Is your head stuck in the Cloud?
The modern world of work has seen a great deal of change since the beginning of the 21st century. The emergence of the gig economy saw more individuals and organisations gravitate toward flexible working practices to meet business needs and suit flexible lifestyles. With this emergence came the prevalence of Cloud computing.
What’s behind the dash to Cloud?
Firstly I’d like to make it clear that the concept is far from new. Think of early human civilisations 5,000 - 12,000 years ago when nomadic hunter-gatherers turned their attention to organised agriculture. Consider what was involved in completing a simple task (by modern standards) such as bread making. Discoveries revealed hunter-gatherers were making bread 4,000 years ago, imagine the process involved! Land would have had to have been cleared of vegetation and made suitable for the farming of wheat to be sown, grown, tended and harvested. The wheat would have been ground to flour, formed into dough which would have then been kneaded & proved. A fire would have been prepared and the dough baked before it could have finally been eaten. This entire operation was completely end-to-end “in-house”.
Today, the same process is largely “outsourced”, completely fulfilled by a complex combination of modern organisations including bakeries and grocery chain stores all tightly integrated with an efficient and complicated logistics supply chain. Include online shopping and the consumer doesn’t even need to leave the comfort of their home!
Why am I talking about making bread? Well, if you translate this process into the world of business and IT in the early to late 90’s, you'll notice some similarities. Who remembers developing software applications from scratch in the absence of a suitable Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) application? You had to source the necessary hardware and network infrastructure, deploy applications and manage all of these disparate components to ensure the service worked. This involved dealing with many internal teams; Business, Dev, Operations not to mention the plethora of external suppliers. And who could forget the fun of when the service would go down? Service users would scream blue murder while IT would somehow try to negotiate this complex disparate landscape to identify and fix the problem.
Technology advancements have dramatically changed the game from broadband, faster networks, commoditization of cloud services, improvements in how software is developed and deployed and so on.
An example of this can be seen in the practises of DevOps which have vastly improved how applications are developed, deployed and managed. Check out the seminal “Velocity 09 Flickr 10+ Deployments Per Day Allspaw and Hammond” which illustrate how organisations began this change.
Now, businesses from start-ups to multinational enterprises can access all manners of enterprise class applications including ERP, CRM, HCM and Service Management in the cloud. These often include out of the box configurations to support various industry specific business processes and are also highly configurable, not forgetting the comprehensive suite of email, scheduling and office productivity tools available from the numerous vendors. Granted some of these services may be “Public” or “Private”, but the point is that the end user no longer has to develop and stand these services up in their own estate.
This is fantastic and there’s a lot of choices but not all Clouds are the same and no one Cloud is right for all. People will refer to Public Cloud and Private Cloud and as far as we’re aware there is no commonly accepted definition and in our experience these labels often mean different things to different people.
So what direction should Atlassian users be taking?
If you’re an Atlassian user you have three options:
Atlassian Data Center
“But you just said Cloud was great so why wouldn’t I go straight to Atlassian Cloud?”
Atlassian customers may use an On-Prem version of Atlassian for a number of reasons:
They simply prefer to have their deployments under their control be it behind their firewall or in an infrastructure.
They may have grown up with Atlassian Server as it was the most suitable option at the time. Remember Jira has been around since 2002!
Even if an organisation has a preference for cloud software, Atlassian Cloud does have some feature restrictions which may mean it is sometimes not a viable option. For instance data residency (important to govt & regulated industry clients), scalability, admin functionality, marketplace app choices, security features, user limits, need for enterprise SLA’s, storage restrictions etc.
Over the years Atlassian have and will continue to add improvements to their cloud offering. Up until the end of 2018 there was a limit of 2,000 users which was increased to 5,000 users. Now there is an Early Adoption Programme (EAP) for 10,000 users. Atlassian have introduced security features including encryption at rest, plus a new offering called “Cloud Premium” which provides uptime SLA’s and enhanced support.
This is moving in the right direction however some of the new features are not fully available and are subject to an EAP. It’s fair to say, making Atlassian cloud enterprise ready is an ongoing journey.
So let’s focus on the here and now. What do you do if you want the benefits of Atlassian Server or Data Center but don’t want the headache associated with On-Premise deployments?
As a leading Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner, Clearvision have been assisting organisations in the deployment and configuration of all manners of Atlassian deployments over the past 10+ years. Increasingly, customers were requesting Atlassian hosted services, initially provided on a bespoke basis. Each environment was tailored to every customers’ unique Atlassian requirements and manually deployed and configured.
Since then Clearvision have evolved ClearHost (our dedicated Atlassian AWS based private cloud service), taking private Atlassian cloud deployments to the next level. We developed a tiered deployment model ensuring the suitability of our infrastructure for user requirements, making sure it didn't impact performance. Our deployment systems are automated so we can deploy Atlassian Applications and infrastructure quickly. This makes the service fast to deploy, scalable and flexible, making it easier to adapt as needs change over time. In addition we have extended this service beyond the sole realm of the Atlassian Tool Suite. As many organisations use Atlassian tools in conjunction with various non-Atlassian tools, ClearHost also includes tools such as Nexus, Checkmarx, Git etc.
Clearvision are uniquely positioned as both an Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner and AWS Consulting Partner. We have the skills and experience to deliver an effective Atlassian solution, not just a platform and a functional application.
So what’s right for you?
If your Atlassian software is not aligned with your people and processes then it’s unlikely you’ll be extracting the full value. The whole “On-Prem, Public Cloud, Private Cloud” debate becomes somewhat of a mute topic. An unsuitable configuration in the cloud is just as unsuitable as an unsuitable configuration On-Prem!
Some of our clients' Atlassian estates are 100% On-Prem, 100% Atlassian Cloud, 100% ClearHost. Others employ a mix of On-Prem, Atlassian Cloud and ClearHost in accordance with differing requirements. It’s not always a simple binary choice.
The key takeaway?
It isn’t about the direction of travel from a deployment perspective. If Atlassian is key to your business, then engage with a partner that has experience and expertise to help you chart the right course for YOU.
Find out more here.June 19, 2019
What does this mean?
In this vulnerability a template injection on the server side could be exploited without authentication under certain conditions.