Teaching Tableau Server - Part Two

Welcome to the second in our series of blogs following the journey of @cloudstream_wa and @cloudstream_al in their quest to become Tableau Server Qualified Associates.


Quick Recap

In the last session we detailed the key hardware and software requirements for an installation of Tableau Server.  Thankfully both Waseem and Andrew did their homework and learned these requirements - i guarantee they'll need to know them for the exam - and scored well on a little surprise test I gave them last week!


Installation Requirements

So, we know what hardware and software we need, and it's all in place.  We now need to understand what information we need prior to installation.  Knowing the following bits of information and making some pre-installation decisions will enable our installation to go smoothly.

Administrator Account

It sound obvious, but often overlooked - make sure you are able to use an account on your server that has permission to install software and services.

Port access

Tableau Server's gateway listens on port 80 by default.  This port is also the default port for Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS).  Ideally Tableau Server will be the only service running on the server, in which case there will be no conflict with IIS.  If you are running other web services on the server then you're going to have to modify Tableau's gateway port number.  We'll go through how to do this later.  At this stage we just need to be aware that port 80 is the Tableau default and that it can be changed if required. 

We also need to be aware that Tableau requires both TCP/IP access to a range of other ports for the various services that make up Tableau Server.  We're not going to learn these, however we need to know that the full list os available on the Tableau Website and on the Tableau Server Administrator Guide (http://downloads.tableau.com/quickstart/server-guides/en-us/server_admin90.pdf)


Static IP address

Any computer running Tableau Server must have a static IP address.


Authentication Decision

At this stage we need to make a decision as to whether we want out users to authenticate to the server using Microsoft Active Directory, or Tableau's built-in user management system.  This is a key decision as it is the only configuration option that cannot be changed once it is made (save a complete uninstall and re-install).


Next time...

So, we now know what hardware and software we need to run Tableau Server as well as what decisions need to be made prior to starting installation.  Next time we'll get our hands dirty and start installing Tableau Server onto our Windows Server machine.

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