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We are looking into creating an issue tracker/wiki setup for a small team (no more than 10 developers). In the past few days we have looked over some options, and so far, my favorite setup is JIRA and Confluence. Before doing anything for real, I created a mock server that mimics the server that will actually be used (Windows 2008 R2/MySQL/Lateset JIRA/Confluence 4.0 - still in beta but supposed to go final soon).

The setup went quite smoothly, but I've had some questions that might affect us and was wondering if anyone had similar experiences:

  • Both JIRA and Confluence are major memory hogs (using 400MB each for a fresh, empty installation) - the production server will have around 8GB of memory, but I am worried this will become an issue in the future. Is this usual or have I configured something incorrectly?
  • Both applications are occasionally sluggish, despite not being really used. Without an obvious pattern, usage becomes very slow, and I can see heavy CPU usage on the tomcat process. As above, can something be done about this?
  • In the mock, I used a VMWare workstation as the server, something which I understand can cause performance issues, the production server is not virtualized, will this improve performance considerably?
  • Did someone had any experience using JIRA or Confluence in a right-to-left environment (Arabic, Hebrew, Farsi, etc)? In confluence, I got some good results quickly by using custom CSS in the Space Admin, but I can't find a similar feature in JIRA.

Thank you for your time.

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We use both Jira and Confluence where I work, and frankly, I'm underwhelmed. I think there are a number of open source wikis out there that will be both faster and easier to use than Confluence, and Jira is a beast that will require a fair amount of work on your part to make less than painful to use. –  larsks Sep 17 '11 at 0:56

3 Answers 3

I use both and they are running on CentOS 5.x under VMware. The confluence uses 1.1GB of virtual memory and 645MB of residential and JIRA is at 1.2G/687MB correspondingly. Of course it is a lot of memory, but it is not that big deal for us. The application may respond slowly and be a bit sluggish if not used for while, but after some activity it is pretty responsive. I think this is common behavior for java web applications, but the performance can be improved with some tuning if it bothers you much.

I think in term of functionality JIRA with Confluence are a good choice. They well documented and support is great. The starter license is virtually free, however at some point you may hit the wall of 10 users and upgrade to the next level will cost you some real moneys. So, if you expect growth of your user base then keep this in mind.

Both Confluence and JIRA have a load of features but it does not mean you have to use all of them. I started running them in standard configuration and I have a little urge to do any customization (upgrades may be painful otherwise).

We are using both systems for about 5-7 years now. Our users get used to interface and I haven't heard any complains or requests for features that I could not accommodate for quite some time now, so my personal opinion - thumbs up.

P.S. No experience with right-to-left languages though.

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Is it normal for an application to consume so much memory for doing almost nothing? –  Sean Sep 17 '11 at 18:55
    
I would say it is normal. Both are pretty advanced applications with plenty of features and all of them are consuming memory even if you do not use them. –  dtoubelis Sep 19 '11 at 3:07

I know this is very old, but I thought I'd point out that Jira runs perfectly (for me so far with minimal "issues" created) if using a VPS with 1GB ram but 1 extra GB of SWAP on a VPS hosting with SSD. Of course SSD is the important part for speed, but @ 2014, SSD was a common VPS option.

I followed steps in both of these guides:

main 1GB swap setup with this--->

https://www.rustprooflabs.com/2014/03/jira-on-a-budget/

checked swappiness and updated Fstab to make change permanent with this--->

https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-add-swap-on-centos-6

I'm using swappiness = 30. Seems fine, haven't played with any other setting.

hope that helps someone.

Btw, as at Sept/2014 I'm using the $7 a month 1GB / 1 CPU plan with VULTR

https://www.vultr.com/pricing/

Background, before making this change to SWAP it would not even login, i'd barely get through the setup screens with CPU maxed at 100% and would just churn away till java crashed and jira service died.

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Great choice!

Both jira and confluence are java based so in time or after the number of user is rising you should allocate more memory if the the jvm crashes.

I have setup a jira in a vps with 2GB RAM and it works fine. So, a server with 8GB of RAM will be enough for both instances and mysql server. This is because there is a memory limit set in both jira and confluence configurations. When the memory allocated to jira or confluence is not enough the service will crash with outofmemory exception. In this case you have to increase the allocated memory from config files. Usually, I am doubling the size, from 512MB to 1GB.

From time to time, check "Java VM Memory Statistics" section on "System Info" page. During the working hours you should have 10%-20% or more free memory for best performance. In our setup we have allocated 1GB RAM to jira and is 45% free.

I have heard people saying that the jira issues browsing is slow. I read what other said and I tried to use chrome and it was a bit faster. But, in my opinion, latest releases are working faster than the previous ones. Upgrading may decrease the loading speed. Cleaning projects and gourps or deleting old projects also might help.

We had for a while jira running in a linux guest on a vmware server. It worked for a small number of clients, so running jira and confluence on dedicated hardware will improve the speed, but, you have to see where is your limit in users. It might work in a virtual machine for 10 users. Just make sure you allocate more memory to the JVM of jira and confluence to at least 1GB for each and 3GB of RAM for guest. Caching always helps.

Sorry, I have no experience with right to left environments.

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