VMware has become one of the popular virtualization tools and as more organizations opt for virtualizing their infrastructure, it is common for organizations to use virtualization environment for running their Tableau Services. With the advancements in virtualization to make it more like the actual hardware, there are few considerations to be taken for effective utilization of the deployment.

 

Installing Tableau on VMware

The following are the key best practices to be followed when planning your Tableau instances on VMware. In addition to this, the general guidelines from Tableau and VMware should also be adhered to for the Tableau setup and VMware implementation.

 

Latency Sensitivity

Tableau is extremely latency sensitive and prefers very low latency or jitter when performing complex data visualization or analysis. Latency settings greater than 40% is recommended. Network latency between nodes should be less than 10ms with single hop contiguous network access.

 

Dedicated vCPU and RAM

It is recommended to have dedicated vCPU and RAM allocation. Tableau does not work well with burst capacity especially during peak resource utilization.

 

Disk

Tableau recommends having a high IO for performance. 250MB/s Write & 1GB/s Read. Tiered SAN is recommended for Tableau disk to achieve greater performance.

 

CPU Shares

Tableau is resource intensive and it is recommended to not place it along with other VM’s which have the same shares. Tableau Server must be given higher shares in the resource pool. Each node in the Cluster should have the same shares.

 

Reservations

Tableau recommends having reserved resources. The Reservation can be split across nodes and can be used along with shares for effective utilization. Minimum resources should be reserved.

 

VM Migrations

VMware vMotion can be used to manage VM Migrations and handle failover in the Tableau VM’s.

 

Host Cluster

For high availability, it is recommended to install Tableau on DRS-enabled Clusters.

 

VMware Tools

It is recommended to install VMware Tools to improve the performance of the Virtual Machine.

 

Worker Nodes

The worker nodes should also be added to a DRS-enabled cluster to enable live migrations and failover.

 

MAC address

The MAC address should be set to Static to avoid instances becoming unlicensed when migrated to different hosts. Tableau licenses depend on MAC address and UUID of the hardware, and changes to those during migration would make them unlicensed.

 

Boundary of Migrations

The boundary of migrations is recommended within a DRS-enabled cluster. Latency, Performance, and Hardware / MAC Address change should be considered for cross vCenter, cross vSwitch, and long-distance migrations.

 

Virus Scan

Security Scan and the in-memory engine can impact performance. Tableau applications should be excluded, or scans should be scheduled during non-peak hours. Also, the in-memory scans should be disabled.

 

We will be discussing the best practices for installing Tableau on Azure in our subsequent blog. Click here for more blogs on Tableau.

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