Debbie King - Sep 16, 2016

The Importance of Tableau Server Backup (TSBAK)

What's TSBAK?

If you are not a Tableau Server administrator, then you might have been thinking - great another acronym. This is an important one and is a file type. TSBAK stands for Tableau Server Backup.

TSBACK is an important step that should not be skipped. Setting up a Tableau Server environment is so easy this step is often overlooked or not known by administrators.

Quite often we see customers looking for assistance when a Tableau environment already exists. In those cases it is highly likely that the server is backed up as a whole with a virtual image snapshot, but depending on the circumstances of needing a backup – you might find that to be unhelpful.

If you need to restore, the only official supported method by Tableau is to have a TSBAK file.

How to Create a Backup File

A backup file is easy to create and can be automated in a batch script. The steps are:

  1. Open a command prompt with administrative privilege.
  2. Navigate to the Tableau Server bin directory where the tabadmin file is located.
  3. Type the following: tabadmin backup filename.tsbak
  4. You may also specify the destination of the backup file by typing: tabadmin backup “D:\MyPath\Backups\filename.tsbak

Tips for Setting up TSBAK

The only other criteria is to make sure the destination drive has plenty of free space. If you are setting up a regular backup schedule (you should) then here are some additional helpful tips.

  • We recommend a minimum of weekly to create a backup.
  • If you are on a recent version of Tableau Server, then you do not need to stop the server to create a backup.
  • When including the backup as part of an automated script, it is helpful to also backup and trim the log files. This helps keep memory free and Tableau performing at its best. See commands tabadmin ziplogs and tabadmin cleanup for more information.
  • Visit the Tableau support site for additional examples and command switches available.
  • Having an automated script makes upgrades easier since you can initiate the script off schedule and get a pre-upgrade backup file.

If your association’s Tableau Server environment is not being backed up using the described and only supported methodology, we encourage you to implement it immediately.

Written by Debbie King