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      Tableau Server vs Tableau Cloud: Which Deployment Option Should You Go For?

      Sep 19, 2023

      4 minute read

      In this data-driven world, gaining meaningful insights is no longer a can-have, it’s an absolute necessity for businesses aiming to thrive in the digital age.

      As organizations grapple with vast amounts of information, tools that can help them make sense of it all have become invaluable.

      That being said, Tableau has emerged as a trailblazing data visualization and business intelligence platform that has revolutionized the way we analyze, interpret, and act on data.

      To fully leverage Tableau’s benefits, it is imperative to make a well-informed decision regarding the appropriate deployment option – the robust Tableau Server or the cutting-edge Tableau Cloud.

      In this blog post, we aim to take you through the maze of Tableau deployment options, shedding light on the features, pros, and cons of Tableau Server as well as Tableau Cloud.

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      Tableau Server: On-Premise Powerhouse

      Tableau Server is an on-premise deployment option that allows organizations to host and manage Tableau within their own data centers or private cloud infrastructure. With Tableau Server, companies have complete control over the hardware, security, and infrastructure, providing them with greater flexibility and customization options.


      • Data Security: Keep your sensitive data close to home with Tableau Server’s on-premise setup, reducing the risks associated with cloud-based solutions.
      • Customization Galore: Customize Tableau to your liking and create a tailored analytics environment that perfectly suits your business needs.
      • Seamless Integration: Tableau Server effortlessly syncs with your existing systems, databases, and security protocols, making it a breeze to incorporate into your IT ecosystem.


      • High Maintenance: Expect to dedicate time and resources for continuous maintenance and updates to ensure your Tableau Server operates smoothly and effectively.
      • Scaling Challenges: Expanding your Tableau Server may require additional hardware and infrastructure investments, making scalability a potential hurdle.

      Tableau Cloud: A Convenient and Scalable Solution

      Tableau Cloud, also known as Tableau Online, is a fully hosted and managed cloud-based deployment option provided by Tableau itself. It allows organizations to access Tableau’s capabilities without the need to manage infrastructure, making it an attractive choice for businesses looking for a hassle-free setup.


      • Lightning-Fast Deployment: With a seamless deployment process, you can launch your Tableau solution in record time.
      • Flexible Scaling: Scale up or down with ease to accommodate growing data volumes and user demands.
      • Effortless Updates: Tableau Cloud automatically delivers updates to keep you at the forefront of analytics innovation.


      • Data Transfer Speed: Uploading and downloading large datasets to and from Tableau Cloud can be time-consuming.
      • Customization Constraints: Tableau Cloud may have limitations when it comes to customization options compared to the Server counterpart.

      Navigating the Tableau Frontier: Choosing Between Server and Cloud

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      Tableau Cloud Migration: All You Need to Know

      Tableau reports that 70% of new customers choose Tableau Cloud over an on-premise or hybrid solution.[i]

      Going by this trend, it is easy to conclude that most Tableau users prefer the cloud over the server.

      Designed to fit your enterprise architecture, Tableau Cloud is a fast, flexible, and easy-to-use self-service platform. By leveraging data, you can make faster and more confident business decisions. In comparison to Tableau Server, Tableau Cloud requires less maintenance, upgrades, and setup steps.

      However, Tableau server users who wish to migrate to Tableau Cloud should consider a few things before making the switch.

      As a Tableau Cloud user, here are a few things regarding user management you should be aware of:

      Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): MFA is required for all users. You can enable MFA via two methods:

      • SSO With MFA: This method uses your existing single sign-on (SSO) identity provider (IdP), such as Google, Salesforce, or SAML.
      • Tableau With MFA: This method uses an authenticator app or recovery code to verify your identity.

      Storage: Tableau Cloud has a default 100 GB-per-account limit. If you need more storage, you can purchase the Advanced Management add-on, which provides a limit of 1 TB.
      User Provisioning: If you use Okta or OneLogin as your IdP, Tableau Cloud can facilitate automated user provisioning. However, if you use a different IdP, you’ll need to manually provision your users or use custom scripting.
      Sites: There is only one site per Tableau Cloud account. This means that all of your users must be assigned to the same site. If you have multiple sites, you’ll need to restructure your content to fit under one site.
      Login Experience: If you have access to more than one Tableau Cloud site, you’ll be presented with a “Select Site” option after you log in. This means that you won’t have as much control over the login experience.
      Maintenance: With Tableau Cloud’s impressive high availability SLA, you can rest assured that your users will have continuous access to your data, even during maintenance windows.

      The Bottom Line

      We have explored the pros and cons of Tableau Server and Tableau Cloud, and also discussed the factors to consider when choosing between these two deployment options.

      Ultimately, the most suitable deployment choice for your organization will depend on your individual needs and requirements. If you are looking for a high-security solution with the flexibility to customize your environment, Tableau Server may be a good option for you. If you are looking for a quick and easy deployment with less management overhead, Tableau Cloud may be a better fit.

      If you are considering migrating to Tableau Cloud, be sure to carefully consider the factors discussed above. By doing so, you can ensure that you make the best decision for your organization.

      Ready to Leverage the Power of Tableau Cloud? Talk to Us!

      Write to us at [email protected] to discuss your organization’s needs. Our experts would reach out to you and help you make an informed decision.

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