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Hey Mark Wu,
There is exportsite and importsite Import or Export a Site that is fully supported by Tableau. Though, I'm not sure if this is what you're after; There are probably unsupported techniques such as using robocopy or xcopy to take what you want out of the Tableau install directory, but I'm not sure what to do with it in terms of restoring. Also, there is a command that I came across in another forum post to not include the extracts in the backup, but I don't know if it continues to work in the most recent releases, but here it is: tabadmin set service.backup.pgonly
It saves a lot of time! Note that this is included as a feature in Tableau 10.x, so there won't be much need for it.
I don't know of any tricks to speed up a backup via hacky means, but Jeff's export site idea is worth considering. There are other approaches, though:
- Decrease the amount of data stored in extracts. You've probably already done this, but every week I find people refreshing extracts hourly when they only view the workbook every day or three, uploading test workbooks with 500 MB extracts, not hiding the unused fields. It's a lot to stay on top of, but it's really helped us scale.
- Establish a cleanup process. Find content that is old, unused, and remove it. Won't stop the continuing increase in size, but it helps slow the rate somewhat.
- Decrease extract refresh frequency. If you are refreshing extracts frequently, especially faster than every hour, it forces Server to wait longer during the backup process, since reaping of old extracts is disabled while backups run.
- I've heard but have not confirmed that running a Filestore process on the Primary host can speed up backup and restore times. I suppose this makes some sense, since the Primary doesn't need to copy as many files over to itself for zipping--it should possess all the necessary files locally (except perhaps the PostgreSQL primary, you'd still need to dump that and copy it over...but that's far less data). Also, if you're running a weak VM primary, using a physical one with better disks can help. Of course, if you're running a "headless" weak VM primary on a core license, you'd start consuming more of your license to move Filestore / DE on there...so that's a pretty big consideration.
- Consolidate workbook extracts into datasources backed by extracts. Promote them. Start pushing people to use them instead of generating their own extracts. Long, messy process, but worth it if you haven't.
- Consider storing your data in a analytics-oriented columnar datastore such as Redshift. This is lowest on the list for a reason, as it's probably the most work of all. But the fact is, extracts simply aren't good solutions for everything. They sure are convenient, and often function as a "go faster" button, but they can be siloed, preventing re-use, and cost a lot of processing power to keep fresh. Too many extracts of the same data may mean you need to invest in a faster data platform.
From a recent thread in 2016, you were involved in it, you might have missed these information.
Lénaïc RIÉDINGER, Global Community Engineer Tableau
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there's a pretty good thread on the topic of speeding up backups listed here: Re: Are there any alternative Tableau Backup & Restore approaches?
I never considered having the filestore on my VM primary, thanks Lénaïc Riédinger but this has major licensing implications.
I think what would be a great idea is to allow backups to run on each independent node, and then merge them altogether into one consolidated backup.
File Store and Repository processes shouldn't impact licensing and could be put on a Primary host having non-licensed processes. I've done this approach and in some scenarios it has increased performance and backup/restore time.
See Tableau Server Processes for a complete list of all licensed/non-licensed processes
I'm really struggling with backup & restore time. How much time did this approach save?
It saved about half time for our backup and restore which is a good deal.
Sent from my iPhone
Isn't the File Store installed in the same location as the Data Engine? From the documentation:
Installed with data engine (cannot be installed separately). A file store process will always be present if there are one or more data engine processes installed.