Tableau Bridge Deployment

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Note: This topic applies to Tableau Cloud only.

Most companies have a hybrid data architecture, with data in public cloud environments (i.e., AWS Redshift, Snowflake, Google BiqQuery, Azure Synapse, etc.), on-premises environments (i.e., SQL Servers, Oracle, files), and private cloud environments (VPCs). Tableau Bridge makes your private data available, up-to-date, and ready to analyze in Tableau Cloud. Tableau Bridge is client software that runs on a machine in your network, whether this is fully on-premises or within a Virtual Private Cloud.

Tableau Bridge is stand-alone software, provided at no additional cost, to use in conjunction with Tableau Cloud. It’s a thin client that you install behind a firewall to enable connectivity between on-premises data and Tableau Cloud. The thin client works in conjunction with Tableau Cloud to keep data sources connected to on-premises data up to date, which Tableau Cloud can't reach directly, through an outbound encrypted connection.

Bridge is designed to scale up and scale out. In most cases, you will own the setup and management of several clients, or a pool of clients, in your organization. Each Bridge can execute multiple live queries and run multiple extract refreshes concurrently.

Management models

Although there are no constraints on setting up and managing Bridge in your organization, your Bridge deployment will likely fall into one of two standard management models. The management model you use, depends on the type of on-premises data that your Bridge deployment needs to support.

For the majority of cases, we recommend that customers utilize a centralized model for managing Tableau Bridge.

  • A centralized model means the clients work as a pooled resource, and usage is distributed and load-balanced. This allows customers to scale their Bridge usage easily.
  • If the customer’s data sources span multiple network segments with restricted communication, then it is best to utilize a mixed management model as Bridges will need to be deployed in each segment to communicate directly with Tableau Cloud.

Centralized management

A centralized management model supports the pooling of clients and is optimized for keeping relational data fresh. With clients configured for pooling, live queries and refresh jobs happen in parallel across available clients.

For example, if you have 20 refreshes and have five running and available clients, you can expect each client to be allocated to run four refresh jobs each.

Using this model means:

  • As the site admin, you can set up and take down Bridge clients as needed.
  • For data source owners, this means they can:
    • Have uninterrupted publishing workflows that detect whether Bridge is required.
    • Edit or update database credentials directly from Tableau Cloud.
  • Schedule refreshes from Tableau Cloud directly using Recommended Schedules.
  • For file data, Centralized Management provides access to data available across your organization (such as files in a network share). If a file is only available on a specific machine, see the following sections.

Mixed management

A mixed management model is required if Bridge facilitates connectivity for data sources that connect to data available in the network and file data only available on an individual machine. With this model, in addition to the benefits of the centralized management model, “named” or designated clients must be managed separately to support some file data.

Using this model means:

  • When scheduling refreshes, data sources that connect to file data need to be assigned to a specific client. When scheduling a refresh, the client is only visible to the data source owner if he or she is signed into the client itself under the same Tableau Cloud account.
  • Only one refresh can happen at a time for data sources that connect to file data. If you need refreshes to occur simultaneously, consider designating additional “named” clients to support higher throughput.
  • If you, as the site admin, want to maintain ownership of the client, you must also own the data sources assigned to the specified client.

Key Considerations for deploying Tableau Bridge:

  • When planning your deployment, as the site admin, it’s important to know what data your users are connecting to, the type of connections they’re using, and how those connection types affect how data sources can be managed. For more information, see the Connectivity with Tableau Bridge topic.
  • Understand the hardware guidelines for virtual environments running Bridge. For more information, see the Recommended Hardware for Tableau Bridge topic.
  • To take advantage of the latest security and feature updates, always install the Bridge client’s latest version from the Tableau Bridge Releases page. For more information, see the Install Bridge topic.
  • Installing and setting up Bridge is simple. However, there are a few additional steps you must take before proceeding with your deployment. For more information, see the Deploy Bridge topic.
  • Use Concurrency Capacity to determine the number of Tableau Bridges to deploy for your organization. As a best practice, we recommend you set up one additional Tableau Bridge than you need in case one Bridge or virtual machine is down unexpectedly. For more information, see the Pooling Capacity topic.

For more information, see:

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