How To Back Up Jira data

Jira has become an integral solution for IT teams worldwide to manage tasks, track issues, and collaborate on projects. What’s more, this Atlassian tool empowers teams to streamline workflows, enhance productivity, and deliver better results with precision.

Yet with great reliance on Jira, there emerges the necessity for protecting the sensitive project information Jira contains.

And backup here stands as one of the most effective ways for minimizing downtime and overcoming disruptions connected to human error, system failures, unintentional or intentional deletions, infrastructure downtime, data corruption, or other failures, guaranteeing business continuity.

So, how to back up Jira and have peace of mind that you can access and restore your Jira data from any point in time? Here you have a few options to perform data backups for Jira Cloud.

Backup For Jira – what It Should Include

Before we jump at the possible backup options for Jira, let’s understand what features can guarantee that your Jira data backup is efficient and effective, ensuring that no issue, project, or even comment is lost.

The first thing that you need to pay attention to is full data coverage. It means that your backup should include each piece of data of your Jira ecosystem, including projects, issues, roles, workflows, users, issue comments, etc. Moreover, you should have a possibility to automate backups

Next, your backup for Jira should allow you to back up to various storage locations, both Cloud and local, as well as enable replication between your backup storage locations.

This will help you meet the golden backup standard, the 3-2-1 backup rule, or its modern alternatives – the 4-3-2 or the 3-2-1-1 backup rules.

Then, among other things, you should make sure that your backup:

  • ensures long-term or unlimited retention,
  • enables AES encryption in-flight and at rest,
  • provides easy monitoring options,
  • has ransomware protection mechanisms,
  • guarantees data accessibility and recoverability in any event of failure with its restore and Disaster Recovery features.

Jira Backup Options – How To Ensure Data Accessibility

Atlassian is a secure service provider that follows strict security measures to ensure its services run smoothly and continuously. Thus, Atlassian regularly takes system-wide snapshots for all its Jira Cloud users.

However, things are not quite that simple. As any SaaS provider, Atlassian follows the Shared Responsibility Model, where the service provider states the responsibilities of both parties – the provider’s and its users. 

The Atlassian Cloud Security Shared Responsibility Model assumes that the provider is responsible for backing up its platform and infrastructure-level data while a user has to back up its Jira account data.

Method 1: Atlassian’s Native Backup Option – Backup Manager

Within the Jira ecosystem, Atlassian’s Backup Manager meets some basic data protection requirements. By allowing snapshots of Jira instances, it ensures that some critical Jira data is safe even in the event of unforeseen difficulties.

Within this backup method, you can manually export your Jira Cloud data, including Jira issues, boards, comments, etc., at any time.

However, if you need to include avatars, attachments, and logos to your backup, you can perform such exports only every 48 hours. 

The procedure for exporting and downloading a backup file looks pretty simple:

  1. You need to go to “Settings” and then choose “System”.
  2. Then, in the section “Import and export” find and select “Backup Manager”.
  3. Next, under the section for “Backup for cloud”, find and select “Create backup for cloud”.
  4. In case you need to include attachments, project logos, and avatars in your export file, you will need to tick “Include additional files”.

Using this backup method for your Jira data, you need to think about storage. As you are the one who manually exports backup files, you can keep your Jira backups on your local machine.

If you want to store your data in some other place, let’s say in the cloud, you can manually upload your backup files there, which can be a bit time-consuming. 

As we mentioned above, it’s important to automate your backups. And to help with solving this issue, Atlassian provides some scripts.

However, those scripts aren’t officially supported and can require your attention and control, as you may need to do some fixes from time to time. 

Method 2: CLI Backup Solution For Jira

The Backup CLI is an application that allows you to download your Jira Cloud product data to your own storage. This method requires you and your team to be technically minded and be familiar with command-line interfaces and scripting to use it. 

Using the Backup CLI option, you can back up your Jira users and group data, issues, descriptions, attachments, and comments. However, to start using this backup method, you will first need to set up the CLI, the same one used for backup and restore. 

If you want to enable automatic backups, you will need to create and maintain custom scripts, which increases the requirement for technical resources and experience even more.

Moreover, you need to pay careful attention to all the details while configuring backup parameters and configurations, as any mistake made during setup might result in inaccurate or insufficient backups.

This manual configuration can be error-prone and eats into your time a lot, detracting you from the other activities you need to prioritize.

Furthermore, it is challenging to track the progress and status of backup operations using CLI Backup Solution due to its lack of integrated monitoring and reporting features.

It could be essential for organizations to create extra tools or scripts to provide them the required insight into the backup procedure.

Also, you should keep in mind that the Backup CLI for Jira is still in the Early Access Program, and is solely meant for testing. It’s not meant for use in production systems. 

Method 3: Backup Script For Jira Data

Another method that you can use to perform a backup of your Jira environment is to manually create a backup script. Usually, writing your custom data backup script can be rather flexible and customizable.

For this option, you need to use the Jira REST API to extract your data, including issues, users, and projects. 

Moreover, you can ensure that your Jira data is routinely backed up by automating the backup processes using scheduling tools like cron job.

However, before starting to use this backup method for Jira, it’s worth to carefully go over the Atlassian documentation and backup recommendations to make sure that your script complies with Jira’s requirements for data security and integrity.

Though this backup method may work well at first,  it will appear time-consuming in the long run.

What’s more, it will divert your technical team’s attention from their primary responsibilities as they will need to handle an increasing amount of work due to the growing number of backups to perform.

Method 4: Third-party Apps For Backup

If your goal is to minimize the time you and your technical team spend on backups by automating the Jira backup process, then it’s worth taking into consideration a third-party backup solution, like GitProtect.io, a professional backup and Disaster Recovery software for Jira Software, Jira Service Management, and Jira Work Management

The backup provider offers a turnkey backup and DR solution, ensuring data accessibility and availability in any event of failure.

With its full data coverage, backup scheduler for automated daily backups, ransomware protection, multi-storage compatibility (both local and Cloud) to meet the 3-2-1 backup rule, replication between storage destinations, unlimited data retention to meet even the most strict compliance requirements, monitoring capabilities, and robust restore and Disaster Recovery Technology, Jira users can have peace of mind that each piece of data is accessible and recoverable from any point in time.

Moreover, thanks to granular recovery, restore to the same or a new account, point-in-time restore, Cloud-to-clod, Cloud-to-local restore, the backup solution makes it possible to eliminate downtime and resume work immediately in a few clicks, meeting any disaster scenario.

Another advantage of using a third-party tool is the possibility of sharing responsibilities over data security with it and meeting strict security compliance requirements.

What’s more, a trustworthy backup is a necessary requirement to pass security audits, like SOC 2 and ISO 27001, or to meet the new NIS 2 and DORA standards.

A short Analysis Of Jira Backup Methods

Jira Backup ManagerBackup CLIManual Backup script for JiraThird-party backup tool – GitProtect.io
Data protection coverageLimited data export, if you want to include attachments, avatars and logos, you can export data every 48 hoursFull data exportDepends on your backup scriptFull data coverage
Backup AutomationManual backupsManual backupsUsually manual, yet it depends on your backup scriptSupport automated backups based on the schedule
Backup performanceManualManualDepends on your backup script, usually manualFlexible scheduler – GFS, forever incremental backups, 
Backup StorageThere is no cloud storage offered for backup files. You need to arrange your own storageThere is no cloud storage offered for backup files. You need to arrange your own storageThere is no cloud storage offered for backup files. You need to arrange your own storageMulti-storage compatibility, GitProtect Free Unlimited Cloud Storage is included
Data Management & MigrationYou may need to use third-party plugins or custom scriptsYou may need to use third-party plugins or custom scriptsYou may need to use third-party plugins or custom scriptsMigrate between projects, consolidate sites, move between accounts, copy project config
Ransomware protectionYou need to think about how to protect your dataYou need to think about how to protect your dataYou need to think about how to protect your dataWORM-compliant storage, non-executable data, custom encryption key, limited access to credentials
Security and ComplianceAES 256 encryptionEarly Access Program, the release is only for testing purposes and it isn’t recommended for production environmentsDepends on what security measures you take, security and compliance rests on your shouldersAES 256 encryption in-flight and at rest, SSL transfer encryption, Compliance with SOC 2, ISO 27001, GDPR, data residency of choice (US, EU, AUS)
Restore and Disaster RecoveryManually restore data from the exported backup fileYou need to provide restore CLI commands A restore script is needed to recover the dataPoint-in-time restore, granular recovery, restore to the same or a new account, Cloud-to-Cloud, Cloud-to-local restore, recovery to a free Jira account with a no-user recovery option, restore to your local device

Conclusion

Most businesses assume that Atlassian automatically backups its customers’ data, but it’s not so… Data protection is the responsibility of both the service provider and its users which is stated in the Atlassian Cloud Security Shared Responsibility Model.

How to backup Jira data is the decision that every organization should think over by itself within its security, organization, and complaince requirements.

What’s most important is to build a robust backup strategy for the Jira environment, ensuring that all the business operations are running smoothly.

Learn more about Jira Backup Best Practices. Try Backup & DR software for Jira on Atlassian Marketplace.

Work done by a Team Of Security Experts from Cyber Writes (www.cyberwrites.com) - World’s First Dedicated Content-as-a-Service (CaaS) Platform for Cybersecurity. For Exclusive Cyber Security Contents, Reach at: [email protected]