a low cost to entry.

Scalability is another major pro in favor of a move to cloud and falls along similar lines as Accessibility, and typically goes hand in hand with Maintenance. The infrastructure behind the application or service is purpose-built on a platform intended to be scalable in order to support multiple customers.

Add to this the fact that you no longer have to be responsible for maintaining that infrastructure, you can focus efforts and resources elsewhere in your organization. If maintaining infrastructure is something in particular your business struggles with, making a shift to cloud can have a huge positive impact.

This leads us nicely into the topic of cost.  Depending on the specific context, cost can sometimes go either way: I'm including it in the pros section because I think in most cases, especially if you factor in for the long term, your costs overall will be lower with a move to cloud. Figuring costs in a cloud move takes some doing because there can be differences in the types of costs you'll encounter in a cloud setting vs. an on-prem. Again, because this can be pretty heavily dependent on the context of the specific situation being analyzed, I'll throw out a few common factors but I don't want to give any potentially wrong impressions. Cloud vs on prem costs infographic

In the table above I've done quick breakdown to illustrate the basic differences around Cloud and On-Prem, and I've added another column to include the option of moving to cloud as SaaS model vs self-hosted cloud. Cloud hosted and On-Prem hosted have some similar costs categories (licensing, infrastructure) but there is some reprieve you get from cloud specifically around the depreciation of hardware and maintaining the infrastructure. In a cloud model this is mostly tied to licensing and the monthly cost operating fees associated with the virtual hardware you have allocated for your purposes. Versus the more traditional model of maintaining physical servers, the personnel costs associated with that upkeep, and the cost you incur with depreciation. In a SaaS model this all mostly wrapped into the licensing cost, which is typically why licensing for cloud is both more expensive and more complex. 

Cons

There are of some potential tradeoffs and downsides to consider as part of a move to the cloud. The biggest areas that might cause you or your organization trouble include Control, Security, and Flexibility.

When you break it down, the concepts of control and security almost go hand-in-hand.  Control is probably the hardest thing to overcome when talking about moving your data to the cloud and understandably so. The bottom line of operating in cloud environment is your data lives somewhere outside of your organization and the infrastructure is managed by another entity. You're putting your data and your trust into someone else's hands. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it can take some getting used to, and some adjusting of your internal methods or practices. Being familiar with the support process can help with this as know what information you can request and how to get it will help to alleviate some of the disjointed feeling when attempting to manage your application.

On the security front, if your company has very specific security requirements or has specific regulatory bodies you have to comply with, there is an extra layer of consideration when weighing the prospect of moving to cloud. It's important to first identify what those needs are and reach out to the cloud provider ahead of time to find out if those requirements can be accommodated.

Lastly it's important to consider that moving to a cloud application means you will not have access to anything beyond the application layer. This can mean workarounds previously in use with the on-prem solution may need to be re-considered or re-engineered, and there are potentially additional restrictions around API calls and traffic to/from the application. Spending some time discovering what your needs are vs what is available to you in a cloud setting will be key to realizing these potential pitfalls.

We are getting to a point where we're moving from "Is cloud the right choice?" to "Which form of cloud is the right choice?" Not all situations involving cloud are the same, and careful consideration and weighing of options is important for any potential move.  Having the right tools to plan and execute the transition as well as an understanding of the context of your environment can make all the difference when deciding how to move forward.

If you have any questions on migrating to cloud, have run into trouble implementing a migration, or simply want to see if your organization is making the most of its digital infrastructure and operations, contact us and one of our experts will reach out to you.

Topics: blog saas cloud digital-transformation cloud migration
3 min read

4 Things to Look Out for When Migrating to Atlassian Cloud

By Jerry Bolden on Jun 28, 2021 3:17:41 PM

2021-q4-blogpost-Challenges moving from server to cloud

Migrating to the cloud can be a challenging move for any organization: there are many moving pieces to keep track of, and with the threat of negatively affecting both internal and front-facing operations, failure is not an option! Here are some key blockers to keep in mind when migrating to Atlassian Cloud from on-premise instances, so that you can review ahead of time just how prepared for a successful migration your company is:

  • User Management
  • Automations
  • Size of Attachments
  • Apps

User Management

User Management and how users are set up is a major difference when operating in Atlassian Cloud versus on premise. This is an important obstacle to understand and address, as the approaches for user management are different between cloud and on-premise. Key to this is how users are created and managed; equally important is identifying any users with missing or duplicate email addresses, since these cause problems with data integrity and users being able to use Filters and Queues in Atlassian Cloud. 

Automation

Automations are critical to research, as some automations may not be functional or even allowed in Atlassian Cloud: these will need to be identified and assessed to determine the balance between the value they bring and the level of effort of recreating them. 

Attachments

Size of Attachments becomes critical when using the Jira Cloud Migration Assistant, as this does not support migrating Jira Service Desk projects, which may require importing data via Site Import that forces attachments to be uploaded separately in 5 GB chunks, one chunk at a time. This alone will drive the migration of attachments to exceed a typical outage window, as the Site Import process must first conclude prior to uploading attachments. 

Jira Service Management utilization is tied to the size of the attachments as noted above. While JSM is used heavily it is currently not able to be migrated using the Jira Cloud Migration tool. With that being said this drives the use of site import. With this comes having to migrate the users and attachments separately. This becomes more moving parts during the migration outage and the coordination and timing will become even more critical.  

Apps

Jira Suite Utilities (JSU) / Jira Miscellaneous Workflow Extension (JMWE) / Scriptrunner are apps available in the Atlassian Marketplace that may be used in one or more of your current workflows. While these apps have helped to drive the creation of workflows and processes to automate certain transitions or enforce proper data collection, there is also no current migration pathway to Atlassian Cloud. While JSU has become part of the native cloud, JSU along with the other two apps must be manually fixed in all workflows migrated up to the cloud. You must run a query on your on premise data base to ensure you map out all transitions affected by the apps. Then once the migration to cloud is complete, they must be reviewed and recreated manually to ensure they are all working properly. Where possible utilizing the out of the box options, that mimic JSU, can help to move away from at least one app. 

Specific to Scriptrunner, one common scenario is the use of it in filters can cause them to no longer function, potentially causing boards and dashboard to render incorrectly. These filters must be rewritten using the Scriptrunner Enhanced Search functionality. One good example is any filter that contains the phrase "issueFunction not in" will need be rewritten as "NOT issueFunction in". It would be advisable, when doing the migration to Cloud, to open a ticket with the vendors for advise on how to fix scenarios with JQL that worked in Server/Data Center that no longer work "as-is" in Cloud.

Overall these key obstacles will get you on the correct path to understanding what you know will need to be done in preparation for starting the migration. This by no means is a complete list of the only obstacles that you can encounter, but we hope it will help you to be proactive in fixing obstacles before they become a blocker to the migration.

We are Atlassian experts, and understand how the move to cloud can be fraught with unpleasant surprises. If you have any questions, or are in need of professional assistance, contact us, we would love to help!

Topics: atlassian blog automation best-practices migrations atlassian-cloud marketplace-apps jira-service-management cloud migration
2 min read

Leading Wireless Retailer Makes the Shift from Zendesk to Jira Service Management

By Praecipio on Aug 26, 2020 10:00:00 AM

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One of the leading exclusive premium retailers for Verizon, offering a full range of wireless devices including phones, tablets, mobile broadband, wearable technology, accessories, and product insurance made the switch to Jira Service Management(JSM). With over 1000 locations, this retailer has a stellar reputation for excellent customer service and was even honored as Agent of the Year in 2016. As such, having a reliable ticketing system for customer service issues, as well as technical support, human resources and other critical aspects was non-negotiable.

Challenges with Zendesk

Poor Customer Service/Communication

This retailer was using Zendesk as its ticketing system for internal employees with a total of 12 portals for various business functions. The Zendesk contract was coming up for renewal and they were having significant issues communicating with Zendesk sales representatives.

Migration Needed with Fast Turnaround

With just a few weeks before their contract was set to expire, there was the risk of either discontinuing the Zendesk contract and losing over 300,000 data records or renewing at a hefty price tag just to have the account long enough to migrate their data off the platform.

Limited Customization

This retailer was unable to achieve some of the customizations they needed through their use of Zendesk. They needed a partner who could turn around a large migration, replicate their custom environment, test to ensure functionality, and build a knowledge base that would enable requesters to do self-service if possible.

Praecipio Chosen to Handle Atlassian Cloud Migration to Jira Service Management

For this special project, Praecipio was selected for their depth of knowledge with Jira Service Management, and confidence in their ability to deliver a migration from Zendesk to JSM on an aggressive timeline. Jira Service Management enables employees to submit tickets over the internet or via email. Additionally, not only was it a more affordable option, but JSM was also able to provide the unique customizations to their environment that the retailer needed.

Results

Custom Built Jira Service Management Environment

To complete the migration, Praecipio engineers met with the retailer’s representatives to get their requirements, review their Zendesk instance, and build out the Jira Service Management environment per their requirements. This project required 12 service desk portals for employees to create tickets for various departments within the company.

Specialized Migration Done on a Tight Deadline

Praecipio migrated 11 projects from ZenDesk to JSM, including a build out of 12 new Service Desk Spaces in Jira with associated fields, screens, workflows, email handlers. With over 300,000 records needing to be migrated--the history, field data, attachments, and more--this challenge would’ve been difficult, even in the best-case scenario. Praecipio performed the bulk of changes outside of normal business hours to avoid any business interruption.

Created a Knowledge Base & Conducted Post-Project Support

Praecipio created a Confluence knowledge base linked to Jira Service Management Projects. This knowledge base was created to host articles that can help employees solve their issue directly before submitting a request. This saves the IT department time and reduces the number of IT resources needed to support employees. Praecipio also provided expertise on 3rd party apps to help enhance Jira Service Management functionality and provided post-project support and guidance on best practices.

Topics: atlassian-cloud jira-service-management cloud migration

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