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This is helpful for someone who is more familiar with AWS and cloud computing. Thank you.
However, does anyone have any articles or input on simply what a pricing range might be for running server on AWS. Looking for a ballpark dollar amount. Lighter deployment of Tableau Server.
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This is a fairly complex question, to be fair. There are a lot of different deployment options on AWS. I'm going to use pricing for On-Demand instances on AWS since that will (generally) be the highest price. If you go with Spot or Reserved instances, you'll almost certainly pay less than this.
Tableau Server requires a 2 core CPU and 8GB of RAM. That translates to an AWS instance with at least 4 vCPU and 8 GB of RAM. There are a bunch of different instances that get you there, depending on what you want but, for the sake of this post, I'm going to use instances from the General Purpose category in the Amazon EC2 Pricing list. Now, if you want to optimize this a bit further, you can choose a CPU optimized instance if you tend to have visualizations that contain a lot of heavy calculations or a memory optimized instance if your visualizations tend to rely on a lot of data. But, we'll stick with General Purpose here.
The other thing we need to determine is whether you want to run on Windows or Linux as that will impact the price. I'll price both for you, based on the pricing list I linked above. Note that the Linux pricing is for an instance that runs AWS Linux (the docs don't mention it but you can run on AWS Linux).
Instance - t2.xlarge
Windows: $0.2266 per hour - 30 x 24 x 0.2266 = $163.15 per month
Linux: $0.1856 per hour - 30 x 24 x 0.1856 = $133.63 per month
I think this is the cheapest option available to you. But, you should know that performance may really suffer with this hardware. If you have a very small number of users and only deal with very small, simple visualizations, this will probably work but, outside of that, it'll be rough at best. It's been quite a while since I used the Tableau Marketplace AMI to spin up a server but, I believe that an m5.4xlarge instance is used there. So, let's use that as a proxy for what Tableau recommends.
Instance - m5.4xlarge
Windows: $1.504 per hour - 30 x 24 x 1.504 = $1,082.88 per month
Linux: $0.768 per hour - 30 x 24 x 0.768 = $552.96 per month
In general, I would say that getting running with a small instance isn't terribly expense on AWS but you can see that the cost ramps up quite quickly if you need to increase the instance size. Additionally, as your instance gets larger, there are more cost savings for running on Linux vs Windows. As mentioned before, you can use Spot or Reserved instances to cut this cost. Spot instances are good for non-mission-critical processes where you can tolerate some degree of unexpected downtime. Reserved instances are good when you can commit to a certain period of time (I think 1 year is the minimum).
Hopefully this is helpful. Again, this is a fairly complex topic and there are a lot of various combinations that you need to consider here. We run our Tableau Server on AWS and it's great, but we are also an AWS shop so we have a lot of comfort and familiarity with AWS. I'm as big an advocate of cloud as anyone else but, I would say that it's not necessarily the best solution for every problem. That's really what you'll have to decide for yourself.
Best of luck!
Thank you so much John! Very helpful!