Compare Atlassian cloud vs server

descriptionLearn the differences between Atlassian's cloud, server, and Data Center products and find out which is right for you.

At Atlassian, we offer three hosting options for our products: cloud, server, and Data Center. This article outlines some topics to consider when choosing which option is right for your organization.

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Considering making the switch between server or data center and cloud? Visit our Cloud Migration Center to learn about the tools and resources we have to help you make the move.

Differences in hosting options

First, let's start by defining what each means:


Rather than installing and maintaining our products on your own servers, we host, set up, secure and maintain your products in the cloud for you.

Teams choose our cloud products for a variety of reasons:

  • Fast start-up: It's easy to set up and get started in minutes. As soon as you sign up, you can start working and inviting team members.
  • Reduced costs: Save money on physical hardware, maintenance, installation and support and other hidden administration costs.
  • No need to upgrade: Get immediate access to the latest and greatest features, no work required.
  • Work on the go: Atlassian's cloud products enable your teams to take your work anywhere and can be accessed securely from any browser or our cloud mobile appsLearn more.
  • Security: We help keep your organization secure and compliant, with real-time security updates and rigorous practices to track and protect your information. Learn more.
  • Scale with confidence: In cloud, we handle the procurement of inventory and storage space. Respond immediately to dynamic spikes in demand and team growth.

Server and Data Center

With Atlassian's self-hosted products, you install, host and run our products yourself, either on your own hardware or through cloud hosting services like AWS. You can customize your setup however you'd like. 

Teams choose server when they:

  • Want advanced control: Teams who want to manage all the details may like the flexibility server offers.
  • Need data locality: Customers with strict data hosting and localization requirements may choose server, although in many cases cloud is still a good option. Learn more about our cloud hosting infrastructure.
  • Have experience with self-hosted applications: Teams who are able to handle the complexity of setting up and hosting applications on their own servers – and feel confident securing and maintaining them over time – may choose server or Data Center.

Data Center

Think of this as server, but at scale. Data Center products provide the same functionality as our server products but have additional capabilities to better serve enterprise organizations.

This rest of this page is designed to help you compare cloud and server, however, most of the server information applies to Data Center as well.

For more information on Data Center and how it differs from server, check out Server vs. Data Center – What’s right for you?

Additional differences

To determine whether cloud or server is the right fit for you, we’ve outlined some criteria to help understand your options and aid in the decision-making process. 

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Deployment and administration

We host, set up, secure, and maintain your Atlassian site in the cloud for you. 

Since our cloud products are installed and configured for you, this requires less administration overall.

You host Atlassian products on your own hardware, or through cloud hosting services like AWS. You can customize your setup however you'd like.

Administrators of our server products have full access to the database, which allows admins full control over customization and administration. 

However you'll also need to support the infrastructure, Atlassian products, and users as well as any other tasks your organization's server admin is responsible for.


There's no need to upgrade – you're always on the latest version. 

You'll have immediate access to new features, security updates, and more, without the need for any manual work.

You’ll need to manually upgrade Atlassian server products when new versions are released. Your organization's server administrator is responsible for scheduling and implementing software, security, and maintenance updates or upgrades.

Updates require an active license or software maintenance plan. Without these, you won't be able to upgrade.

User management

In Atlassian's cloud products, you manage user accounts centrally through an organization rather than product by product. This gives you visibility into all your users in one easy to manage spot. Groups, as well as access to individual products, are managed at the product level.

We also offer Atlassian Access to help improve or expand on your user management capabilities in the cloud. Access is a tool for managing authentication and security policies across your Atlassian cloud users. For more details on Atlassian Access and how it works, refer to our Atlassian Access Licensing and Purchasing FAQs.

Atlassian server user management can be handled by your server admin in a variety of ways: via each server product, through Jira, or by connecting to Atlassian Crowd. For more information, refer to User management.

To learn about product-specific user management capabilities, refer to the articles below. 

Confluence Server

Jira Server

Atlassian Crowd

SSO and LDAP integration

Available with Atlassian Access, which offers company-wide visibility, security, and control across your entire Atlassian cloud infrastructure.

Access enables:

  • Enhanced security with SAML SSO, password policies, and more
  • User provisioning and user lifecycle management
  • Integrations with identity providers like Okta, Azure AD, OneLogin and more to automatically sync your Active Directory

Learn more about user management in cloud and server.

Available with Crowd, which offers single sign-on and user identity that's easy to use for your server products.

Crowd enables:

  • Centralized identity management
  • Single sign-on (SSO)

Learn more about user management in cloud and server.

Site names (URLs)

Atlassian provides cloud subscribers with a secure, authenticated site name. You'll choose this when you sign up for your first cloud product – for example, when you first sign up for Jira Software Cloud or Confluence Cloud.

Site names are formatted as, where "example" is chosen by your organization.

You can host your products under any domain you control.
LanguagesAtlassian's cloud products and apps are available in two dozen languages, with more on the way. See our Languages page for a complete list of the languages that are currently available.You can download language packs for Confluence Server, and select a default language in Jira Server. 

Backups are generated daily and retained for 30 days to allow for point-in-time data restoration. 

You can also generate an offline backup of your Jira or Confluence Cloud site once every 48 hours. Atlassian maintains these backups on your behalf for 7 days. 

We also automatically back up Bitbucket daily.

Learn more about cloud backups in our Data storage FAQ.

You and your organization are responsible for maintaining backups.

When choosing our server products, it's important to consider how you'll back up your data and restore it if things were to go awry.

Learn more about backing up specific products:

IP allowlist

You can restrict access of your private content to users on certain IP addresses in Bitbucket Cloud Premium.

With a Premium plan for Jira Software Cloud, Jira Service Desk Cloud or Confluence Cloud, you can restrict access to users on those products for certain IP address. For more details, see IP allowlisting.

You can also restrict access in Jira Cloud by managing project permissions or configuring issue-level security. For more information, refer to Managing project permissions and Configuring issue-level security.

Since you’re hosting it, you can control network access policies yourself.
Direct access to the database

You won't have direct access to change the database structure, file system, or other server infrastructure.

However, we do provide extensive REST APIs so you can access data programmatically.

You are able to access the database directly.

Scalability and extensibility

Mobile apps

The free Confluence and Jira Cloud mobile apps offer all cloud customers fast, secure collaboration without the added step of signing in to a VPN.

Android: Confluence | Jira

iOS: Confluence | Jira

Mobile apps are available for Confluence Server versions 6.8+ and Jira Server versions 8.3+.

Unless your instance is public and doesn't have a firewall, users will need to connect with your organization's VPN to use them.

Android: Confluence | Jira

iOS: Confluence | Jira

If you view Confluence Server 6.5+ or Jira Server 7.4+ in a mobile web browser, the interface is mobile-optimized and offers basic functionality.

Additionally, you can purchase third-party mobile apps for Confluence Server 3.0+ and Jira Server 7.0+ on the Atlassian Marketplace.

Marketplace apps

Both cloud and server offer thousands of apps and integrations that extend the functionality of Atlassian's products.

These include free integrations with leading SaaS productivity and collaboration tools like Slack and Dropbox.

In some cases, the cloud version of a product includes functionality that is fulfilled through an app on server.

Both cloud and server offer thousands of apps and integrations that extend the functionality of Atlassian's products.

Server apps are downloadable and installed on your server for use.

For more information on what apps are available, or to download and install server apps, check out the Atlassian Marketplace.

APIsUsing the Atlassian Connect framework or Forge, you can develop apps, customizations, and integrations for Atlassian’s cloud products. Learn more.You can develop apps, customizations, and integrations for Atlassian’s server products using our robust server APIs. Learn more.
User limit

Each individual cloud product can currently support up to 10,000 users. An organization, which you can use to centralize and manage all of your sites in cloud, can have unlimited users.

Atlassian's server products don't have user limits, however, for enterprises looking for a self-managed option at scale, we recommend using Data Center.


We offer cloud versions of:

  • Jira Software Cloud
  • Jira Core Cloud
  • Jira Service Desk Cloud
  • Advanced Roadmaps for Jira Cloud
  • Confluence Cloud
  • Bitbucket Cloud
  • Trello
  • OpsGenie
  • Atlassian Access

Learn more about our cloud products.

We offer server versions of:

  • Jira Software Server
  • Jira Core Server
  • Jira Service Desk Server
  • Advanced Roadmaps for Jira Server
  • Confluence Server
  • Bitbucket Server
  • Bamboo
  • Fisheye
  • Crucible
  • Crowd

Learn more about our server products.

Hosting and security


We handle security, reliability, compliance and privacy for you. 

Security is built into the fabric of our cloud products, infrastructure, and processes, so you can rest assured that your data is safeguarded.

Learn more.

With Atlassian's self-hosted server products, you and your organization are responsible for maintaining security and compliance.

For more information about security best practices for Atlassian's server products, take a look at:


Atlassian's cloud hosting infrastructure is designed to meet the product performance and reliability standards that our global customers need. At the time of this writing, Atlassian hosts cloud data in six different AWS regions: US (East and West), Europe (Ireland and Germany) and Asia Pacific (Sydney and Singapore). 

We optimize where customer data is located based on how it's accessed around the world. 

Learn more.

You host on your own servers.

We commit to meeting the highest bar for personal data privacy. And we support your organization in meeting data privacy obligations around the world, including GDPR and Privacy Shield.

Learn more.

You're responsible for maintaining privacy.

Our products are designed for high performance and availability and built on best-in-class core technologies like AWS, so your organization can scale confidently and securely.

Learn more.

You're responsible for maintaining reliability.

Our compliance program is here to help meet your organization’s compliance needs. We undergo independent third-party audits and certify our products with SOC2, ISO 27001/27018, PCI DSS v3.2, SAQ A, and more. 

Learn more.

You're responsible for maintaining compliance.

Pricing and licensing


Atlassian's cloud products are offered as monthly or annual subscriptions. Pricing is per-user, allowing you to spread costs over time and scale efficiently.

To estimate your organization’s total cost — which depends on the cloud products, plan, apps, and billing cycle you choose — try our cloud pricing calculator. If you have a small team and limited storage needs, consider our Free plans for Jira Cloud and Confluence Cloud.

For existing self-hosted customers

Existing self-hosted (server or Data Center) customers can also take advantage of an extended cloud trial to move to cloud at no additional cost. This offer helps you explore cloud over the duration of your existing maintenance period to make sure cloud is right for you, test your migration, or complete a full switch to cloud. Learn more.

Learn more about differences between self-hosted and cloud costs.

Atlassian's server products are offered as perpetual licenses on an annual payment plan.

Server licenses entitle you to the software and 12 months of maintenance. After 12 months, you can keep up your maintenance for 50% of your license fee. Learn more.

Learn more about differences between self-hosted and cloud costs.


We offer multiple plans for Jira Cloud, Jira Service Desk, and Confluence Cloud: Free, Standard, and Premium. Free plans are useful for small teams with limited users and storage needs. Standard plans include 250 GB of storage. Premium plans are designed to give teams the confidence to scale reliably with advanced features, plus a 99.9% uptime SLA, unlimited storage, and 24/7 Premium Support.

While we don’t offer multiple plans for our server products, Atlassian Data Center offers self-managed products built for teams, optimized for scale.

Academic, community and classroom discounts

We offer discounted cloud pricing for eligible academic and non-profit charitable organizations.

In addition, Atlassian Access is available free for Academic and Community cloud subscribers. Learn more.

We offer discounted cloud pricing for eligible academic and non-profit charitable organizations.

Exact terms and discounts offered will vary for academiccommunityclassroom, and open source customers. Learn more

Product-specific comparisons

You can learn more about the differences between individual cloud and server products by checking out our feature comparisons:

Last modified on Sep 25, 2020

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