back to article Atlassian pulls the plug on server licences, drags customers to the cloud

Atlassian is ending server licence sales and requiring customers to migrate either to its cloud services or to expensive Data Center editions. The Aussie biz makes software development and collaboration tools including Jira, for issue and project tracking, Confluence for document collaboration, Bitbucket for source code …

  1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    All aboard the Gitlab train

    Really, Atlassian should know better. There are so many reasons for companies to host their source code on their own infrastructure, but licence fees won't be among the top ten. Fortunately, other products are available.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All aboard the Gitlab train

      Shouldn't be a problem.

      Atlassian just has to confirm that their cloud offering is certified by FDA, FAA, DoD, every-other-3-letter-agency and that they have an unlimited insurance policy against any business losses due to security breaches we are fine.

      1. IcelandHekla

        Re: All aboard the Gitlab train

        Please do your research probably it’s illegal to insure against GDPR violations.

        1. -tim

          Re: All aboard the Gitlab train

          It isn't illegal to buy insurance for that kind of problem. Locally I know it is illegal for the insurance company to pay out which makes the premiums a bit of a waste of money.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: All aboard the Gitlab train

          > Please do your research probably it’s illegal to insure against GDPR violations.

          I think he was probably being sarcastic. The bit about getting all the 3-letter agencies to agree (presumably before getting all the 4 letter agencies and then all the 5 letter agencies to agree) was the giveaway.

    2. shah27

      Re: All aboard the Gitlab train

      I agree, the place I work at places a lot of importance in data protection. We are not allowed to store any information on any form of external devices or use any cloud services.

      JIRA and confluence are critical tools for our day to day work.

      Oh god even thinking of trying to migrate everything to a different platform will be a complete nightmare.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: All aboard the Gitlab train

        Ah, the joys of a proprietary platform..

    3. Mark 65

      Re: All aboard the Gitlab train

      One word....greed.

      1. hoola Silver badge

        Re: All aboard the Gitlab train

        What the business requirements and what managers actually do are completely different. There will be all sorts of exceptions etc so that the subscription gravy train can continue. It does not appears to matter how bad something is or what it costs, if higher ups have decided it is the must have tool then that is what is deployed, even when it is blatantly obvious that it is either inappropriate, hideously expensive or (usually) both.

  2. Ben Tasker Silver badge

    > Another user complained that “Confluence is my notebook. I'm a freelance security researcher and submit security vulnerabilities to my customers … it is definitely impossible to move those data to some random server not controlled by myself.”

    That user concluded that:

    > For me, if the decision is made and fixed, the only possible solution is: using current version of Confluence Server for another 10 or 20 years.

    Which is exactly what I've ended up doing with JIRA. They started playing silly buggers with the feature set and UI a while back, so I put off upgrading again and again. Then license renewal came round, and I said fuck it.

    The VM it runs in has been increasingly isolated from the rest of the internet over the years, but aside from the odd crash should continue doing what I need it to for quite some time.

    I'd love to migrate to something else, but nothing quite fits the bill

    - Jira cloud is slow, and involves storing my data on someone else's servers

    - Newer versions of JIRA server are rubbish

    - Gitlab's issues functionality is still a bit sub-par IMO (though it is improving)

    Of course, Atlassian probably don't really care what I think, particularly given I stopped paying them already. They may, though, be underestimating the amount of anti-JIRA and anti-Confluence sentiment out there, which'll come to the fore when companies start talking about/planning their migration to JIRA cloud. If you've got to migrate anyway, why not migrate to something better?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "If you've got to migrate anyway, why not migrate to something better?"

      Never give the customer a reason to review the market.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        100% agree.

        I worked for an outfit that had Jira inflicted on it by its former CTO. Let's just say that it didn't fit the culture, and the need for independent contractors to tweak the thing became interesting after it was accidentally discovered that "independent" should be interpreted as "chosen because of the fee kickback paid to the CTO" - hence the "former"..

        "Inflicted" meant flung in and imposed on staff without any training or attention to existing workflows, which is not exactly the thing to do as a CTO when already exposed to the sound of deadlines whooshing by, to quote Douglas Adams.

        Admittedly it wasn't Jira's fault for being implemented by a Darwin Award candidate, but the impression lingers..

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          In my previous job the servers running Jira and Confluence became my responsibility, and due to the strange and inconsistent problems, I had to dig deeper into their inner workings - tons of Java classes, all depending on each other, written in different coding styles by different programmers with a wide variety of competence, then implemented on a schedule without regarding the publicly known limitations, resulting in a sluggish user experience on idling, oversized hardware.

          When Jira couldn't even import its own exported data due to double-encoded special characters it became clear to me that Atlassian was one of the software companies to avoid, even though the CIO was utterly convinced.

          Being downsized really was a relief.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    GitBlit + XWiki

    Gitblit has a possibly interesting workflow and can simulate issue tracking. XWiki is a solid wiki, it's actually convenient to have everything go in to the database without the file repo.

    1. Nate Amsden Silver badge

      Re: GitBlit + XWiki

      as someone who has been fairly hard core confluence user over the past ~13 years or so I have to agree that Xwiki seems to be a good alternative, I installed it on my home network a few months ago. Though I don't have too much in it yet. At the org I work for we have been on the Atlassian cloud since before I was hired more than 9 years ago now I think(briefly brought some things in house such as SVN, and fisheye when they retired their cloud usage of those systems, until the developers eventually moved onto something else and we stopped using those too). The user experience has degraded significantly during that time, and it's really sad to see. I've complained many times but 99% of the time they just ignore it. (par for the course for most SaaS systems I believe).

      But I have great hopes for Xwiki.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear Security Guy

    Have you tried org-mode in Emacs? It will blow your mind

    1. I like fruits

      Re: Dear Security Guy

      org-mode would only work if they already know Emacs.

      1. John Sturdy

        Re: Dear Security Guy

        Some people learn Emacs specifically because they want org-mode.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    This doesn't seem to make much sense. I admin an instance and over the years we've made some quite heavy use of the scriptrunner plugin amongst others to customise our instance in various ways (integration to other internal systems, etc). I'm not sure how common this is but it's not feasible for us to now move our instance to the cloud, it would mean allowing outside network access to other internal systems. I think we'll just be sticking with our current JIRA version, makes me wonder how many others will be doing the same.

  6. whoseyourdaddy

    They were one of the pioneers for selling server-grade software direct to the customer. Wonder if COVID shrank their support group.

    I still have to nag engineers to stop storing company-critical information as an email attachment (to disappear forever after they leave the company) and use the Confluence Wiki instead, this makes me smile.

    My life sucks without Confluence. But... I need my plugins.

    What I don't remember is if the licenses are considered perpetual (50 user level) or if you're held for ransom if you don't keep paying them.

    1. Mark 65

      For me, the move to a subscription from self-hosted signals the turning point for the decline of a company. With a lack of any compelling reason to continue to buy into upgrades they need to move to subscription + cloud to get income. Far from Adobe's move being an indicator of success, I believe it signals the lack of any meaningful competitor in their market. Their offerings have given no reason to update over the years so now they have to resort to extortion.

      There's a lot to be said for being able to control what version you're on rather than having someone continually "upgrade" you no matter what.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Was going to deploy multiple Jira+Conf stacks...

    ... for 3 new teams this month.

    Not now, the data can't be sent to cloud (risk, cost, etc.).

    Ouch. Atlassian used to look after the innovators. Now the investors just want to take the cash, 'rationalise', same as MS did with Office.

    But they don't have the OS, Exchange and ActiveDirectory. Customer stickiness just isn't there to make this work without a massive impact :-( Maybe they don't realise that now they will be just another cloud provider competing on price and features, and will lose the army of skunkworks (devops/secops/admins/developers) that have been quietly getting them in the door of the big four's customers for well over a decade. It's a sad day indeed. And it will create millions of less secure instances of all kinds of rushed, half-baked solutions as users move away and try to do their own thing.

    More chaos and more juicy info for the dark-web to trade.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Was going to deploy multiple Jira+Conf stacks...

      MCB obviously wants to blow more money on his eco-friendly but live in a $70m mansion bullshit.

  8. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge


    Atlassian mentions Spring Framework in their job descriptions so it must be a nightmare to optimize it to run on the servers that clients expect it to need. I've heard it's technically possible to use Spring efficiently, but developers like it for the magic features and abundance of copy-paste solutions on Stack Overflow.

  9. Ynox

    Wasn't it Atlassian who had the motto of 'don't fuck the customer' ?

  10. xeroks

    Github Enterprise it is then.

    I heard last week we were probably moving off confluence, I guess this is why.

    If so, we'll be migrating off bitbucket too. And Jira. What a pain in the arse.

    Shame, I quite liked them.

  11. Whitter

    How easy is it to migrate Confluence content?

    Do any of the alternate tools support tools to easily migrate away from Confluence?

    Though I suspect that anything one migrates to will pull the same shit in 5 years too, just kicking the can down the road a bit.

  12. EnviableOne Silver badge

    CLOUD - Fail

    Not everything can be run in the cloud, and not everything should be, i object to the "cloud" moniker anyway, as most people dont understand its origin,

    Two TLAs that are better descriptors:

    NYS - Not Your Server

    OPT - Other People's Tin

    I'm renamining OnPrem too

    OMB - On My Box

    DMS - Definatley My Server

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: CLOUD - Fail

      Cheerfully Lets Others Upload Data ?

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