Tableau Server in a Container

Introduction

Tableau Server in a Container is Tableau's first container-based server offering. Tableau Server in a Container is an all-in-one Tableau Server instance running inside of a Linux Docker container. In other words, a Tableau Server in a Container image is a docker image that runs an entire self-contained Tableau Server application. Tableau Server in a Container is our first of many steps to support Tableau Server running in container-based environments.

The easiest way to understand the concept of Tableau Server in a Container is to think of it like a VM with Tableau Server pre-installed. The image is based on a CentOS 7.x image and runs supervisord (instead of systemd) inside the container. When the container starts supervisord, it will immediately attempt to initialize and start Tableau Server. Much of the documentation here aims to describe how to provide configuration and leverage automation so you can run Tableau Server in Docker environments.

The Tableau Server in a Container Image Setup Tool helps you create and customize container images to include custom packages and artifacts. One of the primary functions of the tool is to build the container image and install custom data connectors.

Limitations

  • Tableau Server in a Container only supports license activation using Server ATR, which requires the container to have internet access. Therefore, offline activation in an air-gapped environment is not possible.
  • Tableau Server in a Container does not currently support the Resource Monitoring Tool (RMT) agent.
  • Kerberos is not supported in Tableau Server in a Container.

To test out the Tableau Server in a Container Image quickly in a proof-of-concept scenarios, see Tableau Server in a Container - Quick Start.

Basic Workflow for Tableau Server in a Container

Here is the basic workflow for using Tableau Server in a Container. You can find detailed instructions for each step in the links.

  1. Use the Setup Tool to create a custom image of Tableau Server in a Container. See Tableau Server in a Container - Using the Setup Tool.
  2. Run the image you created to start and use Tableau Server in a Container. See Tableau Server in a Container - Using an Image.

Tableau Server Feature Considerations

Some Tableau Server features works differently in containers. This section covers specific features that have special or different considerations in a container environment.

Active Directory

Set AD Domain Controller

If you plan on using Active Directory as an Identity Store for Tableau Server web pages and sites, there is an additional consideration to account for. Tableau Servers running in Linux environments dynamically determine which AD Domain Controller to communicate with by examining their IP subnet. Containers can be assigned arbitrary IP addresses, and in this case Tableau Server will not necessarily be able to use its IP address to find an appropriate domain controller. For this reason it may be necessary to configure a specific domain controller / hostname for Tableau Server to communicate with. To do this follow these steps:

  1. Determine which domain controller you want Tableau Server to use and get the hostname.
  2. Set the configuration key wgserver.domain.ldap.hostname to the hostname using the standard Tableau Server Admin configuration options:

    • Set the value in the json configuration file CONFIG_FILE .
    • Use the TSM configuration command

      tsm configuration set -k wgserver.domain.ldap.hostname -v <hostname>

Import AD certificate to Tableau Server Keystore

By default Tableau Server in a container communicates with AD via StartTLS whenever simple bind is used. So when the container is run in this configuration, it is necessary to import the AD server certificate to the Tableau Server Keystore, otherwise server initialization will fail. To do this follow these steps:

  1. Create a pre-init-command script (check Pre-initialization script section). Add the following line to add the AD certificate to tableau server keystore.

    ${INSTALL_DIR}/packages/repository.${SERVICE_VERSION}/jre/bin -importcert -noprompt -alias startTlsCert -file <mounted-certificate-path> -storetype JKS -storepass changeit -keystore ${DATA_DIR}/config/tableauservicesmanagerca.jks
  2. Mount the AD server certificate at the filepath provided for -file parameter in the pre-init-command script.

Alternatively, the default setting to communicating with AD via StartTLS can be disabled. Set wgserver.domain.ldap.starttls.enabled to false to disable the StartTLS. But it is not recommended.

Deployment Configuration Examples

Docker

Tableau Server in a Container Basic Usage
docker run \
-e LICENSE_KEY=<key>
-p 8080:8080
-d <Tableau Server in a Container image ID or tag>
Tableau Server in a Container Basic Usage with Automated Initial Admin User
docker run \
-e LICENSE_KEY=<key> \
-e TABLEAU_USERNAME=<myadmin> \
-e TABLEAU_PASSWORD_FILE=/etc/tableau-admin-secret \
-v <full-path-to-pw-file>:/etc/tableau-admin-secret \
-p 8080:8080 -d <Tableau Server in a Container image ID or tag>
TSM only mode
docker run \
-e TSM_ONLY=1 \
-p 8080:8080 -d <Tableau Server in a Container image ID or tag>
Multi-Node Basic Usage
Initial Node

Option 1: Use this if the server configuration (CONFIG_FILE) specifies a multi-node topology:

docker run \
-v <network-shared-directory>:/docker/config/bootstrap \
-v <full-path-to-config-file>:/docker/config/config.json:ro \
-e LICENSE_KEY=<key> \
-p 8080:8080 -p 8800-9000:8800-9000 -p 27000-27010:27000-27010 \
--hostname=<static (internal) name of host machine> \
-d <Tableau Server in a Container image ID or tag>

Option 2: Use this if you want a multi-node deployment even if server configuration does not specify multi-node topology:

docker run \
-v <network-shared-directory>:/docker/config/bootstrap \
-e LICENSE_KEY=<key> -e ALWAYS_WRITE_BOOTSTRAP_FILE=1 \
-p 8080:8080 -p 8800-9000:8800-9000 -p 27000-27010:27000-27010 \
--hostname=<static (internal) name of host machine> \
-d <Tableau Server in a Container image ID or tag>
Additional node
docker run \
-v <network-shared-directory>:/docker/config/bootstrap \
-e BOOTSTRAP_INSTALL=1 \
-p 8080:8080 -p 8800-9000:8800-9000 \
--hostname=<static (internal) name of host machine> \
-d <Tableau Server in a Container image ID or tag>
Externalize Data Usage
docker run \
-v <empty-data-dir>:/var/opt/tableau \
-e LICENSE_KEY=<key> \
--hostname=<static (internal) name of host machine> \
-p 8080:8080 -d <Tableau Server in a Container image ID or tag>
Init-Container Basic Usage

Init Container

docker run \
-v <empty-data-dir>:/var/opt/tableau \
-e LICENSE_KEY=<key> \
-e INIT_CONTAINER=1 \
--hostname=<static (internal) name of host machine> \
-p 8080:8080 -d <Tableau Server in a Container image ID or tag>

Run Container

docker run \
-v <empty-data-dir>:/var/opt/tableau \
--hostname=<static (internal) name of host machine> \
-p 8080:8080 -d <Tableau Server in a Container image ID or tag>
Basic Restore from Backup Single-Node
docker run \
-v <full-path-to-backup-file>:/docker/config/backup/backup-file.tsbak \
-v <full-path-to-config-only-file>:/docker/config/config.json:ro \
-e LICENSE_KEY=<key> \
-p 8080:8080 -d <Tableau Server in a Container image ID or tag>

Docker-Compose

version: '3.2'
services:
    tableau-server:
         hostname: localhost
         volumes:
              - <your-tsm-command-file>:/docker/config/tsm-commands:ro
              - <your-config-file >:/docker/config/config.json:ro
         ports:
              - "8080:8080"
         image: ${IMAGE_NAME}
         environment:
              - LICENSE_KEY=<license-key>

 

 

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