How To Successfully Migrate to Jira Cloud in Phases

A photo of the blog post's author
Product Manager
5 min read /

Cloud, cloud, cloud – it’s a word you may have heard often over the last few years. And when it comes to Atlassian products, Jira Cloud has certainly received a lot of attention lately.

Many Jira users are moving away from server and data center towards cloud which has so much potential. Perhaps your team is considering migrating too? Jira Cloud might be the ideal platform for you, however, migrating an instance in one ‘big bang’ can seem daunting.

In this article you’ll learn how your team’s migration can be less daunting by performing a phased migration. We’ll also share some best practices to make your migration as smooth as possible and to ensure you get the most out of Jira Cloud.

In case you're still at the beginning of your Cloud migration process and are undecided about the change, here's an introductory article on why you should migrate to Jira Cloud.

How to Migrate to jira Cloud

Migrating in Phases

First things first, what is a ‘phased migration’? A phased migration is when you just migrate certain parts of your Jira instance at a time. This enables your team to:

  • Gather iterative feedback to apply in future migration phases.

  • Take your time with onboarding users for each phase.

  • Clean and optimize your Jira instance and projects as you go.

This phased approach to migration sounds promising, as it gives you and your users time to get used to Jira Cloud and adapt it to your needs. That said, there are also some pitfalls to this approach. Some projects might get migrated earlier than others which means that users need to operate in both systems - which can cause confusion.

If you migrate a project to Jira Cloud, you can do two things with the old server project: keep it or delete it. If you keep the server project, it’s likely that outdated information will be displayed to users. If the server project gets deleted, users might struggle to find issues that they’ve previously worked on. To find the issues, they’ll need to switch between two instances. This can lead to confusion and frustration which can decrease productivity and eventually cost money.

Get the Most Out of Cross-Deployment

To make sure that your team can continue using Jira for their work while taking advantage of both server and cloud in this cross-deployment scenario, here are some best practices to keep in mind:

  • Keep your projects on Jira Server so it’s easier for users to find existing issues.

  • Make sure that the projects on server are not editable anymore to avoid updates getting lost.

  • Place a banner on the issues and projects to inform users that the project has now moved to cloud. Learn how to set up a project banner.

You can also keep the server project up to date with information from cloud. To do so, set up a synchronization with Backbone Issue Sync to automatically sync any updates from your Jira Cloud instance to Jira Server. Just make sure that the sync user can still edit the server issues.

Once synchronized with Backbone Issue Sync, you can be certain that the most up-to-date information will be displayed on your server issues. You’ll also find a link to the new cloud issue on all existing server issues, which makes it easy to navigate between the two. Backbone Issue Sync helps smooth out the transition between server and cloud.

Migrate to Jira Cloud

That Sounds Great – But What Now?

To replicate the cross-deployment setup mentioned above, we would recommend following these steps:

  1. Migrate your projects from Jira Server to Jira Cloud using the Jira Cloud Migration Assistant.

  2. Install Backbone Issue Sync from the Atlassian Marketplace on both Jira Server and Jira Cloud.

  3. Set up a unidirectional synchronization and link the issues automatically as described in this help article.

You can set up as many synchronizations as needed to keep all of your projects up to date. Once all projects are migrated to Jira Cloud, you can stop the synchronizations and clean up the old projects. Then your migration to Jira Cloud will be complete! 🎉

Learn How To Execute Phased Migration Strategy
Learn More