Clone Tableau Server

Beginning with version 2022.3 of Tableau Server, a new tsm command enables you to create a copy of the configuration and topology of a Tableau Server deployment and use that to create an exact replica of the original deployment. The command tsm settings clone creates a set of files (the "clone payload"), which includes settings, secrets, configuration and topology, including ports being used and information about external services.

Security considerations

The tsm settings clone command generates a set of files (the "clone payload") that contain all the secrets generated by Tableau Server, as well as those provided by the server administrator during configuration, including a keystore containing keypairs and certificates. It is extremely important for security that you keep the clone payload and the output location secure. To facilitate this:

  • If the output directory does not exist, tsm will create it with access restricted to the user running the tsm settings clone command.
  • If the output directory exists when you run the command, tsm will confirm that it is owned by the user running the command and that permissions are limited to only that user. If the directory does not have the expected permissions, a message displays:

    The output directory '<path/to/directory>' exists, but must be restricted to owner only.

Limitations of the clone payload

  • The version of Tableau Server being cloned must match the version being created. You cannot install a newer version of Server using a clone payload from an older version.

Using the clone command to create a copy of Tableau Server

Creating a cloned copy of Tableau Server is a multi-step process, with the two high-level steps being:

  1. Create a clone payload from the Tableau Server installation you want to duplicate.
  2. Use the clone payload to install a second deployment of Tableau Server. You are responsible for matching the topology of the two installations, adding additional nodes to match the original deployment.

Creating the clone payload

To generate a set of files (clone payload) that contain the configuration and topology settings for Tableau Server, use the tsm settings clone command. The command takes a single argument, the output directory where the set of files should be saved:

tsm settings clone --output-directory <output_directory>

Once the clone payload is created, you can use this when installing a new instance of Tableau Server with the identical configuration and topology of the source installation.

Using the clone payload to create a copy of Tableau Server

When installing Tableau Server on Windows, server administrator should take the following steps:

  1. Set the CLONE_ARTIFACT_DIR environment variable to point to the clone payload location.
  2. Run the Tableau Server Setup program as Administrator.

    Do not initialise Tableau Server if your topology includes additional nodes. You need to add those nodes before completing the process of initialising Tableau Server.

  3. Optional: Add worker nodes

    After TSM is initialised (but before initialising Tableau Server), the administrator should add additional nodes if original topology had more than 1 node.

    This should be done following the standard process for adding new nodes, i.e. generating a bootstrap file and running initialize-tsm script on worker nodes providing the bootstrap file.

    For details, see Install and Configure Additional Nodes.

  4. Initialise Tableau Server using TSM web interface or command line interface:

    tsm initialize

  5. Wait for Tableau Server to initialise on all nodes.

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