Amazon EC2 Hosting and Tableau

Recently I started working with the Amazon EC2 (more) and have been pleasantly surprised. In about 20 minutes I was able to create my own Windows 2008 R2 Data Center Edition Server in the cloud with enough space to run Tableau Server.

Choosing one of the basic configurations from Amazon makes life easy to provision enough horsepower to run a product like Tableau Server but of course there are many more ways you can customize your instance to meet you or your customers needs. Full disclosure, I plan on offering cloud based Tableau Server hosting to my consulting clients so my idea that cloud services like hosted Tableau becoming the new standard for niche BI vendors is a clear alignment of interests.

That said, from start to finish I had a fully functional Tableau Server environment within an hour and was able to access it externally as well. One downside I see here is the lack of Active Directory integration for clients however, Tableau fully supports this, there would just be some networking voodoo needed to make it work.

Without Active Directory integration Tableau Server uses forms based authentication. This means you have to setup each user individually or by script. All in all the trade offs between trying to deploy an on-premise Tableau Server implementation and a cloud based one, the cloud one is definitely attractive.

I haven't fully explored what all the EC2 has to offer however I can assure you that as I start offering it to clients I'll post updates about the ins and outs of using Tableau Server on the Amazon EC2 cloud environment.


  1. What type of instance did you choose ?
    I’m currently trying hosting Tableau Server on EC2 and “Small instance” seems a little too limited (CPU is always 100%) I think I’m gonna have to upgrade to “Large instance”.

  2. Hey Ben – I googled to your website after searching for Tableau Server Hosting. Are you ready to offer hosting? I am interested for sure!


  3. Hi Quentin, sorry for the delayed response. I’m running a ‘Large’ instance and it has been working well. I also have a separate storage volume added for housing the data. Besides Tableau I have SQL Server 2008 and a couple other analytical tools installed.

  4. I am also interested in hosting tableau in the cloud. Can you share the cost info for the hosting fees including SQL server.

    I would also like to learn about your tableau offering…

  5. Hi Ben, do you have a “step by spet how to” istruction for Tableau Server installation on EC2?

  6. You do however loose any support from Tableau as they do not currently support cloud hosted versions. So if you run into issues they won’t support you

  7. Hi Ben,

    Great idea! Thanks for sharing this information with the Tableau User community.

    I’m eager to see how Tableau leverages the potentially unlimited horsepower of EC2.

  8. Ben, thanks a lot!
    My difficulty, explained by Jim Wahl:
    You do need to change the default firewall rules to allow ports 80 and/or 443 (for SSL). You can do this from the Amazon EC2 dashboard page. Select security groups on the left-hand menu…

  9. Hi Ben,

    There is now a hosting service based in Australia offering full Tableau Server hosting for $5,500 pa. Looks like you can get 2 user accounts, 1 to publish and 1 as a viewer, then have additional permission control to be able to share individual workbooks with multiple clients. Or embed into your intranet etc..

    Hosted on AWS gives confidence in uptime and speed. And it says it supports live connections, so you don’t have to worry about updates or keeping row counts below 1Million.


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