Getting started with JIRA Data Center on AWS

JIRA Data Center is an excellent fit for the Amazon Web Services (AWS) environment. Not only does AWS allow you to scale your deployment elastically by resizing and quickly launching additional nodes, it also provides a number of managed services that work out of the box with JIRA Data Center instances and handle all their configuration and maintenance automatically.

Deploying JIRA Data Center using the AWS Quick Start

The simplest way to deploy your entire Data Center cluster in AWS is by using the Quick Start. The Quick Start launches, configures, and runs the AWS compute, network, storage, and other services required to deploy a specific workload on AWS, using AWS best practices for security and availability.

Here's an overview of the architecture for the JIRA Data Center Quick Start:

The deployment consists of the following components:

  • Instances/nodes. One or more Amazon Elastic Cloud (EC2) instances as cluster nodes, running JIRA.
  • Load balancer. An Amazon Elastic Load Balancer (ELB), which works both as load balancer and SSL-terminating reverse proxy.
  • NFS server. An EC2 instance as dedicated NFS server, with an attached Elastic Block Store (EBS) volume for the shared home directory.
  • Database. An Amazon Relational Database (RDS) instance as the shared database.
  • An Amazon Elasticsearch Service domain for code and repository search.

How does it work?

To deploy JIRA Data Center, the AWS Quick Start uses a CloudFormation template that was created by the JIRA team. Think of it as a script that controls what is deployed, and in what way. It's the template that defines how big your database is, and how many JIRA instances are installed in your environment, also specifying such settings, as the DNS name, startup parameters (Catalina), or passwords. Thanks to that, all components required to run JIRA can be created, and later updated or removed, as a single "stack".

Since we wanted to create a quick implementation, the Quick Start doesn't allow the same level of customization as in the case of manual installation. It should be treated as a reference implementation that shows how JIRA Data Center can be used with AWS, and be either used as-is, or serve as an example for creating your own template

What's in the Quick Start?

Several components, such as database and JIRA version, are fixed and can't be changed. The table below shows details of the environment deployed with the Quick Start: 

JIRA product JIRA Core, JIRA Software, or JIRA Service Desk.
JIRA version Always the latest version, no version picker. After deploying the stack, you can, however, upgrade your JIRA instance to any version you want.
Operating system Amazon Linux.
Database Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL.
Cluster nodes One or more EC2 instances running JIRA.
Load balancer & reverse proxy

Amazon Elastic Load Balancer (ELB), with Listeners configured as follows:

Load balancer protocol
Load balancer port
Instance protocol
Instance port
HTTP 80 HTTP 8080
TCP 7999 TCP 7999
NFS server An EC2 instance as dedicated NFS server, with an attached Elastic Block Store (EBS) volume for the shared home directory.
EFS server

An EC2 instance as dedicated EFS server for the cluster, with an EBS volume storing the JIRA shared home directory. This contains all of JIRA's attachments and other data. You need to ensure you set up your JIRA AWS deployment in a region that offers EFS support).

Configurable parameters

When deploying JIRA Data Center using Quick Start, you'll be asked to configure some parameters, such as database size, custom DNS, or the number of JIRA instances in your environment. For a full list and recommendations, see Configuring JIRA Data Center on AWS.

Getting started

You'll need two things to get started – the Quick Start itself, and the docs that will guide you through it.

Last modified on Jan 12, 2018

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