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Confluence Cloud vs Data Center: which is right for you?
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Confluence Cloud vs Data Center: which is right for you?

A headshot of Holly Aspinall
Holly Aspinall
28th May, 2024
8 min read
Three large computer servers in a row on a stylised background
A headshot of Holly Aspinall
Holly Aspinall
28th May, 2024
8 min read
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What is Confluence Cloud?
What is Confluence Data Center?
Cloud vs Data Center - the differences summarised
Is Confluence Cloud or Data Center right for me?

Struggling to tell the difference between Confluence Cloud and Data Center? We make it easy to choose which your organisation needs.

You’re almost ready to share the benefits of Confluence with your organisation. But you’re at a crossroads: should you go with Confluence Cloud or Data Center? Don’t worry. We’re here to break down the differences between the two and help you make the right decision for your needs.

If you’re new to Confluence, our guide What is Confluence? will bring you up to speed.

What is Confluence Cloud?

Confluence Cloud is a cloud-based version of Confluence, meaning it’s hosted, managed, and maintained by Atlassian.

Users can access Confluence Cloud from anywhere in the world without installing any software on your own servers - all they need is an internet connection.
A Confluence Cloud page showing Atlassian Design Guidelines (ADG)
Image courtesy of Atlassian

Confluence Cloud: main features

  • Smaller operational costs: With the software being hosted by Atlassian’s servers, there are no extra costs for hardware and IT maintenance.

  • Budget friendly: Designed for nearly every company, Confluence Cloud has tiered pricing to suit your budget and needs.

  • No manual management required: Updates, maintenance, and infrastructure are all managed by Atlassian.

  • Seamless integration: Confluence Cloud offers integration with other Atlassian cloud products such as Jira Cloud, Trello, Bitbucket, etc., as well as third-party apps available in the Atlassian Marketplace like Content Formatting Macros for Confluence.

  • Security and Compliance: Atlassian manages security and compliance measures for Confluence Cloud, including data encryption, access controls, and compliance certifications. Confluence Cloud can even offer a HIPAA-compliant solution.

Confluence Cloud: pricing

Confluence Cloud has four user tiers. We cover monthly pricing below for Standard and Premium tiers, but they also have annual pricing options:

  • Free: Free tier gives you up to 2 GB storage, up to 3 active Confluence whiteboards per user, and unlimited spaces and pages. This tier is for up to 10 users, and is free forever (unless you add more than 10 members to your plan).

  • Standard: Standard tier supports up to 50,000 users and comes with 250 GB storage, as well as all the previous benefits from Free tier. You can also assign user permissions. The maximum monthly price is $6.05 per user (with the price decreasing from 101+ users).

  • Premium: Premium tier includes everything from Standard tier, plus Atlassian Intelligence, unlimited Confluence whiteboards, unlimited storage, Confluence Analytics, guaranteed 99.9% uptime, plus 24/7 Premium support. The maximum monthly price is $11.55 per user (with the price decreasing from 101+ users).

  • Enterprise: Enterprise tier is designed for bigger companies, and more complex organisations. It supports up to 150 individual Confluence sites, includes Atlassian Access security, and 99.95% uptime, plus 24/7 Enterprise support. Designed for 801+ users or more, Enterprise tier is only available on an annual subscription. It costs $107,500 per year for 801 users.

What is Confluence Data Center?

Confluence Data Center is Atlassian’s self-hosted version of Confluence, meaning it has to be installed and maintained on a company’s own servers. The company is responsible for continuously running Confluence and updating the software when it’s necessary.

Confluence Data Center is designed for organisations with high performance needs or with product data that needs to remain in a self-managed environment.
A Cross-team projects page in Confluence Data Center
Image courtesy of Atlassian

Confluence Data Center: main features

  • Complete data control: Being self-hosted, Confluence Data Center gives organisations full control over their data, which includes where it’s stored and how it’s backed up (essential for companies that must comply with regulations not on Atlassian’s Cloud roadmap).
  • Uses own infrastructure: Organisations must install Confluence on their own servers, and need the resources to continuously maintain and update it.
  • Available for an unlimited number of users: The size of Confluence Data Center depends only on your server capabilities.
  • Tailored deployment: Confluence Data Center can be installed in a range of different configurations, from a single node (server) to clustered deployment, to tailor it to your organisation’s needs.
  • Advanced page and space customisation: Edit Confluence pages as you would a web page. Organisations can customise their theme and style Confluence pages with custom Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), improving brand recognition.

Confluence Data Center: pricing

Confluence Data Center doesn’t have different user tiers - everything comes included, no matter how many users you have. However, the price (which is billed annually) does change depending on how many users are included on your licence.

Here are a few examples:
  • 500 users: $28,000 per year
  • 1,000 users: $50,000 per year
  • 5,000 users: $231,000 per year
  • 10,000 users: $265,000 per year
  • 20,000 users: $311,000 per year

These prices are just an indication, but you can calculate your Data Center price to get an accurate quote.

It’s worth remembering that the cost of maintenance isn’t factored into Confluence Data Center’s pricing, so you should calculate this before making a commitment to ensure you can afford it in the long-run.

Cloud vs Data Center - the differences summarised

Confluence Cloud is a secure, cloud-based version of Confluence hosted and managed by Atlassian. It’s cost-effective, maintenance-free, and offers seamless integrations with other Atlassian products.

Confluence Data Center is a self-hosted version of Confluence that gives organisations complete data control. Because it’s maintained by the organisation, they need the infrastructure and resources to install, manage, and update it continuously.

Is Confluence Cloud or Data Center right for me?

Because of its hassle-free setup and flexible pricing tiers, Confluence Cloud is suitable for most organisations. But in some instances, such as when you need to keep your data very strictly managed, Data Center might be the right choice.

Confluence Cloud is right for you if…
  • You don’t have the infrastructure (i.e. servers) to host Confluence yourself.
  • You want to save money on long-term maintenance costs.
  • You already have other Atlassian products that you want to link seamlessly together.
  • You want Confluence to ‘just work’ without any extra hassle or upkeep.
  • You need a tool that teams can easily and securely access from anywhere.

Confluence Data Center is right for you if…
  • Your Confluence instance needs to run reliably every single hour of the day, every day of the week.
  • You’re a large enterprise running complex operations.
  • You have the infrastructure and need to keep your operations in-house.
  • You need to meet specific compliance requirements not covered by Atlassian.

Which version of Confluence you choose completely depends on your specific needs, but for most companies, Confluence Cloud is likely the easy choice. If you’re on Confluence Server and looking to migrate to cloud, check out our Confluence migration guide to answer all your questions.

Just installed Confluence?

Whether you’ve chosen Data Center or Cloud, our range of useful apps helps you do more with Confluence. Try them for free today!
Written by
A headshot of Holly Aspinall
Holly Aspinall
Content Marketing Manager
Holly is dedicated to writing valuable, accessible guides that help users understand their tools better. She champions products that help modern workers do more with Confluence,, and beyond.

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