Example: Install and Configure a Three-Node HA Cluster

A multi-node high availability installation of Tableau Server can help to maximize the efficiency and availability of Tableau Server. When configuring a multi-node Tableau Server deployment, the steps you perform are designed to build in redundancy, helping to reduce your potential downtime. In addition to simply improving efficiency by moving or adding server processes to additional nodes, you can create a highly available (HA) installation of Tableau Server by satisfying these requirements:

  • Add additional nodes for a total of at least three nodes
  • Deploy a Coordination Service ensemble on at least three nodes
  • Add an instance of Client File Service (CFS) on at least one additional node (we recommend adding an instance on each node running the Coordination Service)
  • Add a second instance of the File Store on one of the additional nodes (Data Engine will be installed automatically, if it is not already on the node)
  • Add a second instance of the Repository (pgsql) on one of the additional nodes

A Tableau Server installation that includes these additions will have built-in redundancy and can support failover in the event of a problem with the repository. This example shows how to do this, and more.

A Single Server System

After installing Tableau Server on an initial node, you have a system that is running everything it needs to function. It has at least one instance of all server processes and is the most basic configuration of Tableau Server. It has no redundancy. The server topology looks like this (some TSM-specific processes are not shown):

A Three-Node System

To build in redundancy, you need to add additional nodes to host instances of the repository and the data engine and file store processes. You can add instances of other processes, including multiple instances of a process on a node. In addition, to reduce the system’s vulnerability, you can run multiple gateways and additional instances of some of the server processes. The fewest number of computers required to achieve this configuration is three.

In the diagram below, the file store process has been added to both additional nodes. A second, passive instance of the repository has also been added to one of the other new nodes. Finally, the server processes (shown in blue) have been added to the additional nodes to provide redundancy.

Configuration steps

This procedure describes how to configure a three-node HA Tableau Server cluster with two repository instances and two file store/data engine instances on the additional nodes as pictured above.

Before you begin

Before you install Tableau Server on any additional nodes, ensure that each additional node meets the distributed requirements. See Distributed Requirements for details.

Note: This operation includes steps that you may need to perform using the TSM command line. To use the TSM CLI you need administrator access to the command line on one of the nodes in your installation and TSM administrator credentials to run TSM commands.

Step 1: Install the initial node

See Install and Configure Tableau Server.

Step 2: Generate a bootstrap file for the additional nodes

  1. Open TSM in a browser:

    https://<tsm-computer-name>:8850

    For more information, see Sign in to Tableau Services Manager Web UI.

  2. Click the Configuration tab, and in the Add a Node box, click Download Bootstrap File.

    The bootstrap file is created and copied to your local computer.

    Beginning with version 2019.3, embedded credentials are included in the bootstrap file by default. If you don't want credentials embedded in the bootstrap file, clear the Include temporary credentials in file option. See Support for Embedded Credentials in Bootstrap Files in What's New for more information. If you want to completely disable the ability to include embedded credentials in node bootstrap files, you can set a configuration option for the server. See features.PasswordlessBootstrapInit for more details.

Step 3: Install and initialize an additional node

  1. Copy the original installer you used on the first computer along with the bootstrap file you generated and put them in a location accessible from the new computer you are adding Tableau Server to. This could be a mounted network share, or directly on the new computer.

  2. If you are running a local firewall, then you need to configure firewall rules for all the nodes in the cluster. For more information, see Local firewall configuration.

  3. On the new node, run the Tableau Server Setup program. This should be the same installer program you ran on the initial node to install Tableau Server. Accept the terms of the license agreement and click Next.

    During installation you will be asked to select an installation type. Select Add additional node to existing Tableau Server cluster:

  4. Click Next to continue.

    If you are prompted by Windows Defender Firewall, click Allow access. You may need to do this multiple times for the installation to complete.

  5. In the installer, after the Tableau Server files are copied, you will be prompted to provide the bootstrap file and the name and password of the TSM administrator:

    Click Next to continue.

  6. Enter the location of the bootstrap file, or click Browse to navigate to the location. If the bootstrap file does not include embedded credentials, or those credentials have expired, enter the TSM administrator username and password. These credentials must be the credentials of the user that you used during the installation process on the initial node.

  7. A browser window opens and you are prompted to sign in to TSM. Enter the TSM administrator user name and password.

    If no browser window opens automatically, open a window and navigate to TSM:

    https://<tsm-computer-name>:8850

  8. In TSM, click Configuration.

    A message displays, telling you the node was added:

  9. Click Continue.

Step 4: Install and initialize a second additional node

  1. Copy the original installer you used on the first computer along with the bootstrap file you generated and put them in a location accessible from the new computer you are adding Tableau Server to. This could be a mounted network share, or directly on the new computer.

  2. If you are running a local firewall, then you need to configure firewall rules for all the nodes in the cluster. For more information, see Local firewall configuration.

  3. On the new node, run the Tableau Server Setup program. This should be the same installer program you ran on the initial node to install Tableau Server. Accept the terms of the license agreement and click Next.

    During installation you will be asked to select an installation type. Select Add additional node to existing Tableau Server cluster:

  4. Click Next to continue.

    If you are prompted by Windows Defender Firewall, click Allow access. You may need to do this multiple times for the installation to complete.

  5. In the installer, after the Tableau Server files are copied, you will be prompted to provide the bootstrap file and the name and password of the TSM administrator:

    Click Next to continue.

  6. Enter the location of the bootstrap file, or click Browse to navigate to the location. If the bootstrap file does not include embedded credentials, or those credentials have expired, enter the TSM administrator username and password. These credentials must be the credentials of the user that you used during the installation process on the initial node.

  7. A browser window opens and you are prompted to sign in to TSM. Enter the TSM administrator user name and password.

    If no browser window opens automatically, open a window and navigate to TSM:

    https://<tsm-computer-name>:8850

  8. In TSM, click Configuration.

    A message displays, telling you the node was added:

  9. Click Continue.

Step 5: Configure the new node with a minimum topology

To complete the process of adding new nodes to your cluster, you need to configure them with a minimum topology. With a minimum topology, the only pending change will be the addition of Cluster Controller, which is required on each node. If you want other processes on the nodes you can add most of them at the same time. This example only configures the nodes with Cluster Controller.

  1. Open TSM in a browser:

    https://<tsm-computer-name>:8850

    For more information, see Sign in to Tableau Services Manager Web UI.

  2. Click the Configuration tab. A message should tell you that new nodes were added.

    Click Continue to dismiss the message.

  3. Click Pending Changes at the top of the page:

    If you are configuring a cluster with three or more nodes, a Coordination Service ensemble warning displays. You can continue. You will deploy a Coordination Service ensemble in a separate step.

  4. Click Apply Changes and Restart and Confirm to confirm a restart of Tableau Server.

    When Tableau Server restarts, the nodes are included with the minimum topology necessary.

Step 6: Deploy a Coordination Service ensemble

If you install a total of three or more nodes, you should also deploy a Coordination Service ensemble. If you do not, you will get a warning message every time you make changes to the server configuration or topology. You can ignore this message, but as a best practice you should deploy a multi-node Coordination Service ensemble.

When you install Tableau Server, a single instance of the Coordination Service is installed on the initial node. TSM and Tableau Server depend on the Coordination Service to function properly, so to provide redundancy and ensure availability on multi-node installations, configure additional instances of the Coordination Service by deploying a Coordination Service ensemble. Coordination Service ensembles are installed with one, three, or five instances of the Coordination Service. In a three-node installation of Tableau Server, the recommended number of Coordination Service instances is three, one on each node.

Do not attempt to deploy a Coordination Service ensemble if there are other changes pending. Discard or apply any pending changes before deploying a new Coordination Service ensemble.

Note: This operation includes steps that you may need to perform using the TSM command line. To use the TSM CLI you need administrator access to the command line on one of the nodes in your installation and TSM administrator credentials to run TSM commands.

The following steps illustrate how to deploy a new Coordination Service ensemble on an existing three-node Tableau Server cluster and clean up the old ensemble.

  1. On the initial node, open a command prompt as administrator.

  2. Stop Tableau Server:

    tsm stop

    If prompted, sign in as a TSM administrator.

    Some TSM processes will continue to run, including the Administration Controller and Administration Agent.

  3. Confirm there are no pending changes:

    tsm pending-changes list

    If there are pending changes, you need to either discard the changes or apply them. Applying pending changes will take some time:

    • Discard the changes

      tsm pending-changes discard
    • or

    • Apply the changes:

      tsm pending-changes apply

    Wait until the command completes and you are returned to the system prompt.

  4. Get the node IDs for each node in the cluster:

    tsm topology list-nodes -v

  5. Use the tsm topology deploy-coordination-service command to add a new Coordination Service ensemble by adding the Coordination Service to specified nodes. You must specify the node(s) that the Coordination Service should be added to. The command also makes the new ensemble the "production" ensemble (the ensemble in use) and removes the old ensemble.

    Note: A "y/n" prompt displays confirming that a server restart will take place. To run the command without input, include the --ignore-prompt option.

    For example, deploy the Coordination Service to all three nodes of a three-node cluster, where the nodes are node1, node2, and node3:

    tsm topology deploy-coordination-service -n node1,node2,node3

    Wait until the command completes and you are returned to the system prompt.

  6. Start Tableau Server:

    tsm start

For more information and details on deploying a new Coordination Service ensemble, see Deploy a Coordination Service Ensemble .

Step 7: Configure Client File Services (CFS) on additional nodes

Add CFS to additional nodes. We recommend you add CFS to every node running the Coordination Service.

Note: This operation includes steps that you may need to perform using the TSM command line. To use the TSM CLI you need administrator access to the command line on one of the nodes in your installation and TSM administrator credentials to run TSM commands.

  1. On the initial node, open a command prompt as administrator.

  2. Find the node ID for the node you are adding CFS to:

    tsm topology list-nodes -v

  3. Add CFS on the node by specifying the node, the process, and a single instance.

    For example, this command adds an instance of CFS to node2:

    tsm topology set-process -n node2 -pr clientfileservice -c 1

    If you attempt to add an instance of CFS to a node that already is configured with CFS, an error message will let you know there is already an instance on the node.

    To add CFS to additional nodes, repeat this step for each node.

  4. Apply the changes:

    tsm pending-changes apply

Step 7: Configure processes for the second node

  1. Open TSM in a browser:

    https://<tsm-computer-name>:8850

    For more information, see Sign in to Tableau Services Manager Web UI.

  2. Click the Configuration tab.

  3. Specify the processes and number of instances that should run on the first additional node.

    In this example:

    1. Select Gateway.

    2. Set the Application Server (vizportal) count to 2.

    3. Set the VizQL Server count to 2.

    4. Set the Cache Server count to 2.

    5. Select Search & Browse.

    6. Set the Backgrounder count to 2.

      Adding Backgrounder to a node will also add an instance of Data Engine if one is not already on the node.

    7. Set the Data Server count to 2.

    8. Select File Store.

    9. Select Repository (pgsql).

    The specific processes and process counts you set will depend on your organizational environment and needs. Some processes are added automatically when you add another process. For more information, see Configure Nodes and Tableau Server Processes.

    Note: The TSM Web UI limits you to a maximum of 8 instances of processes that allow you to select the number of instances. To configure more instances than this, use the command line and the TSM topology set-process command. For more information, see tsm topology set-process.

Step 8: Configure processes for third node

  1. In TSM, on the Configuration tab, specify the processes and number of instances that should run on the second additional node.

    In this example:

    1. Select Gateway.

    2. Set the Application Server (vizportal) count to 2.

    3. Set the VizQL Server count to 2.

    4. Set the Cache Server count to 2.

    5. Select Search & Browse.

    6. Set the Backgrounder count to 2.

      Adding Backgrounder to a node will also add an instance of Data Engine if one is not already on the node.

    7. Set the Data Server count to 2.

    8. Select File Store.

  2. Click Pending Changes at the top of the page:

    The Pending Changes list displays.

  3. Click Apply Changes and Restart and Confirm to confirm a restart of Tableau Server.

Note: This method of installation from the command line requires you to set Windows environment variables on each additional node for the username and password of an administrator on the initial node. For an alternate method of automating Tableau Server installation without including unencrypted credentials, see Automated Installation of Tableau Server.

Step 1: Install the initial node

See Install and Configure Tableau Server.

Step 2: Generate a bootstrap file for the additional nodes

To install Tableau Server on additional computers you use the same installer you did for the initial node, along with a "bootstrap" file you generate on the initial node.

Important: The bootstrap file contains a copy of the master keystore file used for encrypting the configuration secrets. The file can also embedded credentials which are valid for a predetermined amount of time (see tabadmincontroller.auth.expiration.minutes) and serve as a session cookie. We strongly recommend that you take additional measures to secure the bootstrap file using mechanisms as described in Securing secrets for import and export operations.

  1. After installing Tableau Server on the initial node, generate the node bootstrap file.

  2. On the initial node, open a command prompt as administrator.

  3. Type this command to generate the bootstrap file:

    tsm topology nodes get-bootstrap-file --file <path\file>.json

    Beginning with version 2019.3, embedded credentials are included in the bootstrap file by default. If you don't want the bootstrap file to include credentials, use the -nec or --no-embedded-credentials option:

    tsm topology nodes get-bootstrap-file --file <path\file>.json --no-embedded-credentials.

    See Support for Embedded Credentials in Bootstrap Files in What's New for more information. If you want to completely disable the ability to include embedded credentials in node bootstrap files, you can set a configuration option for the server. See features.PasswordlessBootstrapInit for more details.

Step 3: Install an additional node

  1. Copy the original installer you used on the first computer along with the bootstrap file you generated and put them in a location accessible from the new computer you are adding Tableau Server to. This could be a mounted network share, or directly on the new computer.

  2. If you are running a local firewall, then you need to configure firewall rules for all the nodes in the cluster. For more information, see Local firewall configuration.

  3. On the new node, run the Tableau Server Setup program. This should be the same installer program you ran on the initial node to install Tableau Server.

    TableauServer-64bit-<version>.exe /silent /accepteula /embeddedcredential /bootstrapfile="path\bootstrapfile"

    For more information about switches you can use with the Setup program, see Install Switches and Properties for Tableau Server.

Step 4: Install a second additional node

Install Tableau Server on the second additional node:

  1. Copy the original installer you used on the first computer along with the bootstrap file you generated and put them in a location accessible from the new computer you are adding Tableau Server to. This could be a mounted network share, or directly on the new computer.

  2. If you are running a local firewall, then you need to configure firewall rules for all the nodes in the cluster. For more information, see Local firewall configuration.

  3. On the new node, run the Tableau Server Setup program. This should be the same installer program you ran on the initial node to install Tableau Server.

    TableauServer-64bit-<version>.exe /silent /accepteula /embeddedcredential /bootstrapfile="path\bootstrapfile"

    For more information about switches you can use with the Setup program, see Install Switches and Properties for Tableau Server.

Step 5: Add a process to the additional nodes

  1. On the initial node, configure a cluster controller instance on each additional node:

    tsm topology set-process -n <nodeID_second-node> -pr clustercontroller -c 1

    tsm topology set-process -n <nodeID_third-node> -pr clustercontroller -c 1

  2. Apply the node configuration changes:

                                            tsm pending-changes apply --ignore-warnings
                                        

    A warning about deploying a Coordination Service ensemble displays because you have deployed a three-node cluster. Use the --ignore-warnings option to apply the configuration changes in spite of the warning. You will deploy a new Coordination Service ensemble in the next step.

Step 6: Deploy a Coordination Service ensemble

If you install a total of three or more nodes, you should also deploy a Coordination Service ensemble. If you do not, you will get a warning message every time you make changes to the server configuration or topology. You can ignore this message, but as a best practice you should deploy a multi-node Coordination Service ensemble.

When you install Tableau Server, a single instance of the Coordination Service is installed on the initial node. TSM and Tableau Server depend on the Coordination Service to function properly, so to provide redundancy and ensure availability on multi-node installations, configure additional instances of the Coordination Service by deploying a Coordination Service ensemble. Coordination Service ensembles are installed with one, three, or five instances of the Coordination Service. In a three-node installation of Tableau Server, the recommended number of Coordination Service instances is three, one on each node.

Do not attempt to deploy a Coordination Service ensemble if there are other changes pending. Discard or apply any pending changes before deploying a new Coordination Service ensemble.

Note: This operation includes steps that you may need to perform using the TSM command line. To use the TSM CLI you need administrator access to the command line on one of the nodes in your installation and TSM administrator credentials to run TSM commands.

The following steps illustrate how to deploy a new Coordination Service ensemble on an existing three-node Tableau Server cluster and clean up the old ensemble.

  1. On the initial node, open a command prompt as administrator.

  2. Stop Tableau Server:

    tsm stop

    If prompted, sign in as a TSM administrator.

    Some TSM processes will continue to run, including the Administration Controller and Administration Agent.

  3. Confirm there are no pending changes:

    tsm pending-changes list

    If there are pending changes, you need to either discard the changes or apply them. Applying pending changes will take some time:

    • Discard the changes

      tsm pending-changes discard
    • or

    • Apply the changes:

      tsm pending-changes apply

    Wait until the command completes and you are returned to the system prompt.

  4. Get the node IDs for each node in the cluster:

    tsm topology list-nodes -v

  5. Use the tsm topology deploy-coordination-service command to add a new Coordination Service ensemble by adding the Coordination Service to specified nodes. You must specify the node(s) that the Coordination Service should be added to. The command also makes the new ensemble the "production" ensemble (the ensemble in use) and removes the old ensemble.

    Note: A "y/n" prompt displays confirming that a server restart will take place. To run the command without input, include the --ignore-prompt option.

    For example, deploy the Coordination Service to all three nodes of a three-node cluster, where the nodes are node1, node2, and node3:

    tsm topology deploy-coordination-service -n node1,node2,node3

    Wait until the command completes and you are returned to the system prompt.

  6. Start Tableau Server:

    tsm start

For more information and details on deploying a new Coordination Service ensemble, see Deploy a Coordination Service Ensemble .

Step 7: Configure Client File Services (CFS) on additional nodes

Add CFS to additional nodes. We recommend you add CFS to every node running the Coordination Service.

Note: This operation includes steps that you may need to perform using the TSM command line. To use the TSM CLI you need administrator access to the command line on one of the nodes in your installation and TSM administrator credentials to run TSM commands.

  1. On the initial node, open a command prompt as administrator.

  2. Find the node ID for the node you are adding CFS to:

    tsm topology list-nodes -v

  3. Add CFS on the node by specifying the node, the process, and a single instance.

    For example, this command adds an instance of CFS to node2:

    tsm topology set-process -n node2 -pr clientfileservice -c 1

    If you attempt to add an instance of CFS to a node that already is configured with CFS, an error message will let you know there is already an instance on the node.

    To add CFS to additional nodes, repeat this step for each node.

  4. Apply the changes:

    tsm pending-changes apply

Step 7: Configure processes for the second node

  1. On the initial node, set the topology for the second node. The topology specifies which processes should run on the node, and how many instances of each process should run. For details about configuring nodes, see Configure Nodes. Data engine will be added automatically when you add other processes. For details on when data engine is added, see Tableau Server Processes.

    1. Get the node-id for the new node: tsm topology list-nodes -v
    2. Specify individual processes that will run on the new node:

      tsm topology set-process -n <node-id> -pr gateway -c 1

      tsm topology set-process -n <node-id> -pr vizqlserver -c 2

      tsm topology set-process -n <node-id> -pr vizportal -c 2

      tsm topology set-process -n <node-id> -pr backgrounder -c 2

      tsm topology set-process -n <node-id> -pr cacheserver -c 2

      tsm topology set-process -n <node-id> -pr searchserver -c 1

      tsm topology set-process -n <node-id> -pr dataserver -c 2

      tsm topology set-process -n <node-id> -pr filestore -c 1

      tsm topology set-process -n <node-id> -pr pgsql -c 1

  2. Apply the node configuration changes. You will be prompted with a message that Tableau Server will restart.

                                            tsm pending-changes apply
                                        

Step 8: Configure processes for third node

On the initial node, set the topology for the new node. The topology specifies which processes should run on the node, and how many instances of each process should run. Data engine will be added automatically when you add other processes. For details on when data engine is added, see Tableau Server Processes.

  1. Get the node-id for the new node:

    tsm topology list-nodes -v

  2. Specify individual processes that will run on the new node:

    tsm topology set-process -n <node-id> -pr gateway -c 1

    tsm topology set-process -n <node-id> -pr vizqlserver -c 2

    tsm topology set-process -n <node-id> -pr vizportal -c 2

    tsm topology set-process -n <node-id> -pr backgrounder -c 2

    tsm topology set-process -n <node-id> -pr cacheserver -c 2

    tsm topology set-process -n <node-id> -pr searchserver -c 1

    tsm topology set-process -n <node-id> -pr dataserver -c 2

    tsm topology set-process -n <node-id> -pr filestore -c 1

  3. Apply the node configuration. You will be prompted with a message that Tableau Server will restart.

                                            tsm pending-changes apply
                                        
  4. Start the server:

    tsm start

Step 9: Configure firewall rules (optional)

If you are running a local firewall, then you need to configure firewall rules for all the nodes in the cluster. For more information, see Local firewall configuration.

Add a Load Balancer

At this point, all three nodes have gateways, which are used to route requests to available server processes. All gateways are active, but to further reduce the potential for downtime in the cluster, you can configure a load balancer. For more information, see Add a Load Balancer.

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