Moving from Data Center to Server

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This page outlines how to switch from a clustered Confluence Data Center deployment to a Confluence Server deployment. In these instructions we'll assume that you'll use one of your existing cluster nodes as your new, non-clustered installation. 

The steps involved will depend on whether you're running Confluence in a cluster.

If you no longer need clustering, but still want access to Data Center features, we recommend you can go back to a non-clustered (standalone) Data Center installation. See Moving to a standalone Data Center installation


  • You need a Confluence Server license to switch back to Server.
  • Read-only mode must be turned off before you apply your Server license. 

Move from non-clustered Data Center to Server

If you are not running Confluence in a cluster, all you need to do is update your license to switch to Confluence Server.  Not sure?  Go to  > General Configuration > Clustering. If you see your cluster nodes listed, then Confluence is running in a cluster.

  1. Make sure read-only mode is turned off. 
  2. Go to  > General ConfigurationGeneral Configuration
  3. Choose License Details from the sidebar under the Administration heading
  4. Enter your Confluence Server license key. 

There's no need to restart Confluence. Data Center specific features such as read-only mode, SAML single sign-on, and CDN will no longer be available. 

How will the Data Center-only features be affected?

After changing from Data Center to Server, you’ll lose any features exclusive to Data Center. Here’s a summary of how this will affect your current Confluence site:


SAML single sign-on (SSO)

No longer available

What happens:

  • SAML SSO login will no longer work (users will be redirected to a login screen always)

  • Users who had a password on their Atlassian account before SAML SSO was enabled will use that to log in.
  • Users who joined after SAML SSO was enabled will need to reset the password for their Atlassian account when they next log in.

Content Delivery network (CDN) support

No longer available

What happens:

  • Any API calls related to the feature will be blocked
  • If you’ve already configured your CDN, then switch back to a Server license, the CDN will continue to work until your Confluence instance is restarted.

Rate limiting

No longer available

What happens:

  • Any configured limits that were set up before will no longer work. Users will have unlimited external REST API requests the moment your license is downgraded.

Read-only mode

No longer available

What happens:

  • /accessmode will continue to work
  • To option to switch on the feature will be disabled

Sandboxed processes

No longer available

  • Resource-intensive tasks will run in the same Java process, potentially causing instability and performance issues.
  • Changes will take effect immediately on license downgrade.
Audit log

Some coverage levels and areas will not be available.

  • events logged prior to downgrading your license will remain in the log.
  • only events in the base coverage level will be logged once your license is downgraded.
Rolling upgrades

No longer available

The rolling upgrades feature will no longer be available.

Move from clustered Data Center to Server

If you are running Confluence in a cluster, you'll need to make some infrastructure changes as part of the switch. 

In these instructions we'll assume that you'll use one of your existing cluster nodes as your new, non-clustered installation. This process applies to any clustered installation, including clusters with just one node. 

1. Stop Confluence on all nodes except node 1

First, you must stop Confluence on every node except one, we'll refer to this as node 1.  Don't make any other changes at this stage. 

Your home directory (configured in confluence\WEB-INF\classes\ should still point to your local home directory.

2. Enter your Confluence Server license

  1. Go to  > General Configuration
  2. Choose License Details from the sidebar under the Administration heading
  3. Enter your Confluence Server license key

2. Stop Confluence on node 1

Stop Confluence on node 1. Confluence should not be running on any nodes. 

At this point we also recommend configuring your load balancer to redirect traffic away from Confluence, as Confluence will not be accessible until you complete the migration.

3. Move items in the cluster shared home back to local home

  1. Create a directory called /shared-home in the <local home> directory on one node (if you removed this directory when installing Data Center)
  2. Move the following directories and files from your <shared home> directory to the <local home>/shared-home directory
    • config
    • confluence.cfg.xml
    • dcl-document
    • dcl-document_hd
    • dcl-thumbnail
  3. Move the remaining contents of your <shared home> directory to the root of your <local home> directory

Your cluster's shared home directory should now be empty. 

(warning) Make sure you don't accidentally overwrite the confluence.cfg.xml in your local home directory. The confluence.cfg.xml file from your shared home directory doesn't contain the same parameters as the one in your local home directory. 

4. Start Confluence

Start Confluence. The setup wizard will prompt you to start the migration process.  

Once migration is complete, you can make any changes to your load balancer or proxy to allow people to access Confluence again. 

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To confirm you're now running the non-clustered edition, go to  > General Configuration. The 'Cluster Configuration' page should not appear. Instead you'll see information about Confluence Data Center.

Last modified on Dec 14, 2020

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