Ok, you have a great set of admin views for your Tableau Server(s), but how useful are they if your server has gone down and all of your monitoring or log analysis has gone down with it? Do you go old school and go through the logs manually or do you use your offline admin views?
This post, although brief, is based on a question I asked myself recently; do I have admin view redundancy?
You and your team have worked hard building your admin views and like my team have published a number of data sources to the server(s) to reuse on multiple dashboards, etc… as any conscientious Tableau publisher should! However, by only having your dashboards and data sources available on the server – especially when you have included component or log analysis for the purpose of problem solving, you may have inadvertently created a dependency. You are as reliant on the service as your users.
The first part of this answer is simple; make sure you save a copy of your admin views on your network or your local computer (a network share is my preference as multiple team members can access it). It really is very easy to forget to save a local copy somewhere where everyone can access it.
Your data is a different story. If you’re using Postgres, you’re going to lose it unless you have a mirrored version of the db located off the server, your extracted datasources are likely to be out of date in your backups too. In the event your actual server(s) is/are inaccessible for a period of time, your logs (even OS logs) are going to be unavailable also (cringe). BUT – if you’re using Splunk and have a nice little instance collating your logs, you’re in luck.
So… lets recap; your servers are down and you have a copy of your admin views available on your network. Your live Splunk data sources in your admin views are actually still working fine, allowing a fully searchable set of views giving you performance metrics, errors from the logs and even a list of events from the OS, right up to the last second. How great is that?! No guessing, no assumptions on what could had gone wrong… It’s all there, right in front of you.
Of course, you should always have third-party applications and servers such as SCOM monitoring and Netcool doing their bits, but having this admin view redundancy in place gave me a feeling of relief and security – especially as a major part of my problem solving now revolves around the analysis and output from these views.
Overview of what Splunk gives you out of the box for your admin views:
- Log collation – all of the Tableau Server logs in one place and one format.
- Perfmon data – key perfmon data such as memory, CPU, disk and network usage.
- Windows Events – system, application and security logs from the OS giving you everything that happened outside of the application.
With this data alone, I recon, anyone can figure out what happened to their servers, even a non technical user can look at them if they are portrayed well in a few views and pick out the pertinent errors and problems.
I would be interested to hear about your monitoring and admin view redundancy. Do you use admin views to carry out these type of debugging tasks? Feel free to message me via Twitter or something to let me know.
I hope this wasn’t too boring and pointless and you can sleep easy tonight knowing that when that call comes you have the data to hand.
Have a great day!