How Atlantis Dubai Standardized Interactive Data Visualization by Implementing the “Tableau Server” Platform on AWS that Drove Faster and Smarter Decisions Leading to 11% Increment in Hotel Bookings

About Tableau Server

Tableau Server is an online platform that allows users to host and manage Tableau data sources, workbooks, reports, and dashboards created on Tableau Desktop. One can access Tableau Server from a web browser to create new workspaces, publish reports and dashboards, and share them with other users.

12 Jul 2022
Admin

While sharing the content, permissions can be given to each user that restricts them from editing, applying different types of filters, and sharing it further. Users can create apps and add specific visuals to create live dashboards that can be accessed through smartphones and tablets. Moreover, one can collaborate with other designers and administrators to work together and create highly customized reports for a particular field.

Challenge
  • The IT infrastructure of Atlantis where the Tableau Server platform was hosted was in an on-premise datacenter which was designed to be scalable and robust with multi node physical clusters including the server, storage and network components. However, most of the physical hardware was quite old and not equipped with the latest generation of physical servers.
  • Frequent hardware crashes and portal downtime kept troubling the availability of the Tableau Server application. Assigning a touch hand support person to power on the hardware that was down seemed quite impossible due the restrictions during covid period. Hence, Atlantis wanted to look for another viable solution.
  • Though the hardware setup at Atlantis was well equipped to meet the occasional spikes in the traffic, it was observed that over a course of 6-month time, most of the IT infra was underutilized than predicted. It was realized that spending huge amount of money on an old hardware plus software maintenance, license costs, internet bandwidth, datacenter cooling and maintenance, touch support personnel and electricity costs – were keeping the business operations challenging.
  • There was an attempt by Atlantis to select a cost-effective solution that can host Tableau Server application servers, web servers and archival data. This way IT infra can be re-provisioned to host sensitive data on-premise and the rest on the cloud, thereby reducing the overall physical hardware costs spent on a yearly basis.
Why AWS
  • Atlantis decided to migrate Tableau Server, database servers, and archival data to AWS.
  • The Tableau Server’s AWS architecture includes Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), that provides complete control of its computing resources, updates to tables in Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) and AWS Elastic Load Balancer was used to distribute the traffic to the underlying EC2 instances based on the load.
Benefits
  • Atlantis uses AWS services to provision infrastructure and deploy the Tableau Server platform to other departments within it. In addition, the Tableau Server resources that are no longer required to be run all the time are made to auto shutdown thus saving cost. Atlantis reported a 28% cost reduction after implementation of AWS for the Tableau Server platform.
  • The implementation of Tableau Server on AWS made Atlantis confident in the security of its data, and its accreditation team is enthusiastic about the monitoring and auditing capabilities provided by AWS tools. With the implementation of IAM roles, Atlantis IT team was able to isolate systems and tightly control user accesses. These capabilities were harder to achieve within the existing infra but were available out of the box with AWS
  • By adopting AWS to host the Tableau Server platform, Atlantis has been able to innovate and experiment to a degree previously impossible. For example, Atlantis compared the performance and cost-effectiveness of three different cloud solutions. Without moving to the AWS, the costs associated with running an outdated on-premise hardware would have creeped up and the alternative way of upgrading the existing on-prem infrastructure to the latest hardware models and then hosting the Tableau Server application on top of it would have taken months.