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What seems to make the separation mandatory is a combination of "Questions" access control and visibility of all Spaces to all Users. Please correct me if I'm wrong!
Lastly, assuming the dual instance is appropriate, how does that affect Server licenses for Confluence? Is there a way to have two instances with one license? Both would use JIRA for their User Directory.
I did (finally) figure out how to make Users only the Spaces they should see. So seems like the only thing to consider (to keep a single instance) is whether or not we need a separate Questions instance for internal use only. If we don't need that then we could have just one instance.
We also use Confluence for internal and external use (mixed-use) and our biggest bug-bear is not being able to separate Questions. We can restrict questions to one group but what we really need is to be able to have both groups able to use it but to apply a security filter so the external people can't see the internal questions and answers. Apparently you can't get two instances of Questions if you only have one instance of Confluence - and we can't justify two instances of Confluence. So the problem remains for us. By the way, the main reason this is such a massive issue for us is the rapid internal uptake of Confluence - i.e., the staff love it and want to be able to use the Questions feature that is part of our public facing product documentation!
If you have a mixed-use Confluence, you can restrict questions to only the internal users. See this: https://confluence.atlassian.com/display/QUESTIONS/Permissions
However, if you need a unique set of questions for external users, that would I guess require a unique instance with unique questions plugin in this case.
Also see this issue for mixed use Confluence systems. https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/CONF-21952 . Something you may need to consider if the external users are not supposed to know who each other are or see internal user names possibly.
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