Install and Configure Additional Nodes

After you install Tableau Server on one computer (or node), the server is functional and ready for use, but it has no redundancy. If there is a problem with a process or a problem with the computer, Tableau Server may be unavailable. In addition, all processes are running on a single computer, so there can be contention for resources on that computer.

You can extend your Tableau Server installation by adding Tableau to additional nodes, creating a distributed installation. This article describes the general steps for installing Tableau Server on additional nodes and assumes you have already installed Tableau on an initial node. For more information on installing Tableau on the initial node, see Install TSM.

If you are installing Tableau Server on multiple nodes, you should install and configure one node at a time. This makes it easier to troubleshoot any issues you might run into.

Important: You should add and configure additional nodes when you can fully complete the process by applying pending changes. Adding a node without finishing by applying pending changes can result in users being unable to log into Tableau Server.

Generate the node bootstrap file

  1. Open TSM in a browser:

    https://<tsm-computer-name>:8850

    For more information, see Sign in to Tableau Services Manager Web UI.

  2. Click the Configuration tab, and in the Add a Node box, click Download Bootstrap File.

    The bootstrap file is created and copied to your local computer.

Install and initialize an additional node

Before you begin, verify that your node bootstrap file is recent. For example, if you have run tsm security regenerate-internal-tokens after you generated a bootstrap file, then initialization will fail.

  1. Copy the original installer you used on the first computer along with the bootstrap file you generated and put them in a location accessible from the new computer you are adding Tableau Server to. This could be a mounted network share, or directly on the new computer.

  2. If you are running a local firewall, then you need to configure firewall rules for all the nodes in the cluster. For more information, see Local firewall configuration.

  3. On the new node, run the Tableau Server Setup program. This should be the same installer program you ran on the initial node to install Tableau Server.

    During installation you will be asked to select an installation type. Select Add additional node to existing Tableau Server cluster:

  4. Click Next to continue.

    If you are prompted by Windows Defender Firewall, click Allow access. You may need to do this multiple times for the installation to complete.

  5. In the installer, after the Tableau Server files are copied, you will be prompted to provide the bootstrap file, along with the name and password of the TSM administrator:

    Click Next to continue.

  6. Enter the location of the bootstrap file, or click Browse to navigate to the location. Enter the TSM administrator username and password. These credentials must be the credentials of the user that you used during the installation process on the initial node.

  7. A browser window opens and you are prompted to sign in to TSM. Enter the TSM administrator user name and password.

    If no browser window opens automatically, open a window and navigate to TSM:

    https://<tsm-computer-name>:8850

  8. In TSM, click Configuration.

    A message displays, telling you the node was added:

  9. Click Continue.

Configure the additional node with Cluster Controller

  1. Open TSM in a browser:

    https://<tsm-computer-name>:8850

    For more information, see Sign in to Tableau Services Manager Web UI.

  2. Click the Configuration tab. A message should tell you that the new node was added.

    Click Continue to dismiss the message.

  3. Cluster Controller is part of the minimum topology and is already selected. Each node must run Cluster Controller.

    If you only want to set the minimum topology for the node, go to Step 4 below. You might do this if you will be adding additional nodes and are not ready to configure this node beyond the minimum.

    If you want to add additional processes to the minimum topology, specify the processes that should run on the node. Do this by selecting the processes you want, or specifying the number of processes that should run on the node.

    For example, to add a Gateway and two instances of the Backgrounder on the node:

    1. Select Gateway.

    2. Set the Backgrounder count to 2.

      Adding Backgrounder to a node will also add an instance of Data Engine if one is not already on the node.

    The specific processes and process counts you set will depend on your organizational environment and needs. Some processes are added automatically when you add another process. For more information, see Configure Nodes and Tableau Server Processes.

    Note: The TSM Web UI limits you to a maximum of 8 instances of processes that allow you to select the number of instances. To configure more instances than this, use the command line and the TSM topology set-process command. For more information, see tsm topology set-process.

  4. Click Pending Changes at the top of the page:

    If you are configuring a cluster with three or more nodes, a Coordination Service ensemble warning displays. You can continue. You will deploy a Coordination Service ensemble in a separate step.

  5. Click Apply Changes and Restart and Confirm to confirm a restart of Tableau Server.

    After Tableau Server restarts, the node is included with the minimum topology necessary and any additional processes you configured.

Note: This method of installation from the command line requires you to set Windows environment variables on each additional node for the username and password of an administrator on the initial node. For an alternate method of automating Tableau Server installation without including unencrypted credentials, see Automated Installation of Tableau Server.

Generate the node bootstrap file

To install Tableau Server on additional computers you use the same installer you did for the initial node, along with a "bootstrap" file you generate on the initial node.

Important: The bootstrap file contains a copy of the master keystore file used for encrypting the configuration secrets. We strongly recommend that you take additional measures to secure the bootstrap file using mechanisms as described in Securing secrets for import and export operations.

  1. After installing Tableau Server on the initial node, generate the node bootstrap file.

  2. On the initial node, open a command prompt as administrator.

  3. Type this command to generate the bootstrap file:

    tsm topology nodes get-bootstrap-file --file <path\file>.json

Install and initialize an additional node

  1. Copy the original installer you used on the first computer along with the bootstrap file you generated and put them in a location accessible from the new computer you are adding Tableau Server to. This could be a mounted network share, or directly on the new computer.

  2. If you are running a local firewall, then you need to configure firewall rules for all the nodes in the cluster. For more information, see Local firewall configuration.

  3. On the new node, set two environment variables for the credentials of a user with administrative rights to the computer on which you first installed Tableau Server (the initial node). For example, you could use the credentials for the user who created the bootstrap file.

    At a command prompt, as administrator, enter the following commands:

    Set TableauAdminUser=<username>
    Set TableauAdminPassword=<password>

    Note: This method of installation from the command line requires you to set Windows environment variables on each additional node for the username and password of an administrator on the initial node. For an alternate method of automating Tableau Server installation without including unencrypted credentials, see Automated Installation of Tableau Server.

  4. On the new node, run the Tableau Server Setup program. This should be the same installer program you ran on the initial node to install Tableau Server.

    Setup-TSM-Server-tableau-<version>-x64.exe /silent /accepteula /bootstrapfile="path\bootstrapfile"

    Note: For more information about switches you can use with the Setup program, see Install Switches for Tableau Server.

Configure the additional node

Note: This basic example illustrates how to set the topology on a node. For a more detailed, working multi-node example, see Example: Install and Configure a Three-Node HA Cluster.

On the initial (original) node, set the topology for the newly added node. The topology specifies which processes should run on the node, and how many instances of each process should run. The topology for the node will depend on your environment and organizational needs. The below are just examples of setting the topology.

  1. On the new node, open a command prompt. 

  2. Get the node-id for the new node:

    tsm topology list-nodes -v

    The -v option lists the nodes and the processes they are currently running. You can identify the newly added node because it will not have any processes on it.

  3. Specify the individual processes that should run on this node.

    Do this with the following command:

    tsm topology set-process -n <nodeID> -pr <processname> -c <n>

    You must add an instance of the Cluster Controller to each node.

    For example, to add the Cluster Controller, two instances of the Backgrounder, and a Gateway to node2:

    tsm topology set-process -n node2 -pr clustercontroller -c 1
    tsm topology set-process -n node2 -pr backgrounder -c 2
    tsm topology set-process -n node2 -pr gateway -c 1

    The specific processes and process counts you set will depend on your organizational environment and needs. Some processes are added automatically when you add another process. For more information, see Configure Nodes and Tableau Server Processes.

  4. Apply the node configuration. The pending-changes apply command displays a prompt to let you know this will restart Tableau Server if the server is running. The prompt displays even if the server is stopped, but in that case there is no restart. You can suppress the prompt using the --ignore-prompt option, but this does not change the restart behavior. For more information, see tsm pending-changes apply.

    tsm pending-changes apply

    A warning about deploying a Coordination Service ensemble displays if you have deployed a three- or five-node cluster. If this is the only warning, you can safely override it using the --ignore-warnings option to apply the configuration changes in spite of the warning.

    tsm pending-changes apply --ignore-warnings

Install drivers

You need to install drivers so that Tableau Server can connect to data and run extracts. Install these drivers on nodes that are running any of the following processes:

  • VizQL Server (vizqlserver)
  • Application Server (vizportal)
  • Data Server (dataserver)
  • Backgrounder (backgrounder)

Drivers and administrative views

If you want to use the built-in administrative views in Tableau Server, you also need to install the PostgreSQL driver on any nodes running any of the above processes.

For more information, see Database Drivers.

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