Knowledge Base

Pre-Upgrade Checklist

Product(s): Tableau Server
Version(s): 8.1, 8.0, 7.0
Last Modified Date: 21 Nov 2013

This article is for customers who are preparing to upgrade to version 8.1.x. It describes several best practices that will help your upgrade go smoothly. If you are upgrading from a version earlier than version 6.1, please contact Tableau Customer Support for assistance.

Credentials, setup files, and customizations

Before you upgrade, make sure you have the following:

  • User account credentials: For each machine you’re upgrading, you need credentials for a user account with local admin permissions.
  • Run As account credentials: Confirm that you have the user name and password for Tableau Server’s Run As account. This is the account you configured Tableau Server to run under when you installed the earlier version of Tableau Server. You can view the Run As username by clicking Start then navigating to All Programs > Tableau Server > Configure Tableau Server.
  • Setup files: In addition to having the .exe for the upgrade you’re about to perform, you should locate or re-download the Setup .exe for the server version you currently have in production (see the Downloading Tableau Products article). If something unexpected happens during the upgrade, this can help you recover more quickly.

While Tableau retains configuration settings during an upgrade, it’s a best practice to also note any customizations you have made so that you can verify them later. These include configuring SSL, changing Tableau’s default port and time out values, as well as using custom logos. See the Upgrade topic in the Server Online Help for details on where these items are configured.

Also, it's also a best practice to understand the compatibility of workbooks between Tableau Server and Tableau Desktop before upgrading. Refer to the Desktop and Server Compatibility article for more information.

Bit Version

Starting with version 8.1, Tableau Server is provided as a native 64-bit application as well as a 32-bit application. Versions 8.0 and earlier of Tableau Server were only available as 32-bit. If you were previously running the 32-bit version of Tableau Server on a 64-bit operating system, upgrading to the 64-bit version of Tableau Server is recommended. See the Technical Specifications for Tableau Server for the minimum requirements to run the 64-bit version of Tableau Server.

If you are upgrading a distributed installation of Tableau Server to version 8.1, note that the entire cluster must run the same bit version—either all 32-bit or all 64-bit Tableau server software.

Check your product maintenance status

If you attempt to upgrade Tableau Server from a server whose maintenance has expired, the result will be an unlicensed instance of Tableau Server.

To check your server’s maintenance expiration date:

  • Select Start > All Programs > Tableau Server > Manage Product Keys and look under the Maintenance Expires column.

If your maintenance has expired, refer to the Viewing and Paying Tableau Invoices article. Reactivating the product key will be part of Tableau Server Setup. If your maintenance is still current, proceed to the next section.

Create a “clean” backup

In addition to your regular Tableau Server backups it’s a best practice to create a backup just prior to upgrading. Before you create the backup, run the tabadmin cleanup command to remove non-essential files from your backup. See the “Run cleanup” section below for steps.

Distributed installations only: Whether to remove workers before creating the backup

The Tableau backup file (.tsbak) includes configuration information as well as data. Therefore, a backup of a distributed installation of Tableau Server will include configuration information about the workers, including their IP addresses. If you don’t want this information as part of your backup (for example, because you are migrating workers to new hardware as part of your upgrade), you can do one of two things: remove the workers from the Tableau Server configuration before creating the backup, or plan on using the --no-config option when you restore the backup file to your new installation. Note that with the latter option, no configuration information is restored—including the primary Tableau Server’s.

Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 SP1 or higher: If you are running a distributed installation of Tableau Server and have a worker running Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 SP1 or higher, you must remove it from the configuration before upgrading. These operating systems are not supported platforms in version 8.1. If you have a worker running one of these operating systems and it was hosting extract data, the data it was hosting can be migrated to a new machine by following the steps in the "New Machine Upgrade – Migrate Existing Content” section of the Upgrading Tableau Server article.


To delete workers from your Tableau Server configuration:

Step 1

Stop the server on the primary Tableau Server by doing the following:

1. Open a command prompt as an administrator.

2. Navigate to the Tableau Server "bin" directory. For example, type the following: cd "C:\Program Files (x86)\Tableau\Tableau Server\[version]\bin"

3.Type the following to stop the server: tabadmin stop

Note: Replace [version] with the version number of Tableau Server that you are currently running.

Step 2

Next, open the configuration utility by selecting Start > All Programs > Tableau Server <version> > Configure Tableau Server.

Step 3

In the Configuration dialog box, select the Servers tab.

Step 4

If the worker is hosting extracts or the repository, move those services onto another machine. See the Move the Extract and Repository Services topic in the Server Online Help for details.

Step 5

Select a worker server (not “This Machine,” which is the primary) and click Delete.

Step 6

Click OK.

Step 7

From the command prompt, type the following to start the server: tabadmin start

Run cleanup

Running the tabadmin cleanup command removes unnecessary files from the Tableau Server system. You should run cleanup once with the server running, which allows it to act on extraneous files in the Tableau database, and once with the server stopped, which allows it to remove log files.

To run tabadmin cleanup:

Step 1

Open a command prompt as an administrator.

Step 2

Navigate to the Tableau Server "bin" directory. For example, type the following: cd "C:\Program Files (x86)\Tableau\Tableau Server\[version]\bin"

Note: Replace [version] with the version number of Tableau Server that you are currently running.

Step 3

Confirm that the server is running: tabadmin status

Step 4

Run cleanup by typing the following: tabadmin cleanup

Step 5

Stop the server: tabadmin stop

Step 6

Run cleanup again: tabadmin cleanup

Keep the server stopped for creating a backup (next).

Create the backup file

The tabadmin backup command creates a .tsbak file containing data from your repository, data extracts, and server configuration. After you create the file, store it on a separate computer.

To create a backup file:

Step 1

From your Tableau Server bin directory, type the following: tabadmin backup <filename> -d

Replace <filename> with the name of your backup file. The –d is optional; if included, the current date is appended to the file name.

Step 2

Start the server: tabadmin start

Note: If you need to rollback to the back-up version, follow the procedure outlined in the Rolling Back to an Earlier Installation of Tableau Server article.

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