Upgrading Jira Data Center with zero downtime

You've chosen to upgrade Jira Data Center (clustered) with zero downtime.

Zero downtime upgrade is not available when upgrading from Jira 7.x to Jira 8.x. You'll need to use one of the regular methods. If you're already on Jira 8.x, you can use zero downtime to upgrade to any later version.

About Zero downtime upgrades

Upgrade with zero downtime is a special method available for Jira Data Center. It introduces the upgrade mode that allows your nodes to work on different Jira versions while you upgrade them one by one. During the upgrade, Jira remains fully functional and open to your users.

You can use this method to upgrade Jira Software Data Center and Jira Service Management Data Center. Jira Software 7.3 or Jira Service Management 3.6 are the minimum versions you need to be able to use this upgrade process. If you're running a Jira installation with both Jira Software and Jira Service Management, don't worry, we got you covered!

As the zero downtime upgrade process can be quite lengthy (depending on how many nodes you have), we've also got a handy checklist you can use to make sure you've done everything you need to. We still recommend you go through all the steps on this page, the checklist is just a handy tool to help keep track of what you're doing.

Technical overview

For more information on what happens with your cluster in terms of upgrade, see ZDU technical overview.


If you still have doubts, have a look at our Zero downtime upgrade FAQs.

Before you begin

Step 1: Prepare for the upgrade

Make sure you have completed the steps in Preparing for the upgrade. These are mandatory pre-requisites, and are essential for a smooth upgrade.

You must also check that a data pipeline export is not in progress.

Step 2: Choose your version

If you need help choosing the right version for you, head to the upgrade matrix to get a quick run down of features, supported platforms, and technical upgrade notes for all Jira versions.

Put Jira into upgrade mode

Put Jira into upgrade mode to allow your nodes to work on different versions while you upgrade them one by one.

  1. Go to Administration (> Applications > Jira upgrades.
  2. Click Put Jira into upgrade mode. This will only be available if your nodes are all on the same version.

Canceling the upgrade

  • You have the option to cancel the upgrade, which will take Jira out of the upgrade mode, until you start upgrading your nodes. The option will be disabled then.
  • To cancel the upgrade later, you'd need to roll each node back to its original version.

Update Jira Service Management

This step is required only if you use both Jira Software and Jira Service Management. If you use only one of them, you can omit this step.

  1. Download the required Jira Service Management OBR file. Make sure you download the version that is compatible with the Jira Software version you're going to install. The compatible version is listed next to Jira Service Management's version, for example Jira Server 7.12.3.

  2. Change the extension of the OBR file you downloaded from .obr to .zip.

  3. Unzip this file to extract the contents.

  4. Copy all the jar files from the directory where you extracted the contents of the zip file and from the child directory "dependencies" and place them in <Jira shared home>/plugins/installed-plugins (Read more about the shared home directory in step  2 here). 

    The terminal commands are:

    cp *.jar dependencies/*.jar <Jira shared home>/plugins/installed-plugins
    copy *.jar + dependencies/*.jar <Jira shared home>/plugins/installed-plugins

During the upgrade process, upgraded nodes will pick up the new Jira Service Management jar files from the shared home, while nodes that haven't been upgraded will continue using the old versions of jars. When your upgrade is complete, all your nodes will be running the new version of Jira Service Management.

Upgrade Jira

Once your Jira instance is in upgrade mode, you can upgrade each node individually. Upgrading a node will involve stopping Jira, upgrading the installation, and then starting Jira. Stopping Jira will remove the node from your cluster, making it unavailable, and any users logged in to that node will lose their current session, before being routed to another node. As the administrator, it's up to you to decide which nodes to upgrade and in which order. You always need to have at least one node online and connected to your cluster to achieve zero downtime.

Finalize your upgrade

Finalizing an upgrade will allow any required upgrade tasks to run on your instance, and take Jira out of upgrade mode. Once the required tasks have completed, your installation is upgraded.

  1. Navigate to Administration (> Applications > Jira upgrades

  2. Click Finalize upgrade. This will only be available if all your nodes are all on the same, new version.

In case you need to roll back

As a sys admin you can cancel the upgrade by clicking the Cancel upgrade button at any time during the upgrade as long as you have not clicked Finalize upgrade. If you cancel the upgrade, you can restart it at any time. 

After cancelling, you need to stop each node that has been upgraded, re-install the original version on these nodes and add them again to the cluster.

Last modified on Oct 19, 2021

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