7 Replies Latest reply on Nov 13, 2018 10:42 AM by Matt Coles

    Limit the Total Number of Tasks on a Refresh Schedule

    Rene Salinas

      Hello Server Community!

       

      Does anyone know if there's a way to set a limit on the total number of extracts that run on a refresh schedule in Tableau Server?

       

      I don't mean serial vs. parallel. I'm looking to tell Server, "This 5am CST extract schedule is only allowed to run a total of ### extracts, and no more".

       

      Thank you.

        • 1. Re: Limit the Total Number of Tasks on a Refresh Schedule
          Carisa Chang

          Hi Rene,


          That's an interesting idea! Tableau Server doesn't have a configuration option for limiting the number of extracts on a given schedule today, but I encourage you to post it on the Ideas forum for consideration:

           

          Ideas

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          • 2. Re: Limit the Total Number of Tasks on a Refresh Schedule
            Toby Erkson

            As Carisa said, it's not possible.

             

            I'm curious as to why you want to do this.

            • 3. Re: Limit the Total Number of Tasks on a Refresh Schedule
              Rene Salinas

              Hi Toby,

               

              It's to help reinforce our governance. We have a multi-tenant environment and we're trying to space out when extracts can be scheduled. Additionally, there are a few extracts (and I really do mean just a few) that need to run close to peak usage hours. I don't want to create a schedule that would be open to hundreds of publishers to use during that hour.

              • 4. Re: Limit the Total Number of Tasks on a Refresh Schedule
                Rene Salinas

                That's a great idea. Thanks for the tip, Carisa!

                • 5. Re: Limit the Total Number of Tasks on a Refresh Schedule
                  Matt Coles

                  What would you want Server to do once the number of tasks on a given schedule met the limit? Remove the schedule from the dropdown? What if a new, really important extract needed to run at a given time each day?

                   

                  One option is to use data from the Tableau Server postgreSQL database to determine how many tasks run on a given schedule, and set up a dashboard for yourself to monitor and/or alert. You could then shift tasks to different schedules to balance the load, or at least have a conversation with the extract owner to determine how important their content was.

                   

                  Another thing this would let you do is determine who is refreshing data that really isn't being used much, or at least not enough to justify it running on as frequent a basis, and de-prioritize, shuffle schedules, or get the owner to remove it altogether. We do that weekly on our Server. In fact, just this morning I helped one such person reduce their extract from 2GB to 50MB, because it came up in our alert--they just needed to hide unused fields and use an extract filter!

                   

                  Bottom line for me is that there are lots of ways to help mitigate this problem without a new product feature.

                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Limit the Total Number of Tasks on a Refresh Schedule
                    Rene Salinas

                    Thanks for the tips Matt. Much appreciated.

                     

                    But we're already monitoring task reports from data out of postgreSQL, shifting tasks, conversations with the extract owners, removing unused extracts, encouraging usage of managed data sources. The concern is that we can never get ahead of the curve with these issues. They are ongoing, and always will be. By baking in limits and functionality, it will help with our efforts. I'm really looking at this through the same lense as setting a site's max users and max storage.

                     

                    I will definitely take a look at the pre-built content you included in your response. I'm always open to ideas.

                     

                    What would Server do once the number of tasks on a given schedule me the limit? Prompt the user to select a different schedule. If they do have new, really important extract that needs to run, chances are that they will evaluate what they already have scheduled at that time, and remove what is unnecessary. If there's nothing they can remove, then they can work with the Server administrator to either increase the limit on the schedule, or the administrator can remove unused extracts where possible.

                     

                    Thank you again for the response, tips, and the link to the tools.

                    • 7. Re: Limit the Total Number of Tasks on a Refresh Schedule
                      Matt Coles

                      Good to hear you're already doing that! I have to confess I don't know what it's like to run a multi-tenant server deployment. Would there be a quota for the number of tasks each Site could run on given schedule? Or just a server-level max tasks? Or would you measure it by total duration of all tasks...or of the task delays, since your real concern is with server resources. I like the idea of allowing a user to pick any custom schedule they want (unlimited by static choices in a drop-down menu), and the UI dynamically informing them as to some of the "consequences" of their choice. Like "Oh, you want the 6am schedule? You and everybody else. You can pick it, but you're looking at having this thing refreshed by around 9am, because things are really busy around that time". Or "You've picked a time that is too busy according to the thresholds your admin has set. Please pick a new time or contact your admin (email hyperlink) to request further help".

                       

                      While we wait for the Nirvana feature, another "soft" option is to use the data sources I linked with a tool I wrote called VizAlerts, the combination of which would allow you to detect a new task added to a "full" schedule, and automatically email the owner of the workbook/datasource and yourself, instructing them to switch schedules, and warn them that if they didn't, it would be deleted from the existing schedule. If they didn't, you'd still have to go and delete it, but it should cut down quite a bit on manual work.