To make Tableau Server even more scalable, performant and secure, we’re taking advantage of new operating system level containerization technologies. Starting with the first release of 2021, Tableau Server will require Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019, or Linux.

With this change, we will end support for Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 for new versions of Tableau Server in 2021. Of course, we will support the final 2020 version of Tableau for our standard 30-month support window, so that version will get security updates and other fixes into this first half of 2023. Also, in line with Microsoft’s Windows Server support policy, we are also ending support for Windows 2008 with the first release of 2020, as Microsoft will no longer support the operating system with security updates.

Timeline of updates to Tableau Server operating system requirements

This change only impacts new versions of Tableau Server starting in 2021. Tableau Server maintenance releases that are aligned to major quarterly releases (2019.2.0, 2019.3.0, etc.) that were released before 2021 are not impacted. There are no changes to our Linux OS support. Additionally, this change does not impact our other products including Tableau Desktop, Tableau Prep Builder, Tableau Bridge, or Tableau Online.

Why are containers a big deal and how do they help you? Basically, they make it easier to scale and support your Tableau Server deployment. Think of containers as an evolution of a virtual machine concept. The operating systems and underlying infrastructure are abstracted away.  In terms of tangible benefits, the container-based architecture will make it easier to quickly and repeatedly deploy Tableau Server and manage system resources. We can also build Tableau Server to take better advantage of dynamic elasticity, offered by our cloud partners.

While two years can feel like a long way away, we encourage you to start planning your OS upgrade strategy today. Start by learning more about the benefits of Windows Server 2019, including improved identity and security features plus the ability to integrate on-premises Windows Server workloads with Azure services such as disaster recovery. If you’ve been curious about running Tableau Server on Linux, this might be the right time to switch. Learn more and see if Linux is right for your environment.

As always, we want to hear from you. Leave us a note with your comments.

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