Tableau Server Installation Simplified: The Complete How-to Guide for 2024

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Tableau Server Installation | Hevo Data

Tableau is a robust Business Intelligence tool that helps users visualize data simply and elegantly. Tableau has helped numerous organizations understand their Customer Data better through their Visual Analytics platform. Tableau is the pick of the lot owing to its simplistic design, interactive and intuitive User Interface (UI), ease of use, and easy integrations with numerous data sources and ETL tools such as Hevo Data.

This blog gives a brief overview of Tableau Server Linux and its salient aspects such as the hardware and on-premise requirements for Tableau Server installation, the hierarchy and job role of admins, and the steps involved in configuring Tableau Server installation. 

Table of Contents

What is Tableau?

Tableau is a BI Tool, that helps simplify data in an understandable format. With Tableau, users can try their hand at creating customized dashboards due to its intuitive and easy-to-understand user interface. Tableau has been widely sought after by people from various sectors since it doesn’t require any programming skills or technical knowledge to operate.

The data analytics in Tableau can be classified into the following two types:

  • Sharing Tools: The purpose of these products is to share the visualizations, dashboards, and reports created using the developer tools. Tableau Online, Tableau Server, and Tableau Reader are the sharing tools that form a part of the Tableau suite.
  • Developer Tools: These tools are used for development. This refers to the process of creating Charts, Reports, Dashboards, and Visualizations. Tableau Desktop and Tableau Public fall under this category.

Once the data has been pulled from a Data Warehouse, it can be extracted to Tableau’s data engine, Tableau Desktop, or connected live. This is where the Data Analysts and Data Engineers come in to develop visualizations. Dashboards that are created can be shared with the users in a status file. To view these dashboards, users can leverage Tableau Reader.

You can use Tableau Server to publish the data from Tableau Desktop. Tableau Server supports governance, distribution, security model, collaboration, and automation features. It enables the users to have a better experience through easy access to the files from any location.

Key Features of Tableau

  • Tableau Dashboard: Tableau dashboard has an intuitive dashboard with self-explaining wizards, allowing non-technical users to create visualization easily. Dimensions, and charts are simple drag and drop on drawing space to perform analysis.
  • Collaborative Sharing: Tableau allows users to collaborate with their peers for collaborative work or review. Users can also share to the cloud, which makes the dashboard accessible from anywhere.
  • Flexibility: Using Tableau, you can extract data from databases like pdf, excel, text documents, R, Hadoop, Python, or SAS to cloud databases like Flipkart, Google sheet, Netflix, and Amazon.
  • Data Sources in Tableau: Tableau has more than 200+ connectors that help users connect to external data sources like RDBMS, Cloud, spreadsheet, etc., securely. Tableau also provides several monitoring features such as data connectivity, auto-refresh, etc. 
  • Advanced Visualizations (Chart Types): Tableau has a vast collection of advanced visualization techniques. Some of them are:
    • Charts
    • Tables
    • Graphs
    • Maps

What is Tableau Server?

Tableau Server is a popular centralized storage repository where you can easily bring all your related documents to a single central point. This allows you to protect your data and provide you with the best possible outcome.

Tableau Server houses a collection of processes that work together to offer a full self-service analytics platform for your users. When you install Tableau Server for your organization, it becomes a pivotal part of your analytics pipeline that can connect to live data sources. How you choose to offer data to your users would be dictated by a number of variables: performance, user scenario, access requirements, data source type, and infrastructure conditions.

Tableau Server can also be used as a web-collaboration platform, where users can connect to view, share, and interact with data sources and Data Visualizations from various devices. Tableau Server can integrate with various user authentication solutions like SAML, Kerberos, Active Directory, and OpenID.   

Why do you need it?

You can leverage Tableau Server for the following scenarios:

  • If you wish to keep track of the number of data sources being used along with the rapid increase of workbooks and dashboards, each with its own extracts, metadata layers, and copies; Tableau Server can come in handy.
  • You can also leverage Tableau Server when you have high growth to deal with, or an uncontrolled environment warranting more security, governance, collaboration, and performance. 
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Tableau Server vs Tableau Desktop: What is the Difference?

Here’s how Tableau Server sizes up against Tableau Desktop:

  • Tableau Server has a clear edge over Tableau Desktop when it comes to Web Authoring Environment, security, or performance.
  • With Tableau Server, you can easily scale Tableau for your enterprise needs. Tableau Desktop, on the other hand, has limited scalability options.
  • Tableau Server also allows you to add self-service capabilities and work with centralized data sources, critical features that aren’t available in Tableau Desktop. You can even install Tableau Desktop on your Tableau Server and publish your data.

What are the Hardware Requirements for Tableau Server Installation?

Here are the recommended hardware requirements you need to take care of before Tableau Server installation:

  • Medium Deployments: < 100 concurrent users
  • RAM: 32GB
  • CPU: 8 core-64 bit
  • Free Disk Space: 100 GB – 500 GB
  • 8 physical cores or 16V-CPU.

What are the On-premise Server Requirements?

Here are a few On-premise Server requirements to keep in mind for Tableau Server installation:

  • Get your Product Keys: A key requirement of Tableau Server installation is to get your product keys and make sure you are registered. You can then use the password and username that you received through Tableau to go to the Tableau Customer Portal and access your Tableau Server licenses. To make sure that Tableau Server gets initialized correctly, you need to activate all the appropriate product keys for your installation.
  • Make sure you have the right version of Tableau: It is recommended to use the same version of Tableau Desktop and Tableau Server across your organization. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to run different versions for Tableau Server and Tableau Desktop, you can refer to Desktop and Server compatibility.
  • Make sure you have Administrator Permissions: To run the Tableau Server installation program, you need to be signed in to the computer as a “local admin”. A local admin is a user who’s also a member of the Administrators group within the Local Users and Groups management console that can be found on Windows. 
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  • Connectors: Hevo supports 150+ Integrations from sources to SaaS platforms, files, databases, analytics, and BI tools such as Tableau. It supports various destinations including Amazon Redshift, Firebolt, Snowflake Data Warehouses; Databricks, Amazon S3 Data Lakes, SQL Server, TokuDB, and DynamoDB databases to name a few.  
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How to Install the Tableau Server?

Here are the steps involved in installing Tableau Server:

Tableau Server Installation: Downloading the Tableau Server

The first step in Tableau Server installation is downloading it to your device. You can use the following link for the same:

https://www.tableau.com/support/releases/server

Tableau Server Installation: Initiate the Installation Process

To install Tableau Server, you will need a Windows Admin account. First, right-click on the downloaded Tableau Server file and click Run as Administrator. Next, click on Next Next to initiate the installation process. As shown in the image below, select the Create New Tableau Server Installation.

Tableau Server Installation: Install Tableau TSM

Now that you have gone through the basic installation steps, you can click on Finish. The setup then opens up TSM (Tableau Service Manager) configuration web page on the computer default browser from where you are carrying out Tableau Server installation.

This will lead to the screen depicted below showing up, where you’ll have to log in using the same Windows admin password and username which you used while installing the Tableau Server:

Tableau Server Installation: Register and Activate your Tableau Server

Now that you have signed in to Tableau Server, you will be redirected to an Activate page. On the Activate page, you can either paste or enter your product key and click Activate License. You can even click Start Tableau Server Trial if you don’t have the Tableau product key. This option will also come in handy if you are just looking to explore Tableau first.

Next, surf the Register page, enter your information into the corresponding fields, and click on Register to complete this step.

Tableau Server Installation: Setup your Initial Node Configurations

After you register, you can see the following image pop up. In the image, choose Local in the Identity Store, if you wish to use the local admin password and username for authentication or select Active Directory if you wish to work with Active Directory. You can leave all the other settings and click on Initialize.

The initialization process might take some time. On completion, this is what you will see:

Click on the Continue button and it starts the Tableau Server installation for you. However, this will take some time as well to get completed.

Click on the Continue button after the Tableau Server installation has been completed to move on to the next step.

Tableau Server Installation: Add an Administrator Account

After Tableau Server installation has been completed, you will be prompted with the following page in your browser:

It will ask you to generate a new Admin account for Tableau creator. You will have to supply the password and username of your choice for the same and make sure you remember it. Once you’ve entered all the information, you can click on the New Administrator Account button. This will take you to the Tableau Server home page as follows:

Tableau Server Installation: Validate Tableau Installation

After you’ve created the Administration user, you can sign in as the administrator to the Tableau Server, by leveraging the web interface. You can play around with the user interface to get a hang of it. However, before you roll out Tableau Server to all your colleagues, you would have to perform a couple more steps. First, you will need to back up your server. Even though you don’t have any data or users to handle, it is recommended that you carry out a quick backup. Once you’ve created a backup, you can secure access to your server by configuring SSL and offering secure access to your clients.

What is the Job Role & Hierarchy for Admins in Tableau?

This is what the Job Role for Admins comprises of in Tableau:

  • Modify/ add sites and related administrative rights.
  • Upgrading the server software regularly.
  • Adding users.
  • Managing/ creating groups, database views, projects, workbooks, data connections, and data sources.
  • Running cleanup and creating backups of the database.
  • Managing/ creating/ modifying server task schedules.
  • Working with the program manager as required to tackle issues such as server downtime.
  • Monitoring usage statistics/ server activity to identify possible performance enhancements/issues.
  • Providing Tableau support to users.

This is what the hierarchy of Tableau admins looks like:

  • Server
  • Various sites – Project-specific or Client-specific Users – Sub-server – Subset of Server
  • Various Projects
  • Subprojects
  • Workbooks
  • Views- Dashboards or Sheets
  •   Data Sources 

Conclusion

This blog talks about the different steps you can follow to configure Tableau Server for your device easily. It also talks about the prerequisites you need to check off before you dive into the Tableau Server Installation process along with a brief introduction to Tableau and its key features.

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Content Marketing Manager, Hevo Data

Amit is a Content Marketing Manager at Hevo Data. He is passionate about writing for SaaS products and modern data platforms. His portfolio of more than 200 articles shows his extraordinary talent for crafting engaging content that clearly conveys the advantages and complexity of cutting-edge data technologies. Amit’s extensive knowledge of the SaaS market and modern data solutions enables him to write insightful and informative pieces that engage and educate audiences, making him a thought leader in the sector.

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