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JIRA Server vs JIRA Cloud - Which one should I choose?

It is a common question for every new JIRA user that which version of JIRA they should use? Cloud or Server? Many of my client's ask me this question and in this blog post I want to highlight various points here that will help clear your doubts.

Why go for JIRA Server

1. No JIRA System Administrator rights on cloud: That means you cannot perform import from csv or other tools and apart from the customization you cannot have full control of your instance.

2. Many good add-ons are not available on cloud: In case you want to full explore the capabilities of JIRA you would always rely on various add-ons. The cloud version does come with some add-ons but most popular and good add-ons are only available on server version. Below is the list of such add-ons that are only available on JIRA Server.

Script Runner: One of the best tool for administration, automation and advance scripting
Structure Plugin: Organizing issues in hierarchy
Git Integration Plugin for JIRA: Integrate with your local Git repository
Configuration Manager: For migrating your configuration from one server to another
Gantt-Chart for JIRA: Create Gantt charts in JIRA
Jenkins Plugin for JIRA: A popular continuous integration tool

3. No LDAP or Active Directory integration: This is a show breaker for many. You cannot expect users to remember multiple passwords for various applications. Having one password or SSO is a must have feature for many companies.

4. No access to file system and database: Sometimes you need to access the files, attachments or may be want to query the database directly to pull reports. Cloud version won't let you do that.

5. Extreme customization won't work: We usually insert our own javascript or CSS on the server and we often modify the velocity templates. Without access to the server you can forget about such extreme customizations.

6. Latency Issues: Though cloud version is quite good but it can never match the speed of the application hosted on internal network.

7. Data protection: Many companies, especially working in banking sector or product development will not be comfortable sharing their sensitive and secret data with Atlassian. In that case your own servers are best.

8. Storage limitation: The Cloud version won't let you store unlimited attachments.

9. Limited integration: People usually integrate JIRA with other applications which are used in various stages of project management. The cloud version offers limited options when such integration is required.

JIRA Cloud is still good for small team who wants an affordable solution and wants to get started on JIRA as soon as possible. No server setup is required and you need not worry about the latest JIRA versions as the Atlassian will always keep the cloud version up to date.