Tableau + AWS: Accelerating your digital transformation with Modern Cloud Analytics

Note: This post was updated on December 1, 2021, following announcements at AWS re:Invent.

According to IDC research, analytics spending on the cloud is growing eight times faster than other deployment types.* Having a comprehensive technology stack in the cloud can support the data integration, self-service analytics, and use cases that businesses need to digitally transform and achieve analytics at scale. To help customers unlock the power and flexibility of self-service analytics in the cloud, we’re continuously investing in our Modern Cloud Analytics initiative, which we announced at Tableau Conference in 2019.

What is Modern Cloud Analytics?

Modern Cloud Analytics (MCA) combines the resources, technical expertise, and data knowledge of Tableau, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and our respective partner networks to help organizations maximize the value of their end-to-end data and analytics investments. From data strategy and migration to optimizing operations, this collaboration helps organizations at any stage of their digital transformation journey to securely deploy and scale cloud analytics. Customers see faster time to value and reduced costs, all with validated migration processes that mitigate risk.

Architecture diagram of Tableau's connectivity to AWS services spanning raw data, collection and storage, processing and cataloging, modeling and analysis

Core product integration and connectivity between Tableau and AWS

Tableau Server and Online run seamlessly on Amazon’s cloud infrastructure so organizations with applications on Amazon Web Services have a complete solution offering from Tableau. With market leading integrations, Tableau is the natural choice of platform for analyzing the data stored in Amazon’s data sources.

Tableau connects to Amazon Redshift, Amazon RDS, Amazon Athena, and Amazon EMR—with additional connectivity and offerings announced at AWS re:Invent 2021:

  • Amazon S3 Connector: Leveraging Tableau’s Hyper in-memory data engine technology, Tableau has the ability to read Parquet or CSV files in place—without extract creation. This is the first Tableau connector to offer Parquet support. It will only be available within Tableau Desktop in a unique re:Invent build. Our objective is to enroll customers in the pre-release program for us to collect customer feedback for the tentative launch of EPS later in 2022. 
  • Amazon OpenSearch Connector: The Amazon OpenSearch Service team has created a Tableau Amazon OpenSearch Connector, coming soon to the Tableau Exchange
  • Amazon DocumentDB Connector: The Amazon DocumentDB Service team has created an Amazon DocumentDB JDBC driver that allows customers to visualize JSON data with Tableau Desktop and run SQL queries on JSON data with developer tools like DbVisualizer. Customers can download the Amazon DocumentDB Connector via the Tableau Exchange. 
  • Amazon SageMaker for Tableau QuickStart: The Amazon SageMaker for Tableau QuickStart, developed by Tableau and AWS partner Interworks, uses the Tableau Analytics Extensions API to integrate Amazon SageMaker machine learning (ML) models with Tableau's calculated fields to power predictive analytics.

New delivery of Tableau Desktop

With Amazon AppStream 2.0, a fully managed application virtualization service, users can access Tableau’s desktop-based products through a web browser instead of installing applications like Tableau Desktop,Tableau Prep Builder, and the Content Migration Tool on their local desktop. Using Tableau Desktop on Amazon AppStream 2.0, administrators can centrally manage, scale, secure, and stream Tableau products on demand via a reliable AWS infrastructure, offering 99.9% uptime.

Enhancing deployment and management of Tableau Server on AWS

Tableau Server’s Docker container deployment architecture continues to evolve to enhance the experience for AWS deployments. Starting with an all-in-one Tableau Server in a container version which allows for fast, automated, and repeatable deployments, our container architecture is now capable of automatically scaling backgrounder processes based on demand. 

The benefits of this new capability is to dynamically scale backgrounders based on a schedule or load, reduced costs for deployments, ease of deployment to cloud or container-based environments, increase in development velocity and testing, and easier automation for Tableau Server deployments on AWS.   

Post deployment, with Tableau Server Management, AWS customers have the ability to host their Tableau Server metadata repository externally with Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) for increased scalability, as well as to centralize key management efforts to unlock advanced security and compliance scenarios through Amazon Key Management Services (KMS). Plus, you can use Amazon Elastic File System (EFS) for storing extracts and workbook revisions.

Skip the server administration with Tableau Online

Another deployment option that organizations are increasingly choosing is Tableau Online, our fully hosted analytics platform built on AWS. “With Tableau Online, we're now saving more than $300,000 per year in server and platform administration costs... and our dashboard performance has improved by a factor of 2x,” said Raj Seenu, Senior Director of Data Technologies at Splunk.

“We no longer have to designate an IT Ops person or data engineer to manage the platform—those experts can now spend more time on other activities,” Raj said. “We get all the benefits of scalability and hands-off administration, and it demonstrates to our customers that we truly are cloud-first.” In fact, the organization is anticipating doubling its enterprise analytics adoption by the end of 2021. Read the full story to learn more about Splunk’s migration to Tableau Online.

Lean on industry experts for a smooth migration to the cloud

Migrating to the cloud and optimizing your deployment can be a challenging task, but you don’t have to do it alone. Tableau and AWS are equipping MCA partners with new, prescriptive migration guidance, application architecture, tooling and operating models to offer an improved, streamlined migration experience for customers.

We’re investing in partners to offer assessments, proof-of-concepts, as well as deployment and support services to cost-effectively migrate Tableau to AWS. We have expanded to more than a dozen partners as part of the MCA program across the globe, helping customers in every region of the world.

How do I get started with Modern Cloud Analytics?

The MCA program focuses on helping customers migrate data and analytics workloads to AWS to realize the benefits of a cloud-based analytics strategy. Getting started is as simple as learning which core product integrations, technical resources, or programs are right for your organization.

Want to learn more about Tableau on AWS, but missed re:Invent 2021? Check out re:Invent at home to watch our session presentation, see product demos, learn about the Tableau roadmap for the enterprise, and get additional resources to optimize your Tableau deployment on AWS. 

*Source: IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by Tableau and AWS, Cloud Business Intelligence and Analytics, doc #US46135420TM, April 2020

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