this is not a forum for AWS
yet I use it - just start with a basic (free) version to start off with and work from there.
it doesn't matter the size if you are starting out unless you have specific requirements
follow the tech specs:
the basic option of AWS will allow you to install a Trial version for 14 days - either that or I assume you are referring to a preset Tableau Server that is already available as part of an AWS Instance.
as I mentioned I have used it - this isn't an AWS forum, yet hopefully that guidance helps you.
Hi Kennen, it looks like the AWS offerings are meant to meet or exceed the recommended hardware requirements (small or medium configurations would not meet those requirements). However, this shouldn't stop you from experimenting: you can pick your AMI and then install Tableau Server yourself (check the minimum requirements; you'll most likely need the 32 bit version).
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Heya Kenneth -
It sounds like you as using the Tableau AMI offered on AWS. I can confirm that the AMI is "keyed" to c3 / c4/ g2/ i2/ m4 4xlarge+ instances. These are the sizes that will provide reasonable-to-good performance.
As Jeff said, you can stand up any type of EC2 instance you'd like and install Tableau Server yourself, but I can guarantee you will not be successful with a micro/small/medium instance.
These suckers only have 1-2 vCPUs (in other words, between .5 and 1 physical CPU core) and less than 1-4 GB of RAM - not nearly enough to run Tableau Server. Tableau requires at LEAST 2 physical cores (which is the equivalent of 4 vCPU on EC2) and 4 GB of RAM to run, and I bet you wouldn't even get through the first few screens of the setup program on a micro / small / medium. These machines just don't have enough juice, so you'll probably need to pony up a little $$ to AWS if you want to play around - sorry.