The Atlassian Data Center Initiative

Objective

A large tech company with close to 60,000 employees had several on-prem installations of Jira Software and Confluence across the organization and had a business objective to consolidate as many of them as possible. This consolidation and migration to Jira Software and Confluence (Data Center) was critical because it would:

Having multiple instances that perform the exact same functions is a huge waste of money, resources and infrastructure.

Atlassian licenses have to be installed per instance and cannot be shared across instances. Thus, the client was absorbing a significant amount of unnecessary costs and in many cases, lacked the ability to link tickets across projects or display them in certain Confluence spaces because the instances were not integrated and they were not working with a single source of truth.

The client was also paying for multiple licenses for the same apps/plugins, but was unaware of this because the instances were spread out over the enterprise and the duplicate costs were not easily traceable to the company’s financial resources. 

With multiple instances, teams could not integrate their data, tasks and communications when they needed to work with other business units. This led to a lot manual labor, duplication and ultimately tasks not being completed because they were lost somewhere in the middle of the chaos.

The client had archaic and forced high availability and redundancy setups that were fragile and often broke–especially when performing upgrades. The client also had issues trying to keep all of the various instances current and often passed on upgrading because other instances were not ready to be upgraded.

The RenWare Way

The client contacted us and we introduced our approach to resolving their defined business objectives.

We began with an assessment of the instances that were defined by the client as “in scope”. This consisted of six environments of Jira Software and Confluence pairs, Atlassian and third-party integrations, and a thorough review of the installed Atlassian Apps. We also performed a detailed review of both Jira and Confluence for any clutter and unused content that could be archived or removed. The deliverable from this phase was a list of high-level tasks mapped to the clients requirements.

During this phase, we took the deliverable from the assessment phase and created a strategic roadmap that outlined the plan for completing the consolidation of the instances and the migration from the Server platform to the Data Center platform. The roadmap contained the schedule of events as well as the client’s identified resources that would work with and be mentored by our experts to ensure proper knowledge transfer when the engagement was completed.

Our team worked with the client’s internal Sys Admins to setup two test environments; one was setup with the Server versions and was used for consolidation and the other environment was setup with the Data Center versions of Jira Software and Confluence and was used for the migration. Our team collected and installed the necessary evaluation licenses for each Atlassian product as well as the Atlassian Apps. We also generated backups from each Server environment to be used during the testing phase.

This is the phase where the heavy lifting took place. We began with a core set of steps developed by the our experts for a typical consolidation and migration from Server to Data Center. The steps were adapted to the client’s unique environment to account for their specific configurations.

During the initial test cycle, we identified one Jira Software and one Confluence instance to be used as the baselines and proceeded with merging the other instances into the baselines. This took several iterations as we identified and resolved merge issues until we successfully merged all instances into a single working instance.

Upon successful completion of merging all of the instances, we then began the test cycles for migrating from Server to Data Center. And again, we identified and resolved any issues. The migration testing also included the process of spinning up new nodes and ensuring proper cascading of upgrades to the other nodes.

After successfully completing all of the steps for merging the instances, migrating to Data Center and spinning up new nodes, we provided the client with a final runbook and set a date to perform the final work to the new production environment.

Using the final version of the runbook we created during the testing phase, we successfully completed the overall deliverable of standing up a new, consolidated environment for both Jira Software and Confluence on the Data Center platform. All Atlassian Apps were also consolidated and migrated to the new environment. We also validated that there was no data or permission loss.

RenWare-specific testing was performed accordingly to the test cases that were developed during the testing phase and final acceptance testing was conducted by the client’s own resources that use the products daily and thus, would identify any issues quickly.

The final consolidation and migration activities took place over a weekend and upon receiving the final approvals from the client Sunday evening, we activated the new Data Center instance so that the users could begin using it Monday morning when they came into the office. All users reported being able to successfully login and perform their work without any issues.

All engagements with RenWare include one week of post-launch support to ensure any issues are resolved and the client’s resources are properly mentored for a successful transition upon completion of the engagement.

The Results

RenWare experts provided the client with consolidated instances for both Jira Software and Confluence--each setup consisting of four nodes along with a runbook detailing how to quickly spin up new nodes and perform zero downtime upgrades. Our solution not only provided the necessary high-availability and redundancy the client wanted, but it also provided the ability to scale and onboard the remaining on-prem Jira Software and Confluence instances for a complete enterprise-level solution.

During the assessment, our experts notices a lack of integration with the client’s CI/CD toolchain, so we included this integration into the overall deliverable at no extra cost to the client. The goal was to ensure the client was receiving the full benefits from their Atlassian investment. Once integrated, our team provided guidance on

  • How to view build and release information on Jira issues.
  • How to implement Triggers on workflows to auto-transitions issues based on actions performed in the CI/CD tools.
  • How to properly use Jira’s fix versions/release features to bundle issues and generate release notes.

At RenWare, we practice what we preach, so all work for this engagement was setup in Jira and Confluence. We created a Jira project and integrated it with a Confluence space. We also created project-level and management-level dashboards and pages so our progress was easy to track and our client was always working with the most up to date information.

The client also gave us high marks for using our our unique methodology, which ensures there is minimal disruption to the client’s daily business operations and project activities.

VP, DevOps & Cloud

"RenWare was a valuable partner and contributor to the successful completion of our Atlassian Data Center migration and consolidation effort. Their ability to not only translate our business requirements into actionable tasks, but to also have the foresight to integrate the end-solution into our existing CI/CD environment was invaluable. If you're looking for an Atlassian partner that provides high-quality, cost-effective solutions, I'd highly recommend you contact RenWare."