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    Setting up of Tableau Server

    Lazy Rambler



      We have started to set up Tableau Server in our organization. It would help if I could get some ideas about the implementation.


      We have an 8 core license.


      How did you set up the server in your organization ?


      What environments did you have ?


      Was there a Disaster Recovery server?


      Did you have a production fix environment ?



      Any ideas are appreciated.

        • 1. Re: Setting up of Tableau Server
          Manoj Ramachandra

          Here are the answers :


          How did you set up the server in your organization ?

          Using one primary server and 2 worker servers(medium size deployment)


          What environments did you have ?

          Windows 2012 - One Production environment and One test. There is no mechanism of  test to prod migration in tableau. You need to republish in prod once you test and make sure dashboard is correct in test. Hence Test was rarely being used and we turned it into test and sandbox later on.


          Was there a Disaster Recovery server?

          Using 2 worker servers. Having number of worker server depends on upon your use. We used medium size deployment. If you are using enterprise wide tableau server, you may consider adding additional workers servers. Worker server are used for load balance and for failover mechanism(disaster recovery). You can also have custom script installed in your server to take backup of tableau server daily.


          Did you have a production fix environment ?

          As i mentioned above we did have test and prod. If there were issues, it was fixed in desktop and republished to prod. If you meant production fix as pre-prod environment, No we did not have one.




          Take a look at the below links while setting up tableau server.


          Before you install...


          3 of 3 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Setting up of Tableau Server
            Paul Banoub



            I wrote a whole blog series on setting Tableau up as an IT service in big organisations. There's a lot to consider. Hope some of this info is useful. I'm happy to have a conf call with you and drill into any specific areas.


            Tableau as an IT service | Paul Banoub's VizNinja Blog


            Best wishes



            3 of 3 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Setting up of Tableau Server
              Toby Erkson

              Tableau should be able to help get you started so contact your sales representative.  There is no one "right way" as everyone's environment is different, typically in hardware but especially in usage.


              While we are enterprise-level we are small and started out two years ago sort of grass-roots style and have been growing quickly within the last year.  We only have QA and PROD Servers, however, I'm looking to get a TEST Server later this year for admin/server specific testing.  A core-based license allows for two non-production servers and now I understand why.  We are single-server only but I think we'll be increasing it for backgrounder workers i.e. additional servers.


              We started with the default settings.  Our reporting environment has become extract-heavy in my opinion and many are created every hour 24/7!  I found with our 8-core that four backgrounders has made a world of difference in helping us.  I may even look into upping our Data Engine to help.


              We are in a VM environment and I'm quite sure it's not optimized for fast I/O like a regular db server would be.  That will eventually change.  OS is Windows 2008 R2.


              Paul is right, there is a lot to consider.



              2 of 2 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Setting up of Tableau Server
                Lazy Rambler

                WoW! I wasn't expecting a reply from you, Paul.


                I did go through some of your blog posts and they helped me weed out some issues. Your blog was very useful.


                I would love to have a conference call with you. But, I need to prepare the 'specific questions'. I would probably reach out to you once I get that done and have a clear picture of the set up.


                Again, thanks a lot

                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Setting up of Tableau Server
                  Lazy Rambler

                  Thanks Toby.


                  I will give a little heads up about what we have and what people here are looking for.


                  We have an 8-core license. As of now it is expected that around 40-60 users will be accessing the server. And in the long run, this might go into 3 digits(around 150-200)


                  Right now, Tableau Server has been installed on a 4-core VM, which is being used as a Dev Server.

                  The remaining 4-core will be installed on another VM, to be used as the production server.


                  We have already ordered three 8 core physical machines, which would eventually be used for the server installations(The servers will be migrated from the VMs to Physical machines)

                  We are looking for a Dev, Test, Prod and a Disaster recovery environment.


                  Can Tableau Server be installed on three 8 core machines with the license we have? Apparently, Tableau sales rep said we can have three environments, which leads to three installations.


                  How do we set up the DR environment ? Do we just add worker servers?


                  Do you think it is feasible to have so many environments? I know the publishing/moving workbooks is a pain. Is that the only constraint in having more environments? Or will there be any potential issues that we might face in the near future?

                  • 6. Re: Setting up of Tableau Server
                    Toby Erkson

                    "Can Tableau Server be installed on three 8 core machines...?", yes!  Your 8-core license means you can have a production server with up to 8 cores AND up to two additional machines, EACH having up to 8 cores.  For example, we have an 8-core license and thus our production server uses 8 cores and our QA server uses 8 cores...and when we eventually get a test server it, too, will have 8 cores.  That's all legit   But (there's always one ) if you have an 8-core license and have workers then those cores would have to be split up as I understand it, thus your main server would have 4 cores, worker #1 would have 2 cores, and worker #2 would have 2 cores so the TOTAL CORES would = 8.  If I understand the documentation incorrectly about this, please, someone let me know so I can correct this post!


                    Physical machines will give better performance all other things being equal.  Also, I will be very jealous.


                    I can't speak to a multi-server environment at this time but Jeff Strauss is the first person I can think of who may help.

                    2 of 2 people found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Setting up of Tableau Server
                      Lazy Rambler

                      Right. One of my confusion is gone now.

                      I'll  probably have to check with my folks about the Disaster Recovery Environment.  Or we could just add two machines(One for Test and one for DR), that should work.



                      Also, I'm a little confused about the Authentication/Authorization models.


                      We are presently using Local authentication and plan to integrate it with SAML.(Our AD is not up to date and I was asked not to use AD)


                      I believe SAML is added over local/AD. ( All our applications are integrated to Siteminder single sign on)


                      How does local authentication with SAML work ? Do we have to keep adding users in Tableau Server all the time? Or does Tableau server get all the users from the IdP?


                      How do you provide Authorization ? Like access to different workbooks etc? Do we have to do it manually for every user irrespective of the authentication we use? (Local/AD)

                      • 8. Re: Setting up of Tableau Server
                        Toby Erkson

                        First, let's keep the authentication stuff in your original post here Help understanding Authentication model.  This way there's less 'stuff' in the way when others with similar questions to the original question come in.  I recommend those who wish to answer the authentication question do so by clicking the link I just provided here.


                        As for Disaster Recovery, I have no idea.  We have a separate IT team that backs up our VMs.  I have an automated process [using tabcmd backup] that backs up the Tableau Servers monthly (performs a cleanup) and daily.

                        1 of 1 people found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: Setting up of Tableau Server
                          Lazy Rambler

                          Right. Got it.

                          The only reason I asked the same question here was to make it visible to you.



                          • 10. Re: Setting up of Tableau Server
                            Toby Erkson

                              Yeah, I saw it, I'm just not sure if I can answer it.  I only deal with AD where I work.  I'm thinking on it

                            • 11. Re: Setting up of Tableau Server
                              Lazy Rambler

                              Even that would help I guess.


                              Like if you had AD and then integrated it with an IdP for single sign on, how would the authentication/authorization work?


                              Do you have to add all the users in AD to IdP and vice versa? Do you go into each user manually in the Tableau server and give authorzation to the workbooks only they have to see.

                              I'll probably delete these two posts to remove the clutter which deviates from the original post.

                              • 12. Re: Setting up of Tableau Server
                                Paul Banoub

                                Good to hear you found the blog useful. I don't normally do forums, but have tried to get more involved this year - it's just as vibrant a community as the Twitter / blogosphere so a lot to be learned I think.


                                No need to specific questions or stuff, I'm happy to just freestyle any conf call and see where it goes.


                                You know where I am - ping me a message when you want to do it.




                                • 13. Re: Setting up of Tableau Server
                                  Lazy Rambler

                                  Thanks for all the replies guys.


                                  Just one more question.


                                  How many VizQL process are ideal?


                                  Right now, our Tableau Server is sometimes running out of memory. It is a 12 GB RAM box, which I know is very less, but until we get out physical machines, we have to make do with it.


                                  Right now, there are around 10-20 people which log in everyday and there are around 4-5 concurrent users. How many vizql processes do you suggest? I now have 2 and sometimes we are running out of memory.


                                  Would just one vizql suffice?

                                  How many number of users can one VIZQL handle ?


                                  Also, how to release memory from tableau server? Just killing a process?


                                  I did try to read about all this, but would like some kind of input from you guys.



                                  • 14. Re: Setting up of Tableau Server
                                    Toby Erkson

                                    Two questions that spring to mind (and I'm sure others will have more):

                                    1. What is the exact version of Tableau Server you're running?
                                    2. How many backgrounders?


                                    Honestly, with only 12GB of RAM, you're going to have issues.  Period. 

                                    I'm surprised that with a virtual machine they are only giving you that little memory.  It's not hard at all to allocate additional memory in such an environment.

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