Jira Cloud vs Jira Server - A Comprehensive Guide

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Jan 09, 2024

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There are pros and cons to both Jira Cloud and Jira Server that need to be carefully considered before licensing decisions are made. The goal of this in-depth piece is to help people who need to make a choice between Jira Cloud and Jira Server by showing them how they are different. Jira, which was made by Atlassian, is more than just project management software. It started out as a tool for software workers and has grown into an important part of project management teams around the world. Jira is a flexible tool that can help project managers plan projects carefully and keep track of their progress in real time.

The Core Distinction

At the heart of the Jira Cloud vs. Server argument is the difference in hosting. Jira Server gives companies freedom by letting them host the software on any servers they choose, whether they are internal or external. When you use Jira Cloud, on the other hand, Atlassian's computers take care of management. So, autonomy, configurability, and tasks are spread out in different ways, which means that the needs of the organization need to be carefully thought through.

In Jira Server, liberty is very important. This means that you are more responsible for protecting data and maintaining instances, but it also means that you can set up things in more ways. On the other hand, Jira Cloud simplifies these processes, so you don't have to worry about protecting your data or maintaining your instances. But this ease comes at the cost of less freedom and configuration choices, so businesses have to carefully weigh the pros and cons.


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Functional Variances

User Administration

  • Cloud: Centralized user administration with the added ability to categorize users into groups for a streamlined approach.
  • Server: The absence of a consolidated view demands meticulous user assignment to groups, posing an organizational challenge.

Mobile Application

  • Cloud: The provision of a free mobile app ensures seamless smartphone access, emphasizing user convenience.
  • Server: Mobile apps were introduced later, specifically from Jira version 8.3 onwards, showcasing a nuanced timeline of feature releases.


  • Cloud: The Forge framework facilitates seamless integration and customization through APIs, aligning with modern development practices.
  • Server: Teams working on apps for Atlassian products can leverage a provided API, showcasing a more hands-on approach to customization.


  • Cloud: Automated backups stored for a month, coupled with the option for offline backups every two days, highlight a robust data protection mechanism.
  • Server: Administrators shoulder the responsibility of data backups, offering flexibility in timing but demanding a more hands-on administration approach.

Database Access:

  • Cloud: Limited access to database structure and system files due to Atlassian hosting showcases a balance between security and convenience.
  • Server: Full access to the database and system files is granted, emphasizing the organization's control over its data.

Payment Processing:

  • Cloud: Monthly or annual payments cover licenses, updates, support, and operation, providing a predictable and scalable cost model.
  • Server: The one-time product purchase is followed by free support and updates for the first year, with subsequent charges based on user count.


Both: While both hosting variants offer expansive possibilities for expansion through apps, the functionality may differ  based on the chosen hosting.

Jira Cloud Migration

The migration to the cloud remains a prevalent theme in 2023, driven by compelling reasons. Assurances of 24/7 support, a robust 99% uptime SLA, and significant cost savings from the elimination of physical hardware and maintenance propel organizations toward cloud migration. The free mobile app for Jira Cloud, coupled with dynamic scalability and a swift startup process, positions cloud migration as a strategic move for efficiency and modernization.

As elucidated in our article "10 Benefits of Cloud Migration," advantages extend beyond the immediate, encompassing long-term sustainability and adaptability. Organizations are drawn to the cloud not merely as a technological shift but as a holistic transformation aligning with the evolving demands of the digital landscape.

The Sunset on Server

Atlassian's strategic direction is evident – the future of its software resides in the cloud. Organizations still anchored to Jira Server are well aware that the sale of new Server licenses ceased in February 2021. The subsequent cessation of the ability to upgrade and downgrade Server licenses marked a definitive shift in Atlassian's focus.

Critical dates for organizations to note include the end of sale for Server apps on the 15th of February 2023, followed by the end of support for Server products and apps on the 2nd of February 2024. These milestones underscore the urgency for organizations currently relying on Jira Server to consider the impending unavailability of this hosting variant and strategically plan for a seamless migration to Jira Cloud.

 The transition from Jira Server to Jira Cloud demands meticulous planning and execution.

  1. Assessment and Planning: Conduct a comprehensive assessment of the current Jira Server setup, identifying custom configurations and integrations that need migration.
  2. Data Migration Strategy: Develop a robust strategy for migrating data, ensuring a seamless transition without compromising critical information.
  3. Testing and Validation: Prioritize testing to validate the functionality of Jira Cloud, ensuring alignment with organizational needs and workflows.
  4. User Training: Equip teams with the necessary training to navigate the nuances of Jira Cloud, ensuring a smooth transition and minimal disruption to productivity.
  5. Communication: Transparent communication is paramount. Keep stakeholders informed about the migration timeline, potential disruptions, and the overarching benefits of the transition.
  6. Post-Migration Support: Provide dedicated support post-migration to address any teething issues promptly, ensuring a productive and positive user experience.

Also Read: What is JIRA Tool Software ? The Complete Overview


That being said, picking between Jira Cloud and Jira Server is a tough choice that will affect how a company manages projects in the future. Companies are moving more and more to Jira Cloud, and soon, Server licenses will no longer be supported. This is a big change that needs a proactive reaction. Organizations will continue to get the most out of Jira in the ever-changing world of project management if they handle this change with care, planning, and a strategic mind. Moving from Jira Server to Jira Cloud is more than just a migration. It's a planned leap into the future, driven by the benefits of the cloud, the promise of ongoing support, or Atlassian's long-term goals. Sign up for our JIRA Training Course right now to learn the differences between Jira Cloud and Server and set yourself up for success as you work toward your desired Jira certification.

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