How to backup tableau to AWS S3

Tasrie IT Services

Tasrie IT Services

·7 min read
How to backup tableau to AWS S3

Backing up Tableau Server data is a crucial task for administrators who need to ensure the safety and availability of their data. This process involves creating a backup of the Tableau Server and then storing this backup securely, with Amazon S3 being a popular choice due to its reliability and scalability. This article will guide you through the steps to backup Tableau Server data and upload the backup to S3, including an automation script for daily backups.

Understanding Tableau

What is Tableau?

Tableau is a powerful data visualization tool that allows users to create interactive and shareable dashboards. It transforms raw data into an understandable format, making it easier for decision-makers to see and understand trends and patterns.

Importance of Data Backup

Data backup is crucial for safeguarding against data loss due to hardware failures, cyber-attacks, or human error. Regular backups ensure that your organization can recover important data and continue operations with minimal disruption.

The Basics of Amazon S3

What is Amazon S3?

Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) is a scalable cloud storage solution provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS). It offers high durability, availability, and security, making it an ideal choice for storing backups.

Benefits of Using Amazon S3 for Backup

Amazon S3 provides cost-effective storage options, easy access to data, and robust security features. Its scalability means you only pay for what you use, and its global presence ensures data is accessible anytime, anywhere.

Preparing for Backup

To ensure a smooth and efficient process for backing up Tableau Server data and uploading it to Amazon S3, it's essential to have a clear understanding of the prerequisites. Below is a detailed "Requirements" section that outlines everything you need before proceeding with the steps outlined in the previous sections.


For Tableau Server Backup:

  1. Tableau Server Access: Administrative access to the Tableau Server where the backup will be performed. You need sufficient privileges to execute maintenance commands.

  2. Command Line Interface (CLI): Access to a CLI on the machine hosting the Tableau Server. This could be PowerShell on Windows or a terminal in Linux/Unix.

  3. Tableau Services Manager (TSM) Installed: The TSM CLI must be installed and operational on the server to perform backup operations. TSM is typically installed as part of the Tableau Server installation.

For Uploading to Amazon S3:

  1. AWS Account: An active AWS account with access to Amazon S3.

  2. Amazon S3 Bucket: An S3 bucket created in your AWS account where the backup files will be stored. Ensure that you have the necessary permissions to upload files to this bucket.

  3. AWS CLI Installed: The AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) must be installed on the same machine where the backup is created. AWS CLI is used to upload the backup file to the S3 bucket.

  4. AWS CLI Configured: After installing the AWS CLI, it must be configured with your AWS credentials (Access Key ID and Secret Access Key). These credentials should have permissions to access S3 and perform upload operations.

For Automating the Backup:

  1. Cron Job or Task Scheduler Access: Depending on your operating system, you need access to either Cron (Linux/Unix) or Task Scheduler (Windows) to automate the backup process.

  2. Scripting Capabilities: Basic knowledge of shell scripting (for Linux/Unix) or batch/powershell scripting (for Windows) to write the automation script.

  3. Storage Space: Ensure there is adequate storage space on both the Tableau Server for the backup file and in the S3 bucket for the upload. Consider the size of your Tableau Server data and plan for growth.


  1. Network Connectivity: A stable network connection between the Tableau Server, the machine running the AWS CLI, and Amazon S3.

  2. Testing Environment: Ideally, a testing or staging environment to first implement and test the backup and upload process before running it in production. This helps in identifying and resolving any potential issues.

By meeting these requirements, you can proceed with the backup and upload process with confidence, knowing that your Tableau Server data will be securely backed up to Amazon S3.

Step 1: Understanding the Tableau Server Maintenance Backup Command

To create a backup of your Tableau Server, you can use the tsm maintenance backup command. This command initiates the backup process and has several parameters that allow you to customize the backup. The basic syntax for the command is:

tsm maintenance backup -f <backup_file> -d
  • -f <backup_file>: This parameter specifies the name of the file that will be created. You should include the .tsbak extension in the filename. The <backup_file> placeholder should be replaced with the desired name of your backup file.

  • -d: This parameter instructs Tableau Server to include all the data in the backup. Without this option, the backup would not include extracts, which are essential for a complete restoration of your server.

Step 2: Executing the Backup Command

Before running the backup command, ensure you are logged in to the Tableau Server machine with sufficient privileges to perform maintenance tasks.

  1. Open a command line interface on the server.
  2. Navigate to the directory where you wish to store the backup file or where the Tableau Server utilities are located.
  3. Execute the tsm maintenance backup command with your desired filename and the -d option to include all data.

Step 3: Uploading the Backup to Amazon S3

After the backup is complete, the next step is to upload the backup file to Amazon S3. For this step, you can use the AWS CLI, which must be installed and configured on your system.

  1. Install and Configure AWS CLI: If not already installed, download and install the AWS CLI from the official AWS website. Configure it with your AWS credentials using the aws configure command.

  2. Upload the Backup File: Use the aws s3 cp command to upload your backup file to S3. The syntax for the command is:

    aws s3 cp <backup_file>.tsbak s3://<your_bucket_name>/<path_to_store_backup>/

    Replace <backup_file>.tsbak with the name of your backup file and <your_bucket_name> with the name of your S3 bucket. The <path_to_store_backup> is optional and specifies where in the bucket the backup should be stored.

Step 4: Automating the Backup with a Cron Job

To automate the daily backup of your Tableau Server to S3, you can create a script and schedule it as a cron job.

  1. Create a Backup Script: Create a script named with the following contents, customizing the paths and names as necessary:

    # Set the backup file name with date
    BACKUP_FILE="tableau_backup_$(date +'%Y%m%d').tsbak"
    # Navigate to the backup directory or Tableau directory if necessary
    cd /path/to/backup/directory
    # Run the Tableau Server backup command
    tsm maintenance backup -f $BACKUP_FILE -d
    # Upload to S3
    aws s3 cp $BACKUP_FILE s3://your_bucket_name/path_to_store_backup/
  2. Schedule the Cron Job: Open your crontab for editing by running crontab -e and add the following line to schedule the script to run daily at a specific time (e.g., 2 AM):

    0 2 * * * /path/to/your_script/

This setup ensures that your Tableau Server data is backed up daily and securely stored in Amazon S3, providing a reliable method for data protection and disaster recovery. Always test your backup and restoration process to ensure data integrity and the successful recovery of your Tableau Server environment.

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