How to Run Tableau Server on Amazon AWS

Published: 27 Mar 2017
Last Modified Date: 23 Mar 2018


How to build and scale Tableau Server in the cloud, using Amazon EC2 instances in Amazon Web Services (AWS).


  • Tableau Server
  • Amazon AWS
  • Amazon EC2
  • Amazon VPC console


To get started with this type of cloud-based deployment, please follow the steps below.


To run Tableau Server on AWS, you need the following:

  • An Amazon AWS account

  • Access keys for the AWS account or for an AWS IAM user who has permissions to create Amazon VPC networks and launch Amazon EC2 instances

  • A Tableau Server setup file

  • A Tableau Server license key

Configure AWS

In AWS, you perform the following tasks in order to configure your cloud setup.

Step 1: Build a cloud

Your first step is to create a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC).

  1. Sign in to AWS and then navigate to the Amazon VPC console.

  2. In the upper-right part of the page, use the region selector to choose the location nearest to you. The default region is US East.

  3. Click the Start VPC Wizard button, select the VPC with a Single Public Subnet option, and then click Select.

  4. In Step 2 of the wizard, give your VPC a name, and then click Create VPC. You can leave all other settings at their default values.

Step 2: Configure networking and security

In this task, you allow inbound traffic to reach your VPC via three standard ports (HTTP, HTTPS, and RDP).

  1. On the VPC Dashboard, choose Security Groups.

  2. Enter a name (a "name tag") and a description for the new security group. Make sure that your new VPC is selected in the list, and then click Yes, Create.

  3. Select the new security group, and at the bottom of the page, choose the Inbound Rules tab. (If you don't see the new security group, refresh the page in the browser.)

  4. Click Edit.

  5. In the Type list, select HTTP (80) and for Source, enter

  6. Click Add another rule for HTTPS (443), and a third rule for RDP (3389). Use for the Source in each case.

  7. When you have finished, click the Save button.

Step 3: Launch an Amazon EC2 instance

You can now launch an Amazon EC2 instance into the VPC that you've created.

  1. Navigate to the EC2 console. In the navigation bar at the top of the page, make sure you're in the region where you created the VPC.

  2. Click Launch Instance to start the EC2 wizard.

  3. Select an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) that meets the system requirements for Tableau Server, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Base (64-bit).

  4. In Step 2 of the wizard, select the instance size you want.

    Note: For Tableau Server 9.0 on a 64-bit virtual machine, you need a minimum of 4 physical cores. On AWS, this means 8 vCPUs. For more information, see Amazon EC2 Instances.

  5. Click Next: Configure Instance Details.

  6. In Step 3 of the wizard, from the Network list, select your VPC.

  7. Click through the steps in the wizard until you get to Step 6: Configure Security Group.

  8. Click the Select an existing security group option and then select the security group that you created earlier.

  9. Click Review and Launch, review your configuration, and then click Launch.

  10. When you are prompted, create a new key pair, download it as a .pem file, and keep it in a safe place. You need the key pair in order to create a password that you can use to log into the EC2 instance.

  11. When you have finished, click Launch Instances. Note that launching an instance can take several minutes.

  12. Take note of the instance ID.

Step 4: Create a static IP address for the VPC

Your next step is to create and allocate a static public IP address to your VPC.

  1. Navigate to the Amazon VPC console.

  2. On the VPC Dashboard, choose Elastic IPs.

  3. Click Allocate New Address.

  4. From the Network platform list, select EC2-VPC, and then click Yes, Allocate.

  5. Select the new IP address and then click Associate Address.

  6. In the Associate Address dialog box, verify the following:

    • Associate with is set to Instance.

    • Instance is set to the ID of your EC2 instance.

    The private IP address is preselected for you.

  7. When you have finished, click Yes, Allocate.

  8. Take note of the address.

Install Tableau Server

To run Tableau Server on AWS, you install it on the EC2 instance or instances that you just configured.

Step 1: Log in to EC2

To begin, you log into the EC2 instance where you want to install Tableau Server.

  1. Navigate to the EC2 console and make sure you're in the region where you launched your EC2 instance.

  2. In the EC2 Dashboard, click Instances. When the instance is running and the status checks are finished, select the instance and then click Connect.

  3. In the Connect To Your Instance dialog box, click Download Remote Desktop File to create an .rdp file that's configured to connect to the instance. The .rdp file is configured to connect to the public IP address of your VPC, which you specified in the Elastic IP address that you created.

  4. Click Get Password, and then select the .pem file for the key pair you created earlier. This fills in the private key from your key pair.

  5. Click Decrypt Password. When the password is displayed, make a note of the Elastic IP address, user name (such as Administrator), and password.

  6. Double-click the .rdp file that you downloaded earlier.

  7. Click Connect. (You can ignore the message that indicates that the publisher is unknown.)

  8. Enter the user name and password that you recorded a few steps ago, and then click OK. Ignore any warnings verifying the identity of the computer. (Click Yes to proceed with connecting.)

Step 2: Install Tableau Server

You can now install Tableau Server on the EC2 instance the same way that you would install it on a server in your network. For instructions, see Install and Configure in the Tableau Server documentation. After you create a Tableau Server administrator account and sign in, you can add users.

If you want to run a Tableau Server cluster, install worker servers on additional EC2 instances. For more information, see Distributed Environments in the Tableau Server documentation.

Configure a distributed server

If you want to run a Tableau Server cluster, use Active Directory (AD) with Tableau Server, or both, you need to add two or more EC2 instances and configure them as worker nodes. The general process consists of these steps:

  1. Launch additional EC2 instances into your VPC. Each instance must meet the minimum requirements for running Tableau Server.

  2. Set up Elastic IPs for each instance.

  3. If you want to use Active Directory in the cluster, install Active Directory in the VPC using the internal IP addresses as the static IPs.

  4. Make sure that Tableau ports are open on the VPC security group. (It is best to have all ports open and to have the firewall off during installation.)

  5. Configure the worker servers as you would in an on-premises installation.

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