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Distributed Requirements

Before you start to configure a Tableau Server cluster, make sure you meet the following requirements.

Hardware

While the computers you use in your cluster must meet the requirements described in Before you install..., they do not need to be identical.

Hardware Guidelines for High Availability

Here are some guidelines for the systems you use for failover and high availability:

  • Failover—three computers: To configure a cluster that provides failover support for the data engine and repository processes, you need at least three computers or VMs: one for the primary Tableau Server and two for Tableau worker nodes.

    Note: If you install Tableau Server on a two-node cluster, a message displays to let you know that you are limited to one instance of the repository, and that high availability and failover are not available in a two-node configuration. You can add a third node but are not required to do so. In a two-node cluster, if one of the two nodes goes down, Tableau Server may not function correctly.

  • Failover & multiple gateway support—three computers and a load balancer: To configure a cluster that provides the above plus support for multiple gateways, you need at least three computers or VMs, and a load balancer to front the cluster.

  • High availability—four computers and a load balancer: To configure for high availability, you need the resources described above plus an additional computer to be the backup primary for your primary Tableau Server.

  • Primary computers: If you configure for high availability, the primary Tableau Server and the backup primary may be running few or no Tableau Server processes. Therefore, the computers that run the primary and backup primary do not need as many cores as the ones running your worker servers. You will, however, need adequate disk space for backups because the primary computer is used during the database backup and restore processes. In addition to the amount of space needed for the backup file, you need temporary disk space roughly 10 times the size of the backup file (so if your backup is 4 GB, you should have about 40 GB of temporary disk space available).

Software

As of version 10.0, Tableau Server is only available in a 64-bit version.

Earlier versions were offered in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. If you are running a version of Tableau Server that was available in both 32-bit and 64-bit, be aware that each computer must run the bit version—either all 64-bit or all 32-bit. For example, if the primary Tableau Server is running the 64-bit version of Tableau Server, the workers in the cluster must run the 64-bit version of Tableau Server Worker.

Installation location

The installation location for Tableau Server must be the same on all nodes in a cluster. This is true whether you install to the default location or to a non-default location.

Networking and Ports

  • Ports: As with any distributed system, the computers or VMs you use need to be able to communicate with one another. See Tableau Server Ports for a list of ports that must be available on the gateways and workers.

  • Same domain: If Tableau Server is installed in a Windows Active Directory environment, then all computers in a cluster must be members of the same domain.

  • Same subnet: Do not install a distributed system across multiple subnets. Each node in the cluster must be installed on the same subnet.

  • Service account: The server's Run As User account, which is specified on the primary Tableau Server, must be the same on each computer in the cluster. If you are not running in an Active Directory environment, then we recommend updating the Run As User with a Windows workgroup user. You must specify the same user account and password on each node in the cluster. While you can leave the default NetworkServices account on each node in the cluster, we do not recommend this as a best security practice.

  • Static IP addresses: Any computer running Tableau Server, whether it's a single server installation or part of a cluster, must have a static IP address (learn more).

  • Discoverable: Each node in the cluster must be discoverable from other node computers using DNS or a local host file.

  • Time zone and time: Each node in the cluster must be in the same timezone, with their system clocks synchronized. This may happen automatically. For example, if your nodes are all in the Active Directory domain, the domain controller usually handles this. If you are not sure your cluster meets this requirement, consult with your internal IT experts.

Best Practices

Here are some things to keep in mind before you start to install and configure:

  • IP addresses or computer names: Note the IPv4 addresses or computer names of each computer or VM you’ll be working with. You will need to provide them during Tableau Worker Setup and configuration. As mentioned above, each computer in the cluster must use a static IP address, even if you use the computer's name to identify it during configuration.

  • CNAME record: If you’re configuring for high availability and you are not using a load balancer, make sure your primary Tableau Server and backup primary have the same CNAME record so that your Tableau Server users have a smooth experience if one primary fails and you configure the other to take over. If you are using a load balancer, it's the load balancer's name that users will be using as the Tableau Server URL, regardless of the gateway that's actually handling the request.

  • User account credentials: For each computer, you need credentials for a user account with local admin permissions. If you’re configuring for high availability, the Run As account you use for your primary Tableau Server must be the same as the one you use for your backup primary Tableau Server.

  • Backup: It’s a best practice to create a backup prior to making significant system changes. See Back Up Tableau Server Data for steps.

  • Distributed deployment across data centers: We do not recommend installing Tableau Server nodes across distributed data centers. The following examples describe some issues that are common when nodes are distributed between multiple data centers:

    • Disruption in network connectivity between nodes can cause many tasks to fail or for Tableau Server components to become unlicensed.
    • Proxies and firewalls between data centers may impede the ability of the Tableau Server nodes to communicate with each other.
    • Routing traffic between geographically dispersed data centers, can cause latency or bottleneck data transmission, resulting in poor performance and connection timeouts.

SSL

If you are planning to configure SSL for a highly available Tableau Server cluster with multiple gateways and a load balancer (learn more), make sure that the SSL certificate you use was issued for the load balancer's host name. See Configure SSL for a Cluster for other details.