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to answer your question directly, Tableau server does have built in processes that you can view if going into server status and then running the report "background tasks for non-extracts". there is a process named "data engine configuration reaper".
A good place to start, besides this though is to have login rights to your server and then go into Explorer whereever Tableau is installed and do some searches based on size and date modified to see what's taking up the space.
Does this "data engine configuration reaper" actually remove extracts or configurations? I'm seeing that it is running regularly, but running for 0 seconds. In the server 8 versions I used to see a "Reap Extracts" and I'm guessing this new "data engine configuration reaper" is supposed to do the same thing. Is that correct?
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its probably more so the configs. I'm not sure what cleans up the temp files associated with refresh extracts. I had a look in the logs and found the following in reference to the data config reaper. It runs so fast because it seems to most of the time have no stale dataengine configurations to reap
2015-09-28 13:20:12.468 -0500 (,,,) backgroundJobRunnerScheduler-1 : INFO com.tableausoftware.backgrounder.runner.BackgroundJobRunner - Running job of type :purge_dataengine_configurations; no timeout; priority: 0; id: 1299224; args: 
2015-09-28 13:20:12.468 -0500 (Internal,,,) pool-2-thread-1 : INFO com.tableausoftware.model.workgroup.service.DataengineConfigurationServiceImpl - Reaped 0 stale dataengine configurations
2015-09-28 13:20:12.468 -0500 (,,,) backgroundJobRunnerScheduler-1 : INFO com.tableausoftware.backgrounder.runner.BackgroundJobRunner - Job finished: SUCCESS; name: Dataengine Configuration Reaper; type :purge_dataengine_configurations; notes: null; total time: 104 sec; run time: 0 sec
Tim, can I ask what makes you think Server is what's taking up the space? Or the extracts, specifically? Whenever I get disk alerts, I always run WinDirStat on the host(s), as it quickly allows you to pinpoint what files and folders are taking up all the space.
If you do find that it's the .tde files to blame, then it's definitely worth looking into more. In particular, I'd look for files of similar size and name but different dates. The oldest one of the set would tell you much in terms of how long files are sticking around before reaping.
I'm guessing because we had an issue last year where the reap extracts wasn't running and it caused an issue, and now in 9 I'm not seeing a reap extracts running anywhere so I just thought that's what the issue is.
I need the guys to check on the .tde files on the machine. More specifically, I need to have them on these message boards trying to figure out what is going on. I appreciate your help. Thanks.
I am reactivating this discussion.
I am using Tableau Server 9.3 today. We upgraded since 8.1.
We have approximately 30 datasources with extracts and les than 10 complete workbooks.
When I search tde files on the server (*.tde) I find 210 files, some of them are more than 2 years old, have the same name as up to date extracts, and many of these files are under the E:\Tableau Server\data\tabsvc\temp\ folder.
When I look at the report "background tasks for non-extracts", I do not see any "Reap extract" task. And all tasks succeed.
Any idea on the way to delete the old extract files ?
The temp folder should be cleaned out by Tableau Server regularly. 9.3 shouldn't have any problems with this so far as I am aware. 8.1 is fairly ancient at this point, and may not have done as good a job. Give it another day or two and those old files should go away.
I would definitely not touch anything in the tabsvc\dataengine folder!
thank you for your quick reply.
I may not have been totally clear: I did not upgarde to 9.3 recently, I upgraded only a few days after it was released.
What I wanted to say, is that it is not a fresh install on 9.3.
I will not do anything directly on the disk, but I doubt that waiting will do anything.
I was wondering if a complete uninstall, deletion of the Tableau Server folder, and reinstallation from scratch would help.
The problem is, I think, that all the useless files may be backuped with the others.
Ah, I understand now. No, those temp files are not backed up. They just take up space on your disk. Yes, you could do a "clean install" of Tableau Server and those files will go away. But see the documentation for tabadmin cleanup: Remove Unneeded Files . I forgot we run a script daily that zips up our old logs and then cleans up all the logs and temp files--that's why our own folders are squeaky-clean. You can use the same technique to safely remove these files, too, without even restarting Tableau Server.
Thank you for your reply.
I am automatically running a cleanup (server running and server stopped) every week.
I will try a clean install, and I have logged a case at Tableau.