Hey John -
Great question! I'm in the consulting group over here, and talk to people all the time about this. You actually won't go wrong either way as long as Server is the only application running on the box or VM (ie, not the greatest idea to install Tableau Server and something like SQL Server / Oracle / Whatever on the same (v) machine, too).
As long as your IT group feels comfortable managing a virtualized environment (backup, monitoring, disaster recovery, mirroring, etc. ), I generally recommend going the virtualized route. Good Enterprise Virtualization software really does a great job augmenting the DR/backup capabilities of Tableau Server, and many times can allow you to recover from a hardware/OS failure more quickly.
So again, no real “right” answer here, but if high availability and DR are really important to you, using a well-managed virtual environment can’t be beat! (If you’re considering core licensing, it also allows you to allot those cores in smaller increments on a per-machine basis, which can be cool)
Thanks for your feedback, Russell! I agree that the virtualized route makes more sense for our needs as well as general use of virtualized environments.
I'm curious, do you know how other companies/customers have implemented Tableau Server (in a virtualized environment) in regards to Development/Test and Production environments?