We only have one non-production Server, QA.  It's been fine when doing updates since we've only been using version 8.  Now that version 9 is out, it is enough different that a TEST Server would be nice to have.  In the mean time, while waiting for this to happen, here's what I've decided to do...

 

I'm going to have a temporary Site on our PROD Server.  For all intents and purposes this acts like a separate server, it just happens to reside on the same box.  This allows me to keep that QA familiarity for my end users while I blow away the QA 8.3 version and upgrade to 9.0 for them to test upon.

 

The QA Server isn't very big in my opinion, which is good.  QA shouldn't be.  The first step is to export the specific Site using the tabadmin exportsite command.  However, the process took about 50 minutes for the .zip file to be created in the first step!  I'm using the 8.3 Import or Export a Site from the admin manual to help me through the process, along with the actual tabadmin command reference.

 

I opened a cmd window and executed the first command of this process:

tabadmin exportsite "" --file D:\Application\Tableau\backups\qa --tempdir D:\temp

So this means I'm exporting the default Site to the file named "qa" to the D:\Application\Tableau\backups folder.  The process will automatically add the ".zip" file extension.  All of the working files will be placed into the alternate location I chose, which is D:\temp.  This allows me to watch the progress.

 

When the tabadmin command runs the Site will automatically become locked.  Here's what my end users saw when this happened:

                

So if you do this make sure you send out an email when you're done to let them know it's back up

 

I kept my eye on the Windows Task Manager as well as the File Manager to monitor progress.  In the beginning there isn't much and for about 10-15 minutes I thought something failed because I saw no activity after the initial "export__..." folder and a few files were created:

              

                        (I added this example image the next day as I had to re-run the export, this is why the filename and date don't match this blog entry date).

 

After about 15-20 minutes things picked-up and I saw the eventual zip file grow.  When it was done the cmd window looked like this:

                  

 

My temp directory had some left-over files in it:

                 

 

The resultant zip file was 6.03GB in size.  Next step:  Import a Site.