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Author's profile photo Dirk Jenrich

Performance Evaluation after Upgrades and Conversions with SAP EarlyWatch Alert

When you are responsible for operating your SAP systems, you are surely familiar with SAP EarlyWatch Alert. It’s an automatic diagnostic service for the essential administrative areas of an SAP system, creating alerts on critical situations and offering guidance to improve performance and stability. SAP recommends that you consume the corresponding reports in the cloud-based SAP EarlyWatch Alert apps in the SAP ONE Support Launchpad and its successor, SAP for Me.

As of now, the SAP EarlyWatch Alert Workspace (your central landing page for your system landscape regarding stability, configuration, hardware utilization and performance) contains a new card called Event Statistics.

This probably leaves you with two questions: What are events and why are they interesting to me?

Well, for the first question: events are significant changes in the technical boundary conditions of a system, such as SAP S/4HANA conversions (which is a migration by upgrading from an existing ERP system to SAP S/4HANA), SAP product upgrades, SAP HANA migrations or SAP HANA upgrades. The first two types of events are already implemented in the first version, SAP HANA migrations and SAP HANA Upgrades are in the pipeline and will be delivered in the second version. You monitor for sure always the corresponding systems after such a change particularly intensively and are interested in the following aspects:

  • How did the system performance and system load change?
  • Are there any regressions?
  • Are your customizations and modifications still working as expected?

The answers to all these questions are now at your disposal in the Event Statistics. After an upgrade or a conversion, the change in the general system behavior regarding performance and load as well as particularly relevant changes during certain business hours are displayed here. This is done by comparing the median of the measured values up to eight weeks before the event with the weekly averages of the first eight weeks after the event.

After this introduction, let’s have a closer look at the content of the Event Statistics:

After examining the card, let’s dig deeper. When you click any of the elements in the card mentioned above, an event list with further information is displayed. In this list, you can navigate to the corresponding views in the SAP EarlyWatch Alert Dashboard of the respective system for further analysis:

For the systems in scope, besides administrative information and details about the corresponding upgrade or conversion, you can see how the event changed the most important performance and load metrics. As an example, let’s have a look at some of the displayed metrics:

KPI Description

Dialog Steps

Here, the change in dialog steps of the selected task type before and after the event is displayed (in this case, the task type is RFC – by default, the task type with the largest total load is selected):

  • In the first line, the number of dialog steps, averaged up to 8 weeks after the event is displayed.
  • In the second line this value is compared with the average value of the sessions for up to 8 weeks (depending on the availability) before the event.

Click the number of dialog steps for a system to navigate to the load detail view in the SAP EarlyWatch Alert Dashboard of that system for further analysis.

Average Response Time

Here, the system performance change in the first 8 weeks after the event is displayed. The comparison is based on average weekly performance values. The median of these weekly values before the event is used as the basis of the comparisons (minimum 3, maximum 8 weeks). This value is compared to the weekly averages for the first 8 weeks after the event and the change in percent is displayed in 8 bars. In the tooltip, the numerical values of the changes are displayed.

The above example makes the sometimes astonishing improvements of an upgrade for the system performance transparent. After a click into the SAP EarlyWatch Alert Dashboard you can see the change of the dialog response time due to the upgrade:

Severe Slowdowns

A significant performance degradation during specific hours (e.g. 09:00 – 10:00 every Monday) often indicates that reports or similar functions that are always executed at same times have been potentially impacted by an event and further investigations are needed. Such an occurrence is called a Severe Slowdown. If you are interested, the exact requirements for a severe slowdown during a specific business hour are:

  • Daily dialog steps are at least -50% lower than the history median.
  • The hourly dialog steps are at least -50% lower than the history median.
  • The average response time is at least 70% higher than the history median.
  • The average response time exceeds 1.5 seconds.
  • The number of dialog steps per hour in the history median exceeds 5000.

Here, the number of severe slowdowns after an event is displayed. Click the number to display date and time of the single occurrences. Click the time slot to navigate to the system load detail view in the SAP EarlyWatch Alert Dashboard of the corresponding system and task type during that week. In this case it looks like that every Friday between 18:00 and 19:00 a regular incident (e.g. a scheduled report) affects the performance of the system.

In summary, the card Event Statistics now provides you with a central location in the SAP EarlyWatch Alert Workspace to evaluate the performance after upgrades and conversions in your system landscape. It displays the most important KPIs for both general system usage and performance, as well as for potential issues regarding specific functions or time slots. The event information is well integrated in the SAP EarlyWatch alert infrastructure offering the possibility of drill-downs in the appropriate views of the SAP EarlyWatch Alert Dashboard.

For more information, see the in-app help of the card and the event list.

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