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Perform a Full Backup and Restore of Tableau Server

Tableau Server on Windows now includes Tableau Services Manager (TSM), which replaces the Configuration Utility and the tabadmin command line tool. If you need help for an earlier version of Tableau Server, see the Tableau Help page.

You can use the following steps to back up your Tableau Server deployment. Specifically, these steps describe how to recover a clone of a server from a collection of backup data and assets.

Note: The backup process can take a long time to run. Since no other jobs can be run while backup is running, we recommend that you run backup during non-business hours.

Backup data types

There are two types of backup data that Tableau Server can generate. We recommend performing regular backups of each type in case you must restore a server in a recovery scenario:

  • Repository data: Tableau Server data consists of the Tableau PostgreSQL database or repository, which contains workbook and user metadata, data extract files, and site configuration data. When you use TSM to create a backup, all of this data is saved in a single file with a .tsbak extension. This data is backed up with the tsm maintenance backup command.

  • Configuration and Topology data: includes most of the server configuration information required to fully recover a server. SMTP, alerting, authentication, are all examples of configuration data that are exportable for backup. Topology data defines how your Tableau Server processes are configured in both single-server and multiple node deployments. Configuration and topology data is backed up with the tsm settings export command.

Note: You can change the file path used by the tsm maintenance backup command from the default value. For more information, see tsm File Paths.

Backup assets that require a manual process

Some configuration data is not included in the tsm settings export command and must therefore be documented and restored manually. The following configuration data is excluded from the tsm settings export operation. Your backup maintenance process should include documenting the following Tableau Server configuration data:

  • System user accounts. Tableau Server setup uses an unprivileged user account, NetworkService. This account is used to access Tableau Server resources. If you have not changed this account, then you do not need to document it.

  • Coordination Service deployment configuration. If you are running a multinode cluster, document which nodes are running the Coordination Services process. To view process configuration on your nodes, run tsm topology list-nodes -v.

  • Customization settings. If your organization uses custom header or sign-in logos for Tableau Server web pages, you should include a copy of those assets with your back up portfolio. See tsm customize.

  • Authentication assets. Most certificate files, key files, keytab files or other authentication-related assets are not backed up by TSM. The exception are the public certificate and private key for the PostgreSQL database and certificate and key for the gateway process.

    However, all other authentication-related assets are not backed up. For example, if you have enabled access to the PostgreSQL database with the tsm data-access repository-access enable command, be sure to document the name/password pairs for each account you've configured. These credentials are not backed up.

  • LDAP assets. Keytab files, configuration files, and or other LDAP-related assets are not backed up by TSM.

Internal server secrets and repository passwords are crypto-related configurations that are not exported. However, you do not need to document configuration values. New secrets will be created as part of the restoration process when you initialize the new instance.

Backing up Tableau Server for recovery

Tableau Server includes commands that you run to generate backup data for Tableau Server.

Before backing up Tableau Server, verify that permissions are configured correctly for the following scenarios:

  • Tableau Server installed on non-default drive: If you have installed Tableau Server on a non-default drive or folder, then you will need to manually configure permissions for the Network Service account. You may also need to configure additional permissions for the Run As service account. See Installing on non-system drive or in a different folder.
  • Writing backup to a network drive: The Run As service account (by default, Network Service) must have write access to the network share where the backup files are written.

To back up server topology and configuration data, use the tsm settings command.

  1. Topology and configuration data are included when you run the tsm settings export command. The data is exported as a json file. Specify the name and location of the json file by running the following command:

    tsm settings export -f <filename>.json

    Note: Because the backup contains secrets, we recommend that you encrypt the backup and store it in a secure place. For more information about Tableau Server secrets, see Manage Server Secrets.

  2. Back up respository data. Repository data is backed up with the tsm maintenance backup command. Specify the name and location of the backup file by running the following command:

    tsm maintenance backup -f <filename>.tsbak -d

    By default, the back up file is written here:

    C:\ProgramData\Tableau\Tableau Server\data\tabsvc\files\backups\<filename>.tsbak

    For more information about where back up files are written, see tsm File Paths. For more information about backing up the repository data, see Back up Tableau Server data for more information.

Restoring core Tableau Server functionality

The procedure below uses the assets from the previous two sections to rebuild a Tableau Server in a recovery scenario.

Note: If you need to restore only the repository on an otherwise functional Tableau Server, see Restore from a backup. If you are running a distributed deployment, and your initial node has failed, see Recover from an Initial Node Failure.

You must have the following assets ready:

  • Topology and configuration data: This is the json file that is generated by the tsm settings export command.

  • Repository backup file: This is the file with a .tsbak extension that is generated by the tsm maintenance backup command.

  • Backup assets: These assets include the list of documented configurations as noted in the previous section.

To restore a standalone Tableau Server
  1. On the computer where you want to restore Tableau Server, Install and Initialize TSM. If your organization used non-default system user accounts, as described in an early section of this topic, then you must specify the users during this step.

  2. Activate and Register Tableau Server.

  3. (Optional). On the initial node, configure the local firewall. See "Local firewall configuration" in Before you install....

  4. Import topology and configuration data. Copy the topology and configuration json backup file to the computer. Import the json file by running the following command:

    tsm settings import -f <filename>.json

  5. Restore repository data. See Restore from a backup.

To restore a Tableau Server cluster
  1. On the initial node, Install and Initialize TSM. If your organization used non-default system user accounts, as described in an early section of this topic, then you must specify the users during this step.

  2. On the initial node, Activate and Register Tableau Server.

  3. (Optional). On the initial node, configure the local firewall. See "Local firewall configuration" in Before you install....

  4. On the initial node, restore repository data. See Restore from a backup.

  5. On the initial node, run tsm topology nodes get-bootstrap-file --file <path\file>.json.

  6. Copy the bootstrap.json file to all additional nodes in the cluster.

  7. On each additional node in the cluster, install the Tableau Server package.

  8. On the initial node, run tsm topology list-nodes -v and ensure that the node names have not changed from exported topology settings. If they have, topology settings should be manually updated with new names, or the processes should be manually configured.

  9. On the initial node, run tsm settings import -f <filename>.json --topology-only to import topology settings if not configuring manually.

  10. On the initial node, Deploy a Coordination Service Ensemble . The ensemble configuration must match your previous configuration.

  11. (Optional). On the initial node, finalize setup, verify LDAP (optional), and initialize Tableau Server. See Configure Initial Node Settings.

  12. (Optional). On the initial node, run tsm pending-changes apply

  13. On the initial node, run tsm restart

Restore other functionality

If the previous server was configured with the following features, then you will need to re-enable and reconfigure them on the restored server: