Migrate from Confluence Server to Cloud
This guide provides an overview of recommended activities before, during, and after the migration process. It covers enlisting your project team, evaluating technology options, ensuring that the current Confluence Server site is ready for migration, and executing the migration.
Who should use this guide?
Use this guide when you need to migrate:
- From Confluence Server to Confluence Cloud.
- Fewer than 5,000 users. The current user limit for Confluence Cloud is 5,000 users per site.
Decide to migrate
- Review your security and compliance requirements: Adhering to your organization's security requirements is critical to a successful migration. For more information about Atlassian's security, privacy, and compliance policies, check out Trust at Atlassian. At this point, you may need to engage with your procurement or security teams to ensure Atlassian Cloud meets your requirements.
- Evaluate apps: Before deciding to migrate, review any apps and custom integrations you may have to determine what you'll need for your Confluence Cloud site. The Atlassian Marketplace offers a large selection of apps and integrations that extend the functionality of Confluence Cloud. These include free integrations with leading SaaS productivity and collaboration products like Slack and Dropbox, and subscription-based licensing of some of your most beloved Server apps. Keep in mind while you're evaluating that while Atlassian’s cloud and server products provide the same benefits, they can differ in features and functionality. In some cases, you may discover that the cloud version of a product includes functionality that is fulfilled through an app on server. You may also have in-house or custom-built apps to consider.
- App data is not typically included when migrating from Confluence Server to Confluence Cloud. Some apps do have the capability to export and import their data but you'll need to check with the app developers or their documentation to confirm if this is possible.
- If you do need to map third-party apps to Confluence Cloud, first check if there is a cloud equivalent of your server app in our Marketplace. If there is a cloud equivalent, your next step would be to check with the app developer to see if it stores any data. Not all apps store data. If it does, you'll need to work with the app vendor to understand your data migration options. Atlassian doesn't directly handle migrating data generated from third-party server apps to cloud apps. If there's no equivalent and the app stores data, you should still contact the vendor to see if there's a way to export the data.
- Check costs: There's no cost to migrate to Confluence Cloud besides the cost of your Confluence Cloud subscription. However, you'll still want to assess your payment options and overall costs. A few things to keep in mind:
- Unlike Confluence Server, Confluence Cloud is sold as a subscription, not a perpetual license. You can pay either monthly or annually, with a discount for paying annually. Check out Confluence Licensing to decide which payment schedule is best for your team and estimate your baseline costs, or try our Atlassian Cloud pricing calculator.
- If you're planning on using apps from the Atlassian Marketplace in Confluence Cloud, remember to factor these into your cost considerations. The Atlassian Cloud pricing calculator can help you calculate your total monthly or annual cost including apps.
- Note that your existing Confluence Server license and maintenance do not transfer to Confluence Cloud. These are two separate licenses, and are paid for separately.
- Review the FAQs: We've developed a comprehensive set of FAQs in the Atlassian Cloud Migration Center to assist you in planning your Confluence migration. If you have questions that we don't cover, let us know.
- Trial Confluence Cloud: Sign up for a free Confluence Cloud trial to give Confluence Cloud a spin. Keep in mind as you trial that the design and layout aren't the same across Confluence Server and Confluence Cloud, and you can't switch between the two. We recommend trialing Confluence Cloud before migrating to get comfortable with the differences and identify any communications or training needed to help onboard your users.
Prepare to migrate
Now that you've decided to migrate, let's figure out how to get there.
- Assemble your team: Migrating from Confluence Server to Cloud will have an impact on your users' experience and workflows, as well as various stakeholders throughout your organization. Depending on the size of your organization and number of users, a migration may require a fully fledged project with defined roles and responsibilities across teams. As early as possible, you should communicate with individuals and stakeholders who are interested and impacted by a move to Confluence Cloud. Where possible, recruit and enlist these people to be a part of the process.
- Communicate early and often: Beyond informing your organization about the migration schedule, share your migration plan with team members. Determine how you'll alert users about any issues or errors that arise. At this stage, your migration communication plan should cover things like:
- When will the migration occur?
- What downtime can users expect?
- Ask people to avoid changing anything during the transition.
- What will happen to the old site after migrating? Will it still be accessible or readable?
- Prepare your Confluence Server site: Evaluate your current environment to determine if you need to make any changes before migrating your data.
- If you're using the Cloud Migration Assistant for Confluence, you'll need to upgrade your Confluence Server to version 5.10 or later before migrating. The migration assistant is not available on versions earlier than 5.10.
- You may also want to take this opportunity to clean up or remove any unnecessary data.
- Back up your data: Back up your site data before migrating to Confluence Cloud. If data is present in your Confluence Cloud site, back it up for safekeeping as well.
- Create your Atlassian Cloud site: Sign up for a free Confluence Cloud trial and choose a site domain name. Domain names are chosen for an entire Atlassian Cloud site at the time you sign up for your first Atlassian Cloud product – for example, when you first sign up for Jira Software Cloud or Confluence Cloud. The format for the domain name is https://example.atlassian.net, where example is a unique character string that you specify. There are a few things to be aware of when choosing your domain name:
- Your unique character string must be at least six characters.
- It can only contain letters and numbers, no special characters.
- We don't currently support changing or renaming your site URL after you've chosen. Once your cloud site is created, if you want to change the domain name you will need to migrate from one cloud instance to a new cloud instance with the new name you prefer.
- Move your users to Confluence Cloud: The Cloud Migration Assistant for Confluence only migrates spaces. It will not yet migrate your users or groups to Confluence Cloud. We recommend adding your users to Confluence Cloud before migrating spaces. If you have a large number of users, please contact support to help you move your users.
- Server plan: You'll also need to decide what to do with your Confluence Server site. Some common options include switching it off, backing it up and storing the data somewhere safe, or operating a hybrid (both server and cloud) environment.
- Get Org-anized: An organization allows you to view all Atlassian Cloud users at your company in one place, manage your users' accounts, and set up security features like SAML SSO. Organizations are particularly helpful if your company manages more than one site and wants insight into all your sites, products, and the users who can access them. Learn more about how to Set up an Atlassian organization.
- Review your anonymous access settings: To ensure that every user must be logged in to Confluence Cloud and have access to your site, confirm that anonymous access is not allowed in your Confluence Server global permissions as described in Setting Up Public Access. If you want to allow anonymous access to certain spaces and not others, you need to allow anonymous access in the global permissions for Confluence Cloud, and then review the space permissions for each individual space to determine whether they allow anonymous access. Disabling anonymous access in the global permissions will disable anonymous access at the space level as well.
- Migrating Jira and Confluence: If you are migrating both Jira and Confluence, we recommend migrating Jira first in order to move your users to cloud. Migrating Confluence before Jira will result in your users being wiped from cloud once Jira is imported. Learn more about migrating Jira from server to cloud. After migrating Jira along with your users, you can use the Cloud Migration Assistant for Confluence to migrate your Confluence spaces from Confluence Server to Confluence Cloud.
- Partner network: If you need assistance with your migration, we have a wide network of partners globally that are very experienced in Atlassian migrations. Visit our Atlassian Partners page to find one who can help with your migration.
After you have the necessary prerequisites in place and have completed the tasks associated with the pre-migration phase, you're ready to perform the migration. Follow the steps outlined below to migrate.
- Run a test migration: We recommend performing a trial run in a testing or staging site to ensure that your site's integrations, functionality, and performance are working as expected and the migration runs smoothly. You can do this using a free Confluence Cloud trial. The test migration will help you:
- Identify possible bugs and the steps needed to resolve before the actual migration.
- Establish a clearer timeline for your live migration, including any expected downtime.
- Validate the data before moving to Confluence Cloud.
- Build a timeline: Identifying an ideal migration window can mean the difference between happy and frustrated users. Determine how much time your migration will take, factoring in time for troubleshooting. Consider scheduling the migration for overnight, on a weekend, or when your team is less likely to need access to Confluence. This will reduce the risk of data discrepancies between server and cloud.
- Migrate to cloud: To perform the migration, use the Cloud Migration Assistant for Confluence.
When you migrate, the following data is imported:
- Site data, including spaces, pages and attachments.
The following is not imported:
- Users, groups, and permissions. These should be added to your Confluence Cloud site before you migrate.
- Apps. You will need to work with vendors to migrate or re-install your apps in Confluence Cloud after migrating.
- Application links. You will need to set these up in your Confluence Cloud site after migrating.
Not all migrations are quite so straightforward. Below are some of the common migration scenarios you may encounter, and guidance on how to approach each.
- Merging server sites: If you need to merge multiple Confluence Server sites, just install the Cloud Migration Assistant for Confluence on all server instances and move them separately to the Confluence Cloud site. Keep in mind that every space in your Confluence Cloud site needs to have a unique space key. If a space key already exists in your Confluence Cloud site, trying to migrate a space with the same space key will cause that individual spaces' migration to fail.
Troubleshooting your migration
If you've run into a problem during your migration, we're here to help. You can start by searching for known issues in our public issue tracker. There, you can find information about some of the common issues we see with Confluence migrations, including their status and suggested workarounds.
Some known issues include the following:
If you've run into a different issue or need help to move forward with your migration, you can contact our Technical Support team.
After you've successfully completed the migration, you'll need to go through a series of post-migration tasks to ensure that everything is functioning as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
- Review your cloud site: When your migration is complete, you will need to review the new Confluence Cloud site to ensure your data and attachments have migrated successfully. We recommend:
- Checking spaces for common things, e.g. comments, attachments, and permissions.
- Allowing time for different teams and users to test different functionality.
- Testing the operation and functionality of the application to identify any behavior gaps and, if needed, document them for your users.
Install apps: If you've identified apps that should be installed, add them to your Confluence Cloud site.
- Follow our cloud security best practices: Create a strong foundation for securing your company’s most important work. Learn more.
- Get acquainted with cloud: To learn more about what's new in Confluence Cloud and how to get the most of it, check out the Confluence Cloud documentation. Consider sharing this resource with your users if this is their first introduction to Confluence Cloud. You may also find the Atlassian Cloud documentation a helpful resource as you get started as a Confluence Cloud admin.
- Welcome your team: Now that the migration is complete, make sure your organization is ready. We recommend developing a comprehensive launch communication plan to share the new Confluence Cloud site information with the team. This can cover topics like:
- What action is needed post-migration?
- Will users need to reset their passwords?
- What URL will they use to access the new site?
- Who can they contact with questions, and how? For example, can you provide a chat room or an issue tracker where people can raise any issues or feedback?
- Are there any notable changes they'll need to be aware of?
- Links to any further reading or FAQs.
- Let people know about the Confluence Cloud mobile app.
Sit back and relax
Now that you're a cloud admin, you'll have immediate access to our latest features and bug fixes. Installs, upgrades, and patches are managed seamlessly by Atlassian, so you can relax on your weekends.
To keep track of major changes that affect all users of the Confluence Cloud products, follow the Atlassian Cloud Documentation blog. This includes new features, bug fixes, and other changes across all Atlassian Cloud products, for example, updates to the meeting notes templates or the ability to drag and drop spaces for easy space reorganization in Confluence Cloud.
Need more support with strategy, best practices, or planning questions? Our migration planning specialists can help with planning your migration from Confluence Server to Confluence Cloud.
Technical question or issue? Get in touch with our Technical Support team.
For more Confluence migration planning information and FAQs, visit the Atlassian Cloud Migration Center.