Visual Analytics is the union of Data Analytics and Visualisations. This problem-solving approach is concerned with effectively facilitating high-level, complex activities such as reasoning and data-driven decision-making by integrating interactive visual representations with underlying analytical processes. Tableau is a Visual Analytics Engine that simplifies the creation of interactive visual analytics in the form of dashboards. These dashboards facilitate the conversion of data into intelligible, interactive visualizations for non-technical analysts and end-users.
In this article, you will gain information about Tableau Azure Deployment in Tableau Server. You will also gain a holistic understanding of Tableau Server, Microsoft Azure, its key features, the importance of Tableau Azure Deployment through Tableau Server, different options of Tableau Azure Deployment, and demonstration of Self-deployment of Tableau Azure Deployment. Read along to find out in-depth information about Tableau Azure Deployment in Tableau Server.
Table of Contents
What is Tableau Server?
Tableau Server is a web-based platform for hosting and managing Tableau data sources, workbooks, reports, and dashboards created in Tableau Desktop. You can use a web browser to access Tableau Server and create new workspaces, publish reports and dashboards, and share them with other users. Tableau created the server so that all of Tableau’s functionalities could be used in the server, and it aids in data storage with the available memory.
If tableau functions are used, the workbooks do not always need to be opened and downloaded with the desktop. Access and authorizations could be granted to keep the files secure and safe from hackers. The server can assist employees in collaborating on project work, thereby saving time.
What is Microsoft Azure?
Microsoft Azure is a public Cloud Computing Service offered by Microsoft and offers Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). The core Cloud services provided by Microsoft Azure include Storage, Analytics, and Computing Power. To satisfy Cloud Computing requirements, around 80% of the fortune 500 companies use Microsoft Azure services. It supports multiple languages for development and deployment purposes. Also, it ensures that your data is protected and backed up.
Developers can pick any of its services to develop and scale new applications or run existing applications in the public Cloud. The customers have access to all the services including Azure Portal. The users can use the services of Microsoft Azure to create Cloud-based resources, such as Virtual Machines (VMs) and Databases.
Key Features of Microsoft Azure
A few features of Microsoft Azure are listed below:
- Analytics Support: Microsoft Azure comes with in-built Data Analytics and Reporting tools to generate deeper insights from the business data. Companies can use these features to find new business leads, improve customer service, and make strategic decisions.
- Hybrid Ready: Microsoft Azure offers its services on Pubic Cloud and On-premises Data Centers that help companies with data backup, storage, and security features.
- Efficient Storage System: Microsoft Azure offers multiple delivery points and Data Centers. It can deliver data to your business environment quickly and give a better user experience.
To know more about Microsoft Azure, click here.
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What is the Importance of Tableau Azure Connection?
The ability to deploy Tableau Server on multiple cloud platforms is vital for adapting to the needs of the customer. Organizations are increasingly shifting business processes to one or more cloud providers, and hybrid cloud solutions are becoming more common and easier to implement than ever before. Deploying Tableau Server on Microsoft Azure via Tableau Azure Connection, as well as utilizing services such as Azure SQL Synapse Analytics (formerly SQL Data Warehouse), and SQL Database, enable organizations to deploy at scale and with elasticity while maintaining data integrity and governance.
Tableau provides key integrations with Azure technologies as Microsoft pursues its cloud-first strategy. Through Tableau Azure Connection, Tableau supports Azure solutions such as Snowflake and SAP HANA, and live connectivity provides real-time access to data directly in the cloud. Tableau provides a fast and scalable enterprise analytics platform for organizations that already use Azure data services. Tableau Online customers can also connect to their Azure cloud data sources as well as popular on-premise data sources such as Microsoft SQL Server.
Deployment Options for Tableau Azure Connection
Tableau Server on Microsoft Azure can be deployed in any of the following ways:
The following table shows the differences between each of the ways for deployment options for Tableau Azure Connection.
|Tableau Server||Azure VM Self-Deployment||Azure Quick Start||Azure Marketplace VM|
|Upgrade Tableau without replacing the VM|
|Install on Linux|
|Install on Windows|
|Scale-out (add nodes)|
|Active Directory support|
|14-day trial license|
1) Self-Deployment to Azure Virtual Machine
This method gives you the most flexibility and options for customizing Tableau Server to your needs. You can use the Tableau Server on Azure Marketplace VM instead if you are launching a system that will only run for a short period of time (for example, testing or evaluation purposes). Tableau Server self-deployment to an Azure VM is recommended for development, test, and production environments that start small but may need to scale later.
2) Azure Quick Start
This method assists in the installation of Tableau Server using an Azure Resource Manager template on a standalone Azure VM running CentOS, Redhat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), or Ubuntu Server, along with all necessary infrastructure elements. This deployment strategy enables you to go live quickly while keeping overall costs to a minimum. The Tableau Server on Azure Quick Start is recommended for development, test, and production environments that start small but may need to scale up or down later.
You have the option of using your own license (BYOL) or a free 14-day trial version. Tableau Server can be upgraded without replacing the VM.
3) Azure Marketplace Virtual Machine
The Azure Marketplace is one of the quickest ways to get Tableau Server up and running on Microsoft Azure, based on a pre-configured Server image. This method installs Tableau Server on a Windows Azure VM. Tableau Server is only available in Azure Marketplace as a bring your own license (BYOL) feature. After Tableau Server is running on the Azure VM, you can buy a license and activate the associated product key. Tableau Server Azure Marketplace VMs should only be used for quick testing and proof-of-concept environments.
Demonstration of Self Deployment of Tableau Server Azure Connection
The steps to be carried out for the self-deployment of Tableau Server Azure Connection are as follows:
Step 1: Set up an Azure VM
Create a Microsoft Azure virtual machine (VM) on which Tableau Server will be installed.
The steps to be carried out are as follows:
- Step 1: Log in to the Microsoft Azure portal.
- Step 2: Click the “New” button in the Azure dashboard.
- Step 3: Select the Compute option from the Azure Marketplace dropdown. Then, on the “New” blade, select the “See all” option.
- Step 4: Choose “Windows Server” on the “Compute” blade, and then “Windows Server 2016 Datacenter” on the “Windows Server” blade.
- Step 5: Examine the information on the “Windows Server 2016 Datacenter” blade. Select the “Resource Manager” button from the “Select a deployment model” drop-down list, and then click the “Create” button.
- Step 6: Enter the following information on the “Create virtual machine – Basics” blade:
- Name: Give your virtual machine a name (VM). The name must be 15 characters or less.
- VM disc type: Select SSD
- User Name: Enter your user name here. This user name will be used to log in to the VM via Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).
- Password: Enter your password here. This password will be used to log in to the VM via RDP.
- Subscription: The Azure subscription with which this VM should be associated.
- Resource Group: Select Create new, then enter the name of a new resource group to host the VM’s resources.
- Location: The new resource group’s location.
- Step 7: Click the “OK” option at the bottom of the “Basics” blade.
- Step 8: Click “View all” option on the “Create virtual machine – Choose a size” blade to see all available virtual machine sizes.
- Step 9: Choose a VM that meets Tableau Server’s system requirements. Choose the DS13_V2 size, for example, and then click the “Select” button.
- Step 10: Click “Network security group (firewall)” in the “Create virtual machine – Settings blade“.
- Step 11: Click “Add an inbound rule” on the “Create network security group” blade.
- Step 12: Following that, you’ll create inbound rules that allow specific types of internet traffic to reach your virtual machine. Choose “HTTP” from the “Service” drop-down list box on the “Add inbound security rule blade“.
- Step 13: Give the rule a priority in the “Priority” box. Lower-numbered numbers are processed first.
- Step 14: Enter a name for the inbound rule in the Name box, such as HTTP Port-80, and then click the “OK: button.
- Step 15: Repeat steps 11-14 to create a second rule with a priority of 101 for the HTTPS service.
- Step 16: When finished, the Create network security group dialog should contain three rules that allow RDP, HTTP, and HTTPS access. Click the “OK” button.
- Step 17: Under Summary on the “Create virtual machine – Create” blade, review your settings and click the “Create” button. When the VM deployment process is complete and the VM is up and running, go to the Azure Dashboard and select your VM’s tile.
- Step 18: Disks can be found under the “Settings” option.
- Step 19: Click “Add data disc” on the “Disks” blade, under “Data disks“. Choose “Create disk” in the “No managed disks available” drop-down list in the “Name” column.
- Step 20: Enter a name for the disc in the Name field on the “Create managed disc” blade.
- Step 21: Set the Size (GiB) field to 128, 512, or 1024 before clicking the “Create” button.
- Step 22: Select “None” in the Host Caching column, then click the “Save” button.
Step 2: Connect to your Azure VM
You can connect to your Azure VM running Microsoft Windows using Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) from a computer running Microsoft Windows.
The steps to be carried out are as follows:
- Step 1: Click your VM’s tile on the Azure Dashboard, then click the “Connect” button to download and use the RDP file for your VM.
- Step 2: Simply double-click the RDP file. Click the “Connect” option if you see a warning that the publisher of the remote connection cannot be identified.
- Step 3: Enter the name and password you specified when you created the instance earlier in the Windows Security dialog box, and then click the “OK” button.
Step 3: Add a second disk to your Azure VM
You must configure the data disk you added before Windows Server will recognize it.
- Step 1: Right-click the Start button on your Azure VM running Microsoft Windows and select the “Run” option.
- Step 2: Open Disk Management. Type diskmgmt.msc and then press the Enter key.
- Step 3: Click the “OK” button in the Initialize Disk dialog box.
- Step 4: Select “New Simple Volume” from the context menu when you right-click on Disk 2.
- Step 5: Click “Next” on each screen of the New Simple Volume Wizard, accepting the default values until you reach the final screen, and then click the “Finish” button.
- Step 6: When prompted to format the disk, click “Format disk“, and then click the “Start” button in the Format New Volume dialog box.
Step 4: Install Tableau Server on your Azure VM
Tableau Server installation on a Microsoft Azure virtual machine (VM) is similar to installing it on any other server.
- You can copy the Tableau Server installation program to the data disk you added to your VM by doing either of the following:
- You can copy the Tableau Server installation program to the data disk you added to your VM in either of the ways:
- Directly download the installer.
- Copy the installer to the virtual machine.
- To begin the server installation process, launch the Tableau Server installer on the VM. The installation procedure is identical to that of any other server.
Step 5: Access your Azure VM from a remote browser
Make sure that users can access the Azure virtual machine (VM) where you’ve installed Tableau Server.
- Step 1: Navigate to the Overview page of your VM in the Microsoft Azure portal. Take note of the Public IP address assigned to the VM.
- Step 2: (optional) Click the Public IP address to give your VM a public hostname.
- Step 3: Open a browser on a different computer (not the VM).
- Step 4: Enter the IP address or DNS name of the Tableau Server you installed on the VM in the browser. For instance,
- Step 5: You can also visit Troubleshooting Tableau Server on Microsoft Azure if you are unable to connect to the instance.
Step 6: Publish data to Tableau Server on your Azure VM
Users in your organization can publish workbooks and data sources to Tableau Server on the VM after you install it on your Microsoft Azure virtual machine (VM).
Before granting users the ability to publish, ensure that each user has been assigned the Publisher site role in Tableau Server and that the users have Publisher permissions.
Users must sign in to the server using the IP address (or optional DNS hostname) that you created for your VM (e.g.,
http://tableauonazure.westus.cloudapp.azure.com) and their assigned user name and password to publish workbooks and data sources to Tableau Server.
Step 7: Manage Tableau Server licenses when shutting down or deleting your Microsoft Azure VM
Deleting a VM deallocates all of its resources, including external storage. You might delete your VM when you no longer need it. Always deactivate your Tableau Server license before you shut down and delete your VM.
Before you delete your VM, you can carry out the following steps:
- Step 1: Log in to your virtual machine.
- Step 2: Create a backup of the Tableau Server. Now you can copy the
.tsbak file to a location that will be accessible after the VM is not available anymore.
- Step 3: To deactivate your Tableau Server product key, use the tsm licenses deactivate command. You can now shut down and delete your virtual machine.
For further information on Self-Deployment of Tableau Azure Connection, you can visit here.
And for in-depth information about Tableau Server deployment on Microsoft Azure, you can visit here.
In this article, you have learned about Tableau Azure Deployment. This article also provided information on Tableau Server, Microsoft Azure, its key features, the importance of Tableau Azure Deployment through Tableau Server, different options of Tableau Azure Deployment, and demonstration of Self-deployment of Tableau Azure Deployment.
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