A Tale of Two Data Centers – Upgrading Atlassian Data Center Instances for a Financial Services Company

Organizations are exploring their relationship between data and their end goals holistically to improve business outcomes. The banking and financial services companies are furthering their data efforts as digital transformation becomes essential for business success. 

The BFSI industry also continues to be a highly competitive space. To address the constantly evolving customer demands, organizations in this industry are on the lookout to create and deliver innovative products. They realize that only when they release innovative products faster, can they secure customer loyalty, reduce churn, and ensure profitability. Quite naturally, most organizations want to increase their capability to release important and relevant features and manage the end-to-end lifecycle of applications and service delivery with ease and agility. 

Atlassian tools have been the go-to solution to meet these demands. The Atlassian Data Center tools have enabled organization-wide efficiencies over the Server version counterparts.  

The Challenge

Our client, a leading consumer financial services company, has a robust portfolio of consumer finance products. Their portfolio includes offerings that span credit, promotional financing and loyalty programs, installment lending, and FDIC insured savings products. 

Despite having a strong product portfolio, the client was facing several challenges when it came to their hosting environment. Our client had been using the Server Version of Atlassian tools for several years. This version allowed their technical and non-technical users to collaborate on building and maintaining their overall portfolio. However, the client started experiencing growing pains in the usage of their Atlassian toolkit because of performance and stability issues. 

These challenges were present in both the Production and Development Bitbucket Server environments. It made the applications slow and unreliable. Both of these environments were business-critical and heavily used. Therefore, it was imperative to ensure that they were made to be performance-driven and stable. 

Along with these challenges, several other issues began to emerge:

  • The applications in both environments had reached end-of-life for Atlassian supported versions. 
  • The Git and JDK were outdated.
  • The Operating System in use was outdated and in desperate need of an upgrade. 

The client’s challenges were further compounded because they had a complex production environment to deal with. They had implemented a complicated, multi-location, High Availability solution outside of Atlassian’s suggested and supported model. This added to the environment’s complexity and made it even more unstable. 

Given the critical status, it was clear that the two Data Center environments needed to be upgraded to the latest version of Bitbucket. However, this had to be done with minimal downtime due to being mission-critical.  

The Addteq Solution

Our team of experts evaluated the client’s challenges, their dependencies on the applications, and reviewed the expectations of application performance. After reviewing the Bitbucket data center instances in both environments, Addteq came up with the following plan:

  • Ironed out a detailed plan for the production upgrade. 
  • Keeping dependencies into consideration, we decided to use one of the two separately-located data centers, to run the application in read-only while the other data center was being upgraded.
  • Ensured a separation of duties and updated policies to implement this and future upgrades. This complex separation needed significant coordination and collaboration for both upgrades. 
  • Accounted for automated application upgrades on all nodes employing Ansible. Doing this helped us implement the necessary workarounds and modifications on the legacy OS so it was able to  support the application. 
  • We also upgraded Git to increase speed, performance, and efficiency.

Upgrade with the least amount of Downtime 

After a careful and detailed evaluation of all dependencies, we successfully implemented our plan and upgraded both the production and development environments to the latest Bitbucket version. We automated the upgrade of the application nodes and simultaneously made all the modifications and workarounds on the legacy OS. 

Keeping with the client’s needs, we restricted application downtime to less than 30 minutes. We were able to do this by staggering the upgrade process. We used the ‘read-only’ production data center location while the other production data center location was upgrading. This step ensured that none of the critical business functions were impacted during the upgrade.

In Conclusion

The expectations from application performance and stability are increasing with the consumerization of software products. Users demand an ‘Amazon-like’ experience from all of their applications. The importance of Data Center in ensuring application performance, stability, scalability, and security cannot be emphasized enough. 

So, it makes sense for organizations to expand their Data Center capabilities and ensure that it supports their business needs & expectations. Data Center should be able to deliver ‘Innovation at Scale’ to support organizational growth. The Atlassian Data Center provides a robust feature-set designed for performance, stability, high-availability, and disaster recovery. But to reap its exhaustive benefits and meet the organization’s technical and business requirements, it must be correctly architected and deployed. 

With a combination of our technical expertise, and benefits from being a Platinum Atlassian Solution Partner, we carve out robust, detailed, and future-proof solutions that support the data center needs of today’s growing enterprise. 

If you want to discover how to jumpstart your Data Center, connect with one of our experts today.

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