In our OnlineHelp, we have a page that now lists out the services which if running on a node would count against the overall core license:
Tableau Server Processes (scroll down to "List of processes" and verify what's listed in "Licensed" column)
If you limit the Primary to only run those services that don't count against the 8core license then you could add in an additional worker. Though it's probably not going to provide that big of a benefit. We do have the High Availability option but for that you would need to have at least two workers.
Thanks Mark. I did as you suggested and moved the unlicensed processes to the worker. The only issue I had was that I get an error when I moved the repository, so it seems like even though according to the Tableau Server Processes link you sent the Repository isn't a Licensed process it still needs to run on the Primary.
We'll be moving to HA by adding another worker and a backup primary, I presume for the second worker I'll just be adding more instances of the unlicensed processes...?
HA can be somewhat confusing at first. Also, I did want to mention it's a solution but one that's not necessary for all organizations depending on where they're at. For an 8 core system, it really is better to keep things as a single standalone. The assumption here is that Tableau is probably low usage and just starting to take off. Also, more often than not, the backup file won't be very large in size.
It may be easier to have a backup environment where the nightly backup is taken from Production and restored to the backup environment. You could then use a loadbalancer to redirect traffic to the other backup environment as a cutover if your Production environment fails and cannot be brought back up.
The minimum configuration for HA is one Primary and two workers. Redundancy gets built in because you'll have the same services running on both workers. This means that they would both be considered part of the overall core license count. The other piece of HA is that at this point in time, the licensing service can only run on the Primary. In future versions we hope to disassociate that requirement but for now it still holds true. In that case, should your Primary go down, if there was no backup primary then eventually the workers would become unlicensed since they periodically check in with the Primary to make sure they're still valid. But with a backup Primary if you run the failover command to make it the Primary it will begin to send commands to the workers and will take over the licensing role.
In terms of HA, your organization may have a relatively small Tableau deployment but it may be a requirement that systems run in HA mode regardless. Again, some deployments could be small that if you did have a standalone Tableau environment, you could do a fresh install of Tableau and restore a nightly backup file probably in less than an hour.
The above are just general guidelines and other folks might be willing to offer some advice. We do offer Health Server Check services through our Professional Services team which they look at how usage is trending and can lend a hand with guidance, setting up HA, etc.