3 Replies Latest reply on May 26, 2015 3:05 PM by John Liska

    Deploying Tableau Server 9.0 (32-bit) on Google Cloud

    John Liska

      I'm posting this as a heads up for anyone in the Tableau community who is trying to deploy Tableau Server 9.0 on Google Cloud. There is "glitch" that I've encountered so I wanted to make folks aware of what I found and what the workarounds are.



      First off, I'll list my setup. (What I'm encountering may not apply to different configurations.)

      • Platform: Google Cloud
      • OS: Windows Server 2008 R2
      • Machine Type: n1-standard-4 (4 vCPU, 15 GB memory)
        • Physical cores: 2
      • Tableau Server Version: 9.0 (32-bit)


      I have to run the 32-bit version of Tableau Server 9.0 because the 64-bit version requires the machine to have 4 physical cores.



      The core issue is that after re-cyling the machine -- via the Google Cloud console, not "restart" on Windows -- I'm no longer able to see my Tableau data in Server: sites, dashboards, etc.


      Steps to Reproduce

      Here is how I encountered this issue:

      1. Clean install of Tableau Server (32-bit) on a new Windows Server 2008 R2 instance in Google Cloud.
      2. I restored an earlier (v8.3) backup of all of my Tableau Server work -- sites, dashboards, etc. -- in this new 9.0 install.
      3. I verified that I could see all of my data and work with the dashboards.
      4. I went into the Google Cloud console and ran "Stop" on the machine.
      5. I then went back into the Google Cloud console and run "Start" on the machine.
      6. I opened up an RDP connection to the machine and went into Tableau Server; I was able to login without any issues.
      7. Once I was logged in I could not see the data that was there previously: sites, dashboards, etc.


      Workaround (long-term)

      In order to resolve this issue long-term here is what I did, based on the recommendation from Tableau Support:

      1. [make sure the machine instance is running on Google Cloud console.]
      2. Open up an RDP connection the machine.
      3. Open up Server Manager; navigate to Configuration > Services
      4. Right-click on "Tableau Server Application Manager"; select Properties
      5. Change the Startup Type field from "Automatic" to "Automatic (Delayed Start)"; click OK.





      Workaround (short-term)

      In order to resolve this issue immediately here is what I did, based on the recommendation from Tableau Support:

      1. [make sure the machine instance is running on Google Cloud console.]
      2. Open up an RDP connection the machine.
      3. Right-click on the Command Prompt application and select "Run as administrator".
      4. Navigate the [Tableau Server install]\bin directory.
      5. Run "tabadmin stop"; wait for the service to stop successfully.
      6. Run "tabadmin start"; wait for the service to start up successfully.


      Stop #3 is critical; this workaround will not succeed unless you open the command prompt window as the administrator.



      Root Cause

      I've been working with Tableau Support on this issue. (For reference, the case number is #01433040.) What I have heard so far is that this is an issue with the Search & Browse index failing to build when Tableau Server starts. In other words: all of my data (from the restore that I did) is still there, but the search index is screwed up somehow so it only looks like my data is gone. The short-term workaround -- stop + start -- allows Tableau Server to rebuild the index correctly.


      The long-term workaround that I listed above seems to work because the problem is happening when Tableau Server is trying to start alongside all of the other Windows services that are starting when the machine boots. (Again, my experience is that doing a "restart" via Windows did not cause this; only the hard "stop" + "start" via the Google Cloud console caused this.) By setting the Start type of the Tableau Server service to Automatic (Delayed Start) the Windows services are all given priority to get up and running before Tableau Server even attempts to start up. In that environment the search index builds correctly.


      Again, this issue may be specific to the combination of v9.0 (32-bit) + Windows Server 2008 R2 + Google Cloud, and may not apply to other configurations (e.g., AWS, v9.0 64-bit, etc.).

        • 1. Re: Deploying Tableau Server 9.0 (32-bit) on Google Cloud
          Tom W

          Thanks for going to the effort to document this!

          • 2. Re: Deploying Tableau Server 9.0 (32-bit) on Google Cloud
            Matt Shoemaker

            Just FYI,


              AWS has machine images of Tableau Server ready to go in case you're still shopping around for Tableau in the cloud solutions.  They run between 75 cents and $3 per hour to run the machine depending on the power you need.  It's Bring-your-own-license, though, so not quite as turnkey as some other AWS servers.  Still, a great way to get up and running.


            Tableau Server (BYOL) on AWS Marketplace

            • 3. Re: Deploying Tableau Server 9.0 (32-bit) on Google Cloud
              John Liska

              Additional info from Tableau Support ...






              Your case #01433040 has been updated. The new comment is:


              Hi John,


              I am following up regarding the behavior where content does not show up after booting up a machine hosting Tableau Server.


              Our development team reviewed the logs and confirmed this behavior is related to a known issue where the Backgrounder process is not able to communicate with the Search & Browse service due to the process still initializing.


              This corroborates why changing the Windows service to Automatic (Delayed Start) alleviates the problem, likely due to multiple Windows and Tableau services attempting to start up on a machine that has a minimum amount of resources.


              The development team is working on changing the design of the Search & Browse service to resolve this issue in an upcoming release. Our development team thanks you for sending in this report that will ultimately improve the forthcoming versions.


              At this point, your report is now in our official development cycle for consideration.  I am going to be moving this support case to a “Closed” status.  Closing the support case will not affect the status of the issue with our development team.


              When a resolution for this issue is incorporated in a future release, it will be included in our release notes for that specific release. To monitor future releases, please review our release notes: www.tableau.com/support/releases


              Thank you for contributing this report to our development efforts.   We look forward to providing an increasingly richer data exploration and sharing software suite.