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Tableau Help > Tableau Server Help > 
Server Administrator Guide > Reference > The Tableau Server Processes

Tableau Server Processes

Tableau Server installs a number of processes that work together to deliver the features that make up Tableau Server.

In this article

Configuring processes

Certain processes listed below cannot be configured: cluster controller and coordination service are installed on every node as part of the base install. They are required on every server node and do not count against a core-based license. File store is installed when you install data engine and cannot be installed separately. Every instance of a data engine process will always have one instance of the file store process present as well.

The topics Performance Tuning Examples and High Availability describe some of the approaches you can take when configuring processes. High-level status for each process is displayed on the server’s Status page and more detailed information related to some of the processes—such as the background process—is in the Administrative Views topic.

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 primary Tableau Server computer to verify they are licensed. If they cannot confirm there is a valid license, for example, if the primary 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.

List of processes

For information on log files generated by these processes, see Server Log File Locations.

Process

Purpose

Multi-Threaded

Performance Characteristics

Licensed

Application Server
vizportal.exe

Handles the web application, REST API calls, supports browsing and searching

Yes

Only consumes noticeable resources during infrequent operations, like publishing a workbook with an extract, or generating a static image for a view. Its load can be created by browser-based interaction and by tabcmd.

Yes

Backgrounder
backgrounder.exe

Executes server tasks, including extract refreshes, subscriptions, ‘Run Now’ tasks, and tasks initiated from tabcmd

No

A single-threaded process where multiple processes can be run on any or all machines in the cluster to expand capacity. The backgrounder normally doesn’t consume much process memory, but it can consume CPU, I/O, or network resources based on the nature of the workload presented to it. For example, performing large extract refreshes can use network bandwidth to retrieve data. CPU resources can be consumed by data retrieval or complex tabcmd tasks.

Yes

Cache Server
redis-server.exe

Query cache

No

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 API 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.exe

Responsible for monitoring various components, detecting failures, and executing failover when needed

n/a

Included in the base install on every node.

No

Coordination Service
zookeeper.exe

In distributed installations, responsible for ensuring there is a quorum for making decisions during failover

n/a

Always installed on the primary node. For server installations with three to five nodes, also installed on the first two worker nodes. For server installations of more than five nodes, also installed on the first four worker nodes.

No

Data Engine
tdeserver64.exe

Stores data extracts and answers queries

Yes

The data engine's workload is generated by requests from the VizQL server, application server, API server, data server, and backgrounder server processes. The data engine services requests from most of the other server processes as well. It is the component that loads extracts into memory and performs queries against them. Memory consumption is primarily based on the size of the data extracts being loaded. The data engine is multi-threaded to handle multiple requests at a time. Under high load it can consume CPU, I/O, and network resources, all of which can be a performance bottleneck under load. At high load, a single instance of the data engine can consume all CPU resources to process requests.

Yes

Data Server
dataserver.exe

Manages connections to Tableau Server data sources

Yes

Because it’s a proxy, it’s normally only bound by network, but it can be bound by CPU with enough simultaneous user sessions. Its load is generated by browser- and Tableau Desktop-based interaction and extract refresh jobs for Tableau Server data sources.

Yes

File Store
filestore.exe

Automatically replicates extracts across data engine nodes

n/a

Installed with data engine (cannot be installed separately). A file store process will always be present if there are one or more data engine processes installed.

No

Repository
postgres.exe

Tableau Server database, stores workbook and user metadata

n/a

Normally consumes few resources. It can become a bottleneck in rare cases for very large deployments (thousands of users) while performing operations such as viewing all workbooks by user or changing permissions. For more information, see Tableau Server Repository.

No

Search & Browse
searchserver.exe

Handles fast search, filter, retrieval , and display of content metadata on the server

Yes

The process is memory bound first, and I/O bound second. The amount of memory used scales with the amount of content (number of sites/projects/workbooks/datasources/views/users) on the server.

No

VizQL Server
vizqlserver.exe

Loads and renders views, computes and executes queries

Yes

Consumes noticeable resources during view loading and interactive use from a web browser. Can be CPU bound, I/O bound, or network bound. Process load can only be created by browser-based interaction. Can run out of process memory.

Yes