KNOWLEDGE BASE

Many "tsbak" Folders are Being Created in Tableau the Server/data/tabsvc/temp Folder


Published: 17 Nov 2016
Last Modified Date: 11 Dec 2020

Issue

After a canceled or failed tsm maintenance backup job, Tableau Server's temp folders may contain many large .tsbak folders, outside of the location where the backup file would be saved to had the backup creation completed successfully. Possible locations for these files, depending on Tableau Server version, include:
  • <install path>\Tableau Server\data\tabsvc\temp
  • <install path>\Tableau Server\data\tabsvc\tabadmincontroller\0\backup
  • <install path>\Tableau Server\data\tabsvc\tabadmincontroller\0\backup_staging

Environment

  • Tableau Server
  • Windows: 2018.2 and newer versions
  • all Linux versions

Resolution

There are multiple potential solutions to this issue, depending on the version of Tableau Server. 

Note that Steps #3 and #4 on the below list will also resolve a number of potential issues where the backup itself is failing, which can lead to this situation.
 
Step 1: If no backup job is currently running, it is safe to manually delete these files.

Step 2: For Tableau Server 2018.2, 2018.3, or 2019.1, upgrade to at least 2018.2.7, 2018.3.6, 2019.1.3 to ensure that you are not experiencing a known issue (ID #866789) resolved in the April 2019 releases of Tableau Server.

Step 3: Confirm that the file/folder permissions for the Tableau Server install and data directory location(s) are not preventing Tableau Server from normal access to move and delete temporary files.

Step 4: Confirm that no antivirus, monitoring, disk backup, or other security tools are locking the files and preventing Tableau Server from moving or deleting the files.

Cause

There are two possible root causes:
 
  • This behavior may be related to a known issue (ID #866789) which is resolved in the April 2019 releases of Tableau Server (2018.2.7, 2018.3.6, 2019.1.3) and later versions.
  • File permission issues, or antivirus/monitoring/disk backup/other security tools are preventing Tableau Server from moving or deleting the files in the expected manner.

Additional Information

While the backup is processing, Tableau Server creates temporary .tsbak files on the nodes where the Filestore and Repository processes are located, as well as on the initial node (where TSM commands are run). When the backup completes, the temporary files are normally removed as part of normal internal cleanup of old files. 

These temporary tsbak files can be large, since they may contain the extracts from the environment's dataengine folders in addition to the Tableau Server Repository contents.

Note that tsm maintenance cleanup commands will not remove these files--however, if there are no permissions issues or third-party tools interfering with Tableau Server's ability to access them, they will normally be deleted within the first day or two after a failed or canceled backup.

Important: The largest impact from this issue by itself is that Tableau Server could run out of space on the drive, if the files are not removed. That said, the issue of the temporary files not being removed is often a symptom of the potentially more-impactful concern causing the backup itself to fail to complete successfully. This consideration is reflected in the order of the steps to resolve. 

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