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Error "Tableau Server is unlicensed" After Rebooting Virtual AWS Machine Hosting Tableau Server


Published: 06 Dec 2016
Last Modified Date: 10 Jul 2017

Issue

After rebooting the virtual AWS machine hosting Tableau Server, the following error occurs: 
Tableau Server is unlicensed. 

Environment

  • Tableau Server
  • Virtual Machine, including AWS, Azure

Resolution

Step 1

Resolve the issue in the current instance by reactivating the license. For more information, see Activate Tableau.

Step 2

Prevent the issue from occurring again. If Step 2 is not completed, an issue with exceeding maximum activations may occur in the future. There are two options for preventing Tableau Server from becoming unlicensed after a restart/reboot:

Option 1

This resolution is the most reliable - please work with the hosting provider to ensure that the following factors remain static during a restart of the instance:
  • MAC address
  • Virtual Machine ID

Option 2

If you are unable to make the above factors static, the Tableau Server license must be deactivated before restarting the instance. For example:
  1. Before restarting the instance, deactivate the Tableau Server license
  2. Restart the virtual machine
  3. After a successful reboot, re-activate the license

Cause

When restarting an AWS instance, the Tableau Server license frequently becomes unlicensed for the reason described below.

Tableau Server's license is linked to the hardware of the host, even with virtual machines. Some virtual machines will change physical hardware during an instance restart/reboot, which then breaks the licensing. For example, Amazon or Microsoft will assign an image to a new instance during restart in order to make the hardware available for updates or maintenance. 
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