Test your server to cloud migration
When you're planning a migration from server or Data Center to cloud, we strongly recommend performing a trial run before migrating. Testing your migration will help you:
- Establish a clearer timeline for your live migration, including any expected downtime.
- Validate the data and run User Acceptance Testing (UAT).
- Prepare for your launch and develop onboarding communications.
- Identify possible bugs and the steps needed to resolve them before the actual migration.
In this guide, we'll outline how to conduct a test migration for Jira or Confluence, including best practices and what to test for.
Before you begin
- Review the planning guide: A well-planned migration is a successful migration. Before starting your testing, take the time to review our migration planning guide. They'll walk you through the key phases and consideration for each step, including what you need to know before you begin testing.
- Choose your migration method: There are a variety of methods to move to cloud. Before testing, you'll need to compare methods and choose the one that's best for you.
- Complete any prerequisite steps: Once you've chosen a method, review the documentation to ensure there aren't any prerequisite steps you need to complete before testing.
How it works
If you've completed your pre-migration checks, you're ready to go.
Here's an overview of the basic steps we recommend to test your migration and prepare for your production migration:
- Clean up your data
- Sign up for your cloud site
- (Optional) Set up Atlassian Access
- Perform the test migration
- Review your data and conduct User Acceptance Testing (UAT)
- (Optional) Reset your test site
- Create your migration runbook
- Develop your change-boarding and launch plan
Step 1: Clean up your data
The more data you migrate, the longer and more complex your migration is likely to be. Because of this, we recommend taking the time to clean house, so to speak, before running your test migration. This can result in a smoother migration, fewer performance issues, and even productivity gains once in cloud.
Below are a few specific things to consider reviewing.
Minimize customizations as much as possible. This could include:
- Standardizing workflows. This can simplify things for teams wanting to start new projects.
- Reviewing groups and permission schemes to see which are being used, which aren't, and if there are opportunities to standardize or simplify them.
- Streamlining custom fields, schemes, issue types, statuses, resolutions, boards, filters, and screens.
Think carefully about what data you can clean up. This could include:
- Checking for and removing any unused apps or trial data.
- Think about what projects to migrate, and if there are any that you don't need that could be removed prior to migrating. In general, unused projects and issues are a great thing to clean up, since they impact performance as well as impact the time you need to spend managing them.
- Some customers choose to delete all their data and migrate only configuration and empty project containers. This may be a good option for you if you're planning to start fresh in cloud but would like the same configuration you have in server.
- There are also some third-party apps you may want to use, like Optimizer for Jira, that can help you assess current usage and clean up your system.
- Learn more great tips and tricks on cleaning up Jira from one of our Community leaders.
Using the Jira Cloud Migration Assistant
- On the project selection page, you can sort projects by “last updated”. This can help prioritize which projects to migrate before others.
- Which projects to leave behind as they are not needed (you may need to seek approval and or alternative ways to archive the data).The Jira Cloud Migration Assistant does not migrate all of your configuration on your Jira Server instance to cloud. It performs an analysis of what is needed for the projects you have selected, and only migrates what is needed for those projects to continue working in cloud. This means that any unmapped or unused configurations like workflow schemes, permissions schemes, custom fields that are not used by the selected projects are not migrated to cloud.
- Consider removing or leaving behind anything that hasn't been used recently. This could include specific pages, entire spaces, attachments, macros, or apps. For more advice on how to gather usage statistics, refer to How do I get more statistics from Confluence?
- If you're migrating from Confluence Data Center or a large server site, you may want to test your migration on some of your larger spaces that have lots of comments or attachments.
- You may want to search on Marketplace for third-party apps that can help you audit usage and identify what can be cleaned up.
Step 2: Sign up for your cloud site
If you haven’t already, now’s the time to sign up for a cloud site. You'll need to decide if you want to perform your test to a trial site or to your production site.
If you decide to use a trial site you can:
- activate your free extended cloud trial
- set up a standard 7 day trial (this will revert to a Free plan after the trial)
The format for your site name (URL) will be, where example is a unique character string that you specify.
Site names are chosen for an entire Atlassian cloud site at the time you sign up for your first product – for example, when you first sign up for Jira Software Cloud or Confluence Cloud.
There are a few things to be aware of when choosing your site name:
Your unique character string must be at least three characters.
It can only contain letters, numbers, and hyphens.
Hyphens can't be the first or last character.
If you would prefer a separate testing and staging environment, there are a few other ways to set this up which you can learn about here.
(Optional) Step 3: Set up Atlassian Access
Atlassian Access offers cloud security and user management features including SAML SSO, user provisioning (SCIM), enforced two-factor authentication and audit logs. It works across all your Atlassian cloud products and domains so you can manage users and security policies in one simple place.
If you're planning to use Atlassian Access in cloud, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial before beginning your test migration to get SSO set up for all users and test out user provisioning and audit logging. If you need more than 30 days, just let us know.
Step 4: Complete the pre-migration checklist
Step 5: Perform the test migration
Now, you're ready to test your migration.
For Jira and Confluence Cloud Migration Assistants
After migrating your data, migrate or install any apps you're planning to use in cloud.
If you need to test your migration multiple times, you'll need to manually delete any data you're planning to re-import. This is because the migration assistant does not currently overwrite data that already exists in your cloud site. There are two ways to delete your data:
After deleting the data, you can re-run your test migration.
For Jira Site Import
Follow the instructions outlined in Use Jira Site Import to migrate from server to cloud to import your data.
After migrating your data, migrate or install any apps you're planning to use in cloud.
If you need to re-test your migration, a Jira site import will wipe all existing content, including any previously imported Jira data or data that exists on your cloud site. This means that data from any prior test migrations will be wiped automatically, so if you're testing multiple times, you won't need to delete data first.
Step 6: Review your data and conduct User Acceptance Testing (UAT)
After migrating, review your cloud site to validate that everything is working as expected.
- Check that your links to other content are working, for example, Confluence pages linked to Jira issues.
- Application links to other server products may need to be reconfigured. If this is the case, after re-configuring them, re-test the functionality to ensure the integration works as expected.
- Check that any apps or app data you've migrated is working as expected.
- Test integrations with other products, like Jira, Confluence, or Bitbucket.
- Take screenshots and document changes between your server and cloud sites for any training or communications you plan to deliver during the migration and post-launch.
- Check that your workflows are working as expected. You may, for example, have post functions that rely on third-party apps that aren't migrated. You may find they aren't working in cloud but continue to work on your server site.
- Try using the product and creating test data. Test things like creating a new project, creating and editing issues, and uploading attachments.
- Run the Jira macro repair and verify whether it fixed any broken macros.
- Check that your attachments have imported correctly.
- Check that any apps or app data you've migrated is working as expected. Any macros that rely on third-party apps may be broken, for example, Gliffy Diagrams. If this is the case, check with the app vendor if it's possible to fix them.
UAT and change management best practices
Why conduct User Acceptance Testing?
We also advise conducting UAT, or having some end users replicate common day to day tasks using the test site. This will not only help you catch any unexpected issues but can help your organization prepare for change.
Who should you involve?
This varies for every organization, but a few options to consider include testing with include:
- Members of a specific team
- A combination of power-users and less frequent users
- An appointed member of each team that will be moving to your cloud site
Consider as well who has the bandwidth and ability to provide clear and constructive feedback. Generally speaking, you want to ensure that every major user type or role that will be using your cloud site is invited to provide input.
What should you test for?
Take note of any issues usershave as they get used to the things that may change as a result of your migration, including:
- New features
- A new user interface
- Different apps
- New URLs and changing bookmarks
- Differences in user administration
- For Jira Software and Jira Core: Test things like creating sprints, adding issues to backlogs, and viewing boards.
- For Jira Service Desk: Ask agents to view queues, check their portal view, and any other common activities.
- For Confluence: Have users try creating a new space, creating and editing pages, and uploading attachments.
Record any areas of confusion or changes to functionality, since you may want to include these in any pre-launch or onboarding communications and training you provide.
(Optional) Step 7: Reset your test site
In some cases, you may need to delete the data from your cloud site and start again – for example, if you used your production instance to test, or need to re-run your tests.
To delete all of the data from your cloud site and reset it to the default settings, you can follow the instructions here.
Step 8: Create your migration runbook
Migration runbooks are a step-by-step procedural guide for what you need to do to complete your migration. Creating one can help your production migration run smoothly and according to plan.
Your runbook should include things like each step in the process, any instructions needed for those steps, who will complete them, and how long they’re expected to take.
Step 9: Develop your change-boarding and launch plan
After testing, you should have a good idea of what major changes your users can expect as a result of your move. Now's the time to prepare any training, documentation or communications your users will need to get back to work quickly.
Keep in mind as you put this together you'll want to highlight not only what's changing, but why – as well as how your users will benefit from the move.
Some common benefits for users include:
- access to free cloud mobile apps
- the ability to take work anywhere, and access it quickly and securely - no more VPN required
- better integrations with other SaaS tools and cloud apps
More information and support
We have a number of channels available to help you with your migration.
- For more migration planning information and FAQs, visit the Atlassian Cloud Migration Center.
- Have a technical issue or need more support with strategy and best practices? Get in touch.
- Looking for peer advice? Ask the Atlassian Community.
- Want expert guidance? Work with an Atlassian Partner.