4 Replies Latest reply on Jan 22, 2015 10:46 AM by Jeff Strauss

    Who's minding your Server while you're away?

    Toby Erkson

      I'm the only Tableau Server administrator in the company I work for.  I control the [VM] server and The Tableau Server.  So I can install software, play with the registry, reboot the VM as well as restart the Server, etc.


      But what happens if I get hit by a Budweiser delivery truck and cannot do any work?


      I've been advocating a backup for my position and my new manager agrees it's essential there be one, so that's good.  Since there isn't funding (or really a workload-need) for a full-time position I'm looking to documentation that a person could reference and determine if it's something that can wait until I get back or if it's something they can remedy.


      So what do y'all do?  How do you have yourself covered when you're on vacation/holiday/leave?  Please share details.

        • 1. Re: Who's minding your Server while you're away?
          Jen Vaughan

          Have you looked into this Tableau Server application management service as an option? http://www.palette-software.com/why-palette/ What are other’s feedback for those that have? If server goes down then it’d seem like a UI to automate the restore would leave the person on call with the proper tool to do things, worst case scenario.

          There is also an Interworks Remote for Tableau that does Site Admin functions. If you want to keep it simple. http://powertoolsfortableau.com/tools/remote-for-tableau

          • 2. Re: Who's minding your Server while you're away?
            Toby Erkson

            The Remote for Tableau sounds cool, assuming I feel like trying to connect my phone to a weak Wi-Fi signal while plastered on a beach in Maui   But if I'm on vacation then I won't be accessible so...who's watching my server?


            Since my VM is on a corporate physical server there's a team to monitor that aspect.  If anything goes wrong with the [physical] machine they would be the only ones who could do anything about it.  Palette sounds like a good option for those who don't have such resources.  And they have a technical backup person...


            But how does one handle an error served by the Server?  One example of many possible:

            Assuming someone is somewhat familiar with Tableau, maybe as a report developer, how would they be guided to solve an issue?  "IF this THEN restart Server ELSE wait for me to get back" sort of thing.  Or maybe if someone is not Tableau-savvy but still a technical type of person?

            • 3. Re: Who's minding your Server while you're away?
              Toby Erkson

              Here's what my work-in-progress looks like so far, feel free to critique.


              Tableau Server Personnel Backup



              Desktop = Short for “Tableau Desktop”.

              Server = In capitalized form it’s short for “Tableau Server”.

              Viz = Short for “visualization”.  Synonymous with workbook and report.

              VM = Virtual Machine.  The “virtual server” that Tableau Server resides on.


              The Tableau Server is a robust environment and, quite simply, it “just works”.  Most issues are due to end user actions within their workbook.  This document is to help a backup person determine if an issue is due to the Server or end user and how to correct if possible.

              Errors & Issues

              A user can see a variety of error messages from the Server.  At the bottom of the error pop-up will have the option for the user to reset the view. If clicking the “Yes” button doesn’t fix the error then there is something definitely wrong.  Rarely – if ever – will rebooting the VM server or Tableau Server fix anything.  If it’s determined that a reboot is necessary, restart the Server first to see if that corrects the issue before doing the same on the virtual machine.

              Errors due to data sources (Excel, Oracle, MS SQL Server, etc.) are due to the following, in order of precedence:

              1. Report author mistake.
              2. Data source not set up on the Server.  This is typically found with Excel on a new SharePoint location (server registry needs updating & permissions added to SharePoint) or a new DB2 data source (tnsnames.ora file needs updating).

              Either way it will require the regular administrator to determine what the cause is and fix accordingly.  A reboot/restart will be ineffective.


              Should an HTTP 404 Not Found error occur then make sure the Server is RUNNING.  Perform a Tableau Server restart if it’s not.  If that doesn’t fix the error then reboot the VM server itself.  If that doesn’t fix the issue then contact the NOC (Network Operations Center) as something greater is failing.


              -- End Of Document --

              • 4. Re: Who's minding your Server while you're away?
                Jeff Strauss

                I too have a similar quandry, but the good news is that I do have funding for another full-time admin, I'm trying to fill it so if you know anybody in the Chicagoland area or wants to move here in beautiful Februrary, send them my way.


                For the time being as an insurance policy, I have composed Tableau master documentation, it's not up-to-date for my new cluster yet, but it's on the list.