This blog post is meant to provide a general overview to Tableau Server – to be familiar with common lingo and first line questions when you meet with your Tableau Server consultant.
Once your team has decided that Tableau Server is the way to go, there are 2 key parts of how you will architect this product to match your organizations needs:
- Internal Assessment: Understanding how to configure your Tableau Server based on what are your user’s requirements
- External Assessment: Understanding your organization’s technical infastructure
Internal to Tableau Server – How to Set Up Tableau Server
Your Tableau consultant will likely ask you questions around how many users will be using the system at the same time (concurrent users). Makes sense since it will help determine how much your server has to work to “serve up” information and graphics to your users.
Also, how complex the Tableau workbook is will impact performance on Server. Take a look at this article some quick wins in this area.
Of course, how much data is being processed in the datasources will be important as well as more data= more processing= slower performance.
External to Tableau Server – Your Organization’s Network
Tableau Server will sit in your organization’s ecosystem of enterprise tools. You’ll be choosing whether to host the server on a physical environment, virtual (VMware, HyperV) or in the cloud (Amazon Web Services).
Physical servers are recommended where the data is highly sensitive and needs to stay within a specific boundary/server (reach out to your privacy and security team for guidance). Virtual Machines are the most common implementation practice.
Also the complexity of your network can be broken down into 3 components: the location of your users, data and network. For example, if your server is located in the US with your European offices using Tableau Server, and your data repository in Canada– your data will have to travel from Canada to the US (where your server is located) to be processed, and then travel across the Atlantic to render on your user’s computer in the UK (and you think you hate long haul flights!).
Ideally, we’d like for these 3 components to be as close together as possible to optimize performance.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of “What is Scaling”. We often refer to Tableau Server has a highly scalable product. What does this mean? I’ll cover this in my next blog post.