Partition Octopus with Spaces

Octopus Deploy 2019.1 introduced Spaces as a way to isolate team/divisions/projects from one another. Before configuring spaces, there are a few important items to note.

  • Spaces are “hard walls,” each space has its environments, lifecycles, projects, packages, step templates, and targets.
  • At the time of this writing, the only thing shared between spaces is users and teams.
  • A user can have full permissions in one space but read-only permissions in all other spaces.
  • Listening Tentacles can be registered to multiple spaces and only count against your license once.

Think of an Octopus Deploy instance as an apartment building. Each space is an apartment in that building, with their own kitchen, living room, and bedrooms. There is some shared infrastructure between apartments, such as the building itself, along with other necessities such as plumbing and electricity.

Configuring Spaces

As spaces are “hard walls,” you should consider how often your users will need to switch between spaces in their usual day-to-day work. We’ve found customers have the most success when spaces are decoupled from one another. For example:

  • A space containing all the projects that comprise an application suite. For example, all the applications and projects for your CRM.
  • A space for public-facing applications with another space for all internal applications.
  • A space for each division within your company.

Internally we have opted for a space per application suite.

  • Octopus Server Space (includes the MSI, pushing to Chocolatey and Docker Hub)
  • Space (and corresponding CMS)
  • Integrations Space (build servers, issue trackers, etc.)
  • And so on


We’ve also found several anti-patterns with the Spaces feature you should avoid.

  • A space per team (Team A Space, Team B space, etc.). Typically in larger corporations, applications move between teams; a space per team would require you to move projects between spaces. The project export/import makes this easier, but it doesn’t copy everything. You’d need to move packages, deployment targets, and workers. Release and Deployment history is not moved either.
  • A space per environment (Development Space, Production Space, Test Space, etc.). Spaces were not designed, nor do they support this scenario. You would need a way to keep the deployment process in sync across multiple spaces. Such a syncing process is difficult to create and maintain.
  • A space per tenant. Just like the environments per space scenario, spaces were not designed, nor do they support this scenario. You would need a way to keep the deployment process in sync across multiple spaces.
  • A space per application component. You would need to track a single application across multiple spaces.
  • Sharing deployment targets across spaces. It is possible to register the same Tentacle, Azure Web App, or K8s cluster across spaces, but that indicates a space is too fine-grained. Sharing deployment targets across spaces only lead to confusion as deployments in one space will appear “locked” because of deployment in another space.

Prevent sharing of Deployment Targets

A tentacle trusts the entire Octopus Server, not a specific space. It is not possible to prevent a tentacle from being shared across multiple spaces. Polling tentacles are harder to configure, but possible.

For other deployment targets, such as Azure Web Apps, or K8s clusters, you would have to re-key the credentials in each space. As such, store those credentials in a secure location and limit access to them.

Sharing Workers

Sharing workers configured as listening Tentacles is very easy to do. In a lot of cases, the servers hosting the workers are underutilized. Sharing workers between spaces can be beneficial from a cost and maintenance standpoint. Polling Tentacles configured as Workers can be used in multiple spaces by running the register-worker command.

There are some considerations when sharing workers.

  • The Tentacle agent on the worker can be running as a specific Active Directory account.
  • The Tentacle agent could be running on an EC2 instance with a specific IAM role attached.
  • When workers download packages, they require a mutex; no other task can be running on that worker. 99% of the time, this isn’t noticed. However, if a worker runs a 10-hour integration test, you run the risk of getting stuck behind that test waiting for the mutex to be created. Have a separate set of workers to run these long-running tasks.

Moving Projects between Spaces

Don’t worry if you don’t get your space configuration right the first time. It is a high bar to expect perfection the first time.

Starting with Octopus Server 2021.1 we offer the ability to export and import projects between spaces. You can configure your instance with every project using the default space. You can decide later how you want to split up your instance.

Further reading

For further reading on spaces in Octopus Deploy please see:

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Page updated on Wednesday, October 4, 2023