How to Deploy Tableau High Availability Environments Simplified 101

on BI Tool, Data Integration, Data Visualization, Data Warehouse, ETL, ETL Tutorials, Tableau, Tableau • May 20th, 2022 • Write for Hevo

Tableau High Availability - Featured Image

As the use of the Tableau server grows, so does the need to maintain its continuous availability. Enter, the concept of Tableau High Availability — a strategy commonly employed to ensure consistent availability.

To limit the possibility of unanticipated downtime, these solutions necessitate that the fundamental component of the tableau server is redundant. To achieve this goal, deployment in a distributed environment is required to operate superfluous key processes on separate servers.

A multi-node Tableau high availability server installation can help to maximize the tableau server’s efficiency and availability. The procedures you take while building a multi-node tableau server setup are meant to create redundancy, reducing potential downtime. This blog discusses Tableau High Availability, its capabilities, and how to build up a highly available (HA) installation scenario on Tableau Server.

Table of Contents

What is Tableau?

Tableau High Availability - Tableau
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Tableau is a well-known Business Intelligence (BI) and Data Visualization application that is used by businesses and organizations all over the world for reporting and analyzing massive amounts of data. Tableau, created by Pat Hanrahan, Christian Chabot, and Chris Stolte, aids in the transformation of raw data into a format that is easily comprehended by professionals at all levels of a business. Tableau has helped major industries reduce analysis time and make their companies more data-driven since its launch in 2003.

Tableau’s innovation was exclusively centered on Visual Analysis, and it has a multitude of capabilities and gives you far more control over the appearance of your display. Tableau’s intuitive visualizations assist you in communicating your data graphically and in a visually appealing and intelligible style.

Key Features of Tableau

Here are some of the primary elements that have contributed to Tableau’s enormous success:

  • Multiple Dashboards: Tableau includes a simple interface that allows even non-technical users to perform quick data analysis and produce visuals. Users can use its simple drag-and-drop capability to construct high-level graphs and dashboards.
  • Extensive Data Sources: Tableau includes over 200 connectors and drivers that enable users to securely connect to a variety of third-party applications and external data sources, including Relational Databases, Big Data, Cloud, Spreadsheets, and more.
  • Easy Collaborations: Tableau allows users working on separate projects to collaborate with one another. Users can also share the dashboard on the Cloud, making it available to anyone from any location.
  • Big-game Visuals: Tableau includes an extensive range of advanced Data Visualization tools. Users can quickly visualize data using Charts, Tables, Graphs, Plots, Maps, and so on.
  • Tableau Public: Tableau has a sizable user, developer, and analyst community. Being a part of this community allows you to constantly learn, upgrade your skill, make significant connections, and mentor newcomers.

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Introduction to Tableau High Availability

A Tableau high availability installation is a sort of distributed installation that is designed to withstand failure in crucial server components while maintaining full server functioning.

Installing a single node is the most basic approach to operating Tableau Server. You have a fully functional Tableau Server with all Tableau Services Manager (TSM) and Tableau Server activities running on that single node, however, this may not be the best approach to using Tableau high availability Server.

You can choose how to deploy Tableau high availability on your organization’s needs and resources. You have the following installation options:

1) Single-node Installation

This installation is appropriate for testing, performing trials, and environments that can tolerate periodic downtime and system availability owing to a lack of redundancy. On a single system, all server processes are executed.

In the case of a failure with one of the server processes, there is less redundancy and fewer safeguards. You must also ensure that the computer on which Tableau Server is installed has sufficient capacity to manage the operations and demands of users and data.

2) Distributed Installation

This form of installation, also known as a multi-node installation, necessitates the use of many computers in order to install and operate server operations on those spread nodes. Spreading the server operations across numerous nodes can improve Tableau Server’s stability and efficiency by adding redundancy and computational power. A distributed installation can also allow automated repository failover if properly configured.

3) Installation with High Availability (HA)

Tableau High Availability installation is a form of multi-node installation that includes at least three nodes and multiple instances of critical processes (the Repository, File Store/Data Engine (Hyper), Coordination Service, and Client File Service) running on various computers. There is built-in redundancy of those important activities in a Tableau high availability implementation, including multiple File Stores and automated Repository failover. The goal is to reduce system downtime by eliminating single points of failure and, if practicable, enabling the detection of problems with failover.

Downtime in Tableau High Availability is still conceivable if an initial node fails or a node running Application Server (VizPortal) recovers from a failure. Depending on how your system is designed and used, dashboards and views may load more slowly than planned, and timeouts are conceivable.

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How to Deploy Tableau for High Availability Environments?

In this architecture, one node serves as the gateway, routing requests to the other two worker servers. All server processes are run by both worker servers. Though all of the tableau server’s operations should be redundant, the gateway, data engine processes, and repository process must be made redundant. Both workers had instances of the repository and data engine processes prior to tableau server version 8, but only one of the two workers was actively accepting queries.

Even though only one data engine process is considered primary, both actively receive queries. Previously, the second worker had standby copies of the processes and was immediately elevated to status if the primary worker failed. Check that each additional node matches the distributed criteria before installing Tableau Server on them. For more information, see Distributed Requirements.

A three-node system can assist you to lessen the vulnerability of the primary:

Tableau High Availability- Three-node system
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The tableau high availability setup process is similar to the basic cluster configuration described in this post, on when and how to deploy a server on several physical machines.

The following are the steps for deploying a Tableau high availability configuration:

  1. Install the tableau server on the primary machine (note the IP address of this machine).
  2. Stop the tableau server service on the same machine.
  3. Install the tableau server worker on all other workstations, including the cluster (the primary server IP is needed for this step).
  4. Launch the Configuration tool.
  5. Click the Add button after selecting the servers tab.
  6. Enter the first worker’s IP address in the Add Tableau Server dialogue box.
  7. Indicate the number of each process type.
  8. Ensure that the extracted storage, as well as the repository storage, are both included in the host’s settings. Select OK.
  9. On the primary system, start the tableau server service.
  10. Examine the server status and see that the extract engine and repository instances on the new worker appear to be down. This will be fixed once the parent server has sent all data for these processes to the new worker machine.
  11. After the worker has extracted the engine and repository, the processes are switched from service down to service stand by, and the tableau server service on the primary machine is restarted.
  12. Launch the configuration utility on the primary server
  13. Clear the extract stored in the configuration utility on this host, as well as the primary server’s repository storage checkboxes. Remove all other processes in order to configure this system just as a gateway. Select OK.
  14. Click the add button on the servers tab.
  15. Enter the IP address of the second worker and the quantity of each type of process in the add tableau server dialogue box. Check the extracted storage as well as the repository storage in this host’s settings. Select OK.
  16. You can configure e-mail alerts regarding the cluster status as an optional step in the configuration utility’s e-mail alerts tab.
  17. Restart the tableau server service after closing the configuration utility.

When the service is restored, go to the tableau server maintenance page and verify the condition of the cluster. Only the gateway service should be listed with the IP address of the principal server.

The two worker server IP addresses should also be shown alongside the remaining tableau server processes. One worker will have an active data engine and repository, while the other will have backups of these activities.

Tableau High Availability - Server Status
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This confirms the Tableau high availability deployment.

Conclusion

We recognize how critical it is for people to be able to access and comprehend their data quickly. We also recognize that events, whether related to hardware, software, networks, or even human error, will always pose a danger to the availability of business intelligence systems.

That is why Tableau’s high availability is an out-of-the-box solution that is simple to configure and set up. In the event of a component failure, Tableau Server processes will automatically restart to keep your system operational. A well-configured multi-node deployment also employs multiple processes to ensure server uptime.

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Share your experience of learning how to deploy Tableau High Availability in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!

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