Atlassian is poised to grow the issue tracking and automation business by a factor of ten. Our insights into how the community will get there…
Addteq is back home in Princeton, NJ – feeling extremely excited about Summit2014 last week.
While there were the usual handshaking, beer drinking, and technical jargon laden bragging, there was also a few notable developments that have far reaching implications for the Atlassian community, ADDTEQ, and enterprise business in general.
Specifically, Atlassian’s move into true enterprise level infrastructure as a service and software as a service indicates that Ray Kurtzweil’s singularity is closer than ever, as cross functional teams working complex projects are increasingly dependent on issue tracking, versioning, and automation software to make sense of huge amounts of information that are too daunting for individual minds to process.
For Atlassian’s move into the enterprise space, we can note that not only is hackathon style collaboration increasingly mainstream, but is in fact big business as well. Nowhere was this more evident than the emphasis CEO and co – Founder Mike Cannon-Brookes placed on the new enterprise data center offerings for JIRA, Confluence, and Stash. The data center offering for these products sits side by side Atlassian’s existing Cloud and Server hosted iterations, and delivers these services in increasingly available packages. We noticed that these datacenter products are geo-dependent, meaning customers still need to determine what their true home space is. However, as with any technology solution, each release is simply a stepping stone towards the next milestone.
Another indicator of Atlassian’s play to continue to define the future of collaboration is its continued expansion and integration of HipChat, which it purchased in 2012. Now offered at $0/ month per user, HipChat integrates JIRA, Confluence, Stash, et al., meaning teams already using Atlassian products have no reasons to stay away. Further commitment to enterprise was visible in HipChat Plus, which at $2/ month per user, provides all you can eat storage, history search and message search. It’s clear that Atlassian is targeting large organizations with critical needs with this offering, and hoping to pull customers further into a burgeoning ecosystem that clearly has hit a growth inflection point. Enterprise level HipChat Plus debuts at $2/ month per user, with the entire HipChat system currently supporting over 5 million messages per day. Mike Cannon-Brookes also explained that HipChat is going to be increasingly integrated with product ecosystems, taking full advantage of iOS 8 as well as the upcoming Apple Watch (iWatch in popular speak)
As always, Atlassian provided wonderful opportunities to learn. As certified Atlassian Experts, we had inside access to amazing training sessions. As mentioned, DataCenter products for enterprise customers took center stage at Summit2014. Not only was this reflected during the keynote, but in training as well.
The project managers and developers of the DataCenter iterations of JIRA, Confluence, and Stash – a technical team that is far flung and diverse as it is smart – was on hand to lead these sessions. Addteq had the tremendous opportunity to work with these developers all in the same room at the same time, a special treat that Atlassian noted rarely even happens for them. In other words, Addteq got access to the Atlassian product development teams that was as good or even better than standard at Atlassian.
During this amazing time, in particular we enjoyed the training on JIRA datacenter. We learned the specific elements of what makes an ideal candidate for enterprise v. other iterations of these products, and how to analyze for readiness. Specifically, the enterprise datacenter versions of Atlassian products help address issues that large organizations face with horizontal scaling. This is due to what Atlassian terms “higher availability” of computing resources – using redundancy to deliver services without the temporary suspensions that occur during upgrades, maintenance, and troubleshooting in non datacenter implementations. This is accomplished through active clustering, which is where applications are deployed on a cluster of servers that maintain constant contact with each other, checking to ensure that no service goes down. In the event that there is a service interruption, any node in a cluster will automatically restart the application on itself so that service picks up where it leaves off, shielding users from downtime or outages.
Atlassian’s ‘High Availability’, delivered through an load balancer that distributes tasks to the resources best primed to process them.
(Source: Atlassian – http://bit.ly/1uOZzqV)
Currently, clusters are built out of hardware that is collectively local to itself. This is due to latency issues that prevent two machines that are geographically distant from communicating quickly enough to ensure that services are consistent. We believe that as these products move into version 2.0 and beyond, flexibility will continue to increase as existing geo-dependence issues are minimized.
All this is happening to support the far flung teams common to billion dollar concerns. Benefits include relatively instantaneous page loads regardless of the size of your JIRA system, the afore mentioned higher availability, and plans for robust disaster recovery capabilities.
Just how strong is horizontal scaling support? Well, two and four node clusters had near linear capacity increases with the same response time! Additionally, scaling can occur in a predictable fashion, with end users not bogged down by hardware issues, but instead paying based on user count. In other words, DataCenter customers don’t have to deal with the backend, they just order the number of users they want, and begin using the resources. This translates to instant scalability with predictable costs.
Near linear scalability in enterprise level user bases. Drop off occurs as number of users reach ad absurdum. Additionally, if user numbers actually increase into the areas where performance begins to lag, 6, 8 and in theory, limitless nodes can be added.
(source: Atlassian – http://bit.ly/Z5Mpeq)
In general, everything was designed for expansion into enterprise markets. That was evident in Atlassian Service Desk, both breaking new ground as well as getting back to the company’s earliest roots. With the new Service Desk 2.0, pricing was simplified to $0 per customer, and $25 per agent. For those of you who were with us at Summit, you know that this was a very exciting announcement that drew applause from the crowd as it was shared. Not only that, but even cheers were forthcoming as it was revealed that there would be no feature based pricing – everything included with each agent ordered.
With the new product line expansions, as well as Atlassian’s move to support enterprises that have time planning far in the future relative to previous customers, JIRA, Confluence, Stash, HipChat, and the rest of the Atlassian Suite is building in more automation support to all of their behavior.
Increasingly, each product generates behaviors in other digital domains, as well as provides human resources with prompts to act, move, or hold when necessary. Not only does this reduce errors, it increases visibility for when a team needs to report to application owners.
As we learn more about the new applications that data center can support, we’re going to continue to report on the benefits, pitfalls, and best practices every user should know about. However, as Certified Atlassian Experts that have specialized in Automation for years, we’re at the cutting edge of these changes and developments. We’re proud to have been a part of trailblazing the automation element for Atlassian products, and are excited that Atlassian has recognized the value of Automation for its products.
In fact, during October and November, we are running two Webinars focused on using automation to reduce errors and achieve repeatability… In October, we’re going to focus on Automation in ALM, while in November we will cover Continuous Integration for Database Deployments.
This information is so key that we are presenting each talk twice, once for those on the US East Coast and Europe, and once for those on the US West Coast.
You can sign up for our two upcoming webinars below. They are both prescient with regard to the new directions Summit has taken us, and we are excited to share their content with you!
If we didn’t see you at Summit2014, hopefully we will get the chance to connect on at Summit2015. In the meantime, sign up for the webinars above, give our website a visit at www.ADDTEQ.com, or connect with us on our social media platforms.