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

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 file store and repository processes, you need at least three computers or VMs: one for the initial Tableau Server node and two for additional nodes.

  • Multiple gateways—three computers and a load balancer: Adding multiple Gateway processes to your Tableau Server installation and using a load balancer to automatically distribute requests to those gateways enhances the reliability of Tableau further. To configure a cluster that provides failover support and multiple gateways, you need to add a load balancer to front your three-node cluster.

  • 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—three computers and a load balancer: To configure for high availability, you need the resources described above.

  • Initial computers: If you configure for high availability, the initial Tableau Server node may be running few or no Tableau Server processes. Therefore, the computer that serves as the initial node does not need as many cores as the ones running your additional nodes. You will, however, need adequate disk space for backups because the initial 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

All nodes in a distributed installation must be running the same version of Tableau Server.

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. For information on how Tableau Services Manager handles port mapping, see Tableau Services Manager Ports.

  • 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 Service Account account, which is specified on the initial 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.

  • 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: As mentioned above, each computer in the cluster must use a static IP address.

  • CNAME record: 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.

  • 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 External HTTP Traffic to and from Tableau Server for other details.