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Budget Jira Still Going!

By Ryan Lambert -- Published August 28, 2014

Warning: This post is outdated. It is here for reference purposes only.

Six months ago I wrote a post that describes how I've setup a $5/mo Debian VPS from Digital Ocean to run an basic 10-user Jira instance. I now have a four users in the system and my budget Jira is still going strong! If you're curious about the details go read this post first and then come back here to see how it has held up.

Disclaimer:

I have automated regular backups and test weekly backups of my Jira instance and database. I'm confident that the data loss would be very minimal no matter what happens on this server. I'm comfortable using this Jira instance as my production instance knowing I could crash it at any time and recover pretty quickly. YMMV

How Has Jira Performed?

Great! I've been truly impressed with the performance on such a tiny server. Obviously, Jira is not intended to run on such a budget server and I knew that going into this experiment. I have been prepared to spool the server down, pay for more RAM and probably another core, but I never needed to. I was close a couple of times. I also came close to paying $10/mo for Atlassian's On Demand which is a really good deal.... BUT -- I'm stubborn. I had backups ready, but after each of the 4 times I crashed Jira, it just bounced back up and no data was lost.

When I originally wrote about this in March, I gave it a 1 GB swap file. After the fourth hard crash (remember, I'm stubborn) I added a second 1 GB swap file to give it a total of 2 GB. In the screenshot below from Monit, you can see what the server looks like when it's pretty much idling. Jira never seems to use more than 70% of RAM but when working on dashboards or making big changes in the Administrators side, the CPU gets hit pretty hard and the lag becomes pretty noticeable. Luckily I don't do that very often!

(click for full size)

Budget Jira Monit - Idle Server

I restarted the server 50 days ago, but Jira had been running for about 50 days before that with no real troubles. The server is definitely fully loaded by Jira so I'm working on migrating a couple other minor things off this server to give it some more room.

Summary

I've saved a tiny bit of money, spent multitudes of hours testing, and have gained invaluable experience since I first setup Jira in January of this year. By now I feel that I have a reliable system that is easy to expand and grow if the time comes, but is very cost effective in the meantime. I will probably continue hosting Jira myself, but if the usage goes up any more I will have to upgrade the server a bit...

By Ryan Lambert
Published August 28, 2014
Last Updated June 20, 2018