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Tableau Server Processes

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.

This topic describes the options for setting the process configuration. To configure Tableau Server processes, you need to specify which processes and how many instances should run on each node. You do this using the tsm topology set-process command. For more information, see Changing the number of processes on a node.

Except where explicitly noted in the table below, applying changes in processes will stop Tableau Server if it is running when you apply those changes. After changes are applied, Tableau Server is returned to the state it was in before process configuration, so if the server was running, it will be restarted.

Important: Your process topology will depend on your organizational needs.

Licensed processes

Some of the processes that are installed as a part of Tableau Server are "licensed" processes. Licensed processes need a valid Tableau Server license in order to run. Other processes that are installed as a part of Tableau Server are not tied to a valid license. This has the following impact:

  • Every licensed process needs to regularly contact the Tableau Server License Manager service that runs on the initial Tableau Server computer to verify they are licensed. If they cannot confirm there is a valid license, for example, if the initial node is not available, the process will not run and Tableau Server may not function properly or reliably.

  • If you have a core-based Tableau Server license, the cores on any node with a licensed process will count against the total count of licensed cores.

The "Licensed" column in the table below identifies those processes that require a valid license, and which impact the count of cores in core-based licenses.

Tableau Server Processes These processes have a status of running when Tableau Server is running, and stopped when Tableau Server is stopped.
Name shown in tsm status -v Name used with tsm topology set-process Purpose Notes Licensed
Application Server vizportal The Application Server (VizPortal) handles the web application, REST API calls, and supports browsing and searching. When Application Server is installed, Data Engine is also installed, unless the node already has an instance of data engine. Yes
Backgrounder backgrounder The Backgrounder runs server tasks, including extract refreshes, subscriptions, ‘Run Now’ tasks, and tasks initiated from tabcmd. When Backgounder is installed, Data Engine is also installed, unless the node already has an instance of Data Engine.

In most situations you can change the number of backgrounder instances on an existing node of a running server without causing a stop and restart the server. An exception is if you are adding backgrounder to an existing node that did not previously have backgrounder or any other process that also installs data engine.

Yes
Cache Server cacheserver The Cache Server is a query cache distributed and shared across the server cluster. This in-memory cache speeds user experience across many scenarios. VizQL server, backgrounder, and data server (and application server to a lesser extent) make cache requests to the cache server on behalf of users or jobs. The cache is single-threaded, so if you need better performance you should run additional instances of cache server. No
Cluster Controller clustercontroller The Cluster Controller is responsible for monitoring various components, detecting failures, and running failover when needed. Required on each node. Not automatically installed. No
Data Engine Cannot be configured manually. The Data Engine creates data extracts and processes queries. Automatically installed when you install File Store, VizQL Server, Application Server (VizPortal), Data Server, or Backgrounder. Yes
Data Server dataserver The Data Server manages connections to Tableau Server data sources. When Data Server is installed, Data Engine is also installed, unless the node already has an instance of Data Engine. Yes
File Store filestore The File Store automatically replicates extracts across Data Engine nodes. When File Store is installed, Data Engine is also installed, unless the node already has an instance of Data Engine. No
Gateway gateway The Gateway is a web server that handles all requests to Tableau Server from browsers, Tableau Desktop, and other clients. Required on any node with an instance of VizQL Server or Vizportal. No
Repository pgsql The PostgreSQL repository is the main database for Tableau Server. It stores workbook and user metadata. You are limited to a maximum of two instances of the repository in a cluster, and must have at least three nodes in the cluster to add a second repository instance.

 

No
SAML Service Cannot be configured manually. The SAML Service acts as a proxy between Tableau Server and SAML Identity Providers (IdPs). Automatically installed on each node where you install Tableau Server.

Shows a status of stopped in output of tsm status -v unless site SAML is enabled.

You cannot configure the SAML Service manually.

No
Search And Browse searchserver The Search Service handles fast search, filter, retrieval, and display of content metadata on the server.   No
VizQL Server vizqlserver The VizQL Server loads and renders views, computes and executes queries. When VizQL Server is installed, Data Engine is also installed, unless the node already has an instance of Data Engine.

In most situations you can change the number of VizQL instances on an existing node of a running server without causing a stop and restart the server. An exception is if you are adding VizQL to an existing node that did not previously have VizQL or any other process that also installs data engine.

Yes
Tableau Services Manager (TSM) Processes These processes have a status of running once TSM has been initialized, and remain running even when Tableau Server is stopped.
Administration Agent Cannot be configured manually. The TSM Agent monitors the Coordination Service for changes to configuration or topology and delivers new configurations to each service (configuration) or deploys new services and removes old ones (topology) Automatically installed on each node where you install Tableau Server.

You cannot configure the Administration Agent manually.

No
Administration Controller Cannot be configured manually, except to move it to another node. For more information, see Recover from an Initial Node Failure. The TSM Controller handles requests to TSM and orchestrates configuration and topology changes and workflow across service processes. The Controller also serves as the REST API endpoint (HTTPS). Automatically installed when you install TSM on the initial node.

You cannot configure the Administration Controller manually except to move it to another node. For more information, see Recover from an Initial Node Failure.

No
Client File Service clientfileservice The Client File Service (CFS) manages most shared files in a multinode cluster. For example, authentication related certificates, keys, and files (OpenID, mutual SSL, SAML, and Kerberos), and customization files are managed by CFS. Automatically installed on the initial node. No other instances are installed unless you explicitly configure them. See Configure Client File Service .

In multi-node deployments, we recommend you configure an instance of CFS on each of the nodes where you deploy the Coordination Service. Redeploying the Coordination Service does not have any impact on CFS.

CFS does not display in the Status page or the Configuration page but is visible in the output of the tsm status -v command.

To view or set instances of CFS, use the tsm topology command.

No
Coordination Service Cannot be set with tsm topology set-process. The Coordination Service serves as the single source of truth. Automatically installed on the initial node. No other instances are installed unless you explicitly deploy a new Coordination Service ensemble. For details, see Deploy a Coordination Service Ensemble . No
Service Manager Cannot be configured manually. The Service Manager Automatically installed on all nodes.

You cannot configure the Service Manager manually.

No
License Manager Cannot be configured manually. The License Manager handles licensing. Automatically installed on the initial node when you install TSM.

A single instance of this is installed on a Tableau Server cluster. The License Manager process should only be manually configured if the initial node fails. For more information, see Recover from an Initial Node Failure

No
Tableau Server Maintenance Processes These processes have a status of stopped unless they are actively running to complete a job.
Database Maintenance Cannot be configured manually. The Database Maintenance service is responsible for performing maintenance operations on the Tableau Server repository. Automatically installed on each node where you install Tableau Server.

Shows a status of stopped in output of tsm status -v unless it is actively performing database maintenance. Maintenance can include updates related to enabling remote access to the repository and changing passwords used to access the repository.

You cannot configure the Database Maintenance service manually.

No
Backup/Restore Cannot be configured manually. The Backup and Restore service is responsible for performing backup and restore operations on the data stored in the Tableau Server repository and file store. Automatically installed on each node where you install Tableau Server.

Shows a status of stopped in output of tsm status -v unless it is performing a backup or restore operation.

You cannot configure the Backup and Restore service manually.

No
Site Import/Export Cannot be configured manually. The Site Import and Export service is responsible for migrating Tableau Server sites between server clusters. Automatically installed on each node where you install Tableau Server.

Shows a status of stopped in output of tsm status -v unless it is performing an import or export.

You cannot configure the Site Import and Export service manually.

No