Performance control Strategy in SAP projects/development




1. Capacity planning

2. Application performance control

3. Deployment/configuration

4.Post production support


In SAP performance introduction, It is mentioned that performance of sap application is about time, resources and resident-ship. Since performance is a built-in quality, it is important that we have a good performance control strategy in place when a project/development starts.

So what performance control strategy should we use? Before we talk about that, I think we need to understand the performance goals of a project. The ultimate goal of performance control in my view is to meet performance requirement and low total cost of ownership of technical solution. This ultimate goal is supported by following important goals:

To achieve above goals, performance work in a SAP project can be divided into 3 main areas based on type of work in my view.

Capacity planning, application performance control and deployment are carried out based on business input/requirement. Each of them is an integral part of project performance work and they interact with each other. No matter how good the performance is, it would need resource to support its’ operation. Poor performance of application solution can result in more demand in hardware capacity. Poor deployment of application and hardware can create performance issue or more demand in capacity as well.

Capacity planning, application performance control and deployment/configuration work completes performance works of SAP development performance control in a SAP project – I would like to refer it as “total performance control” . Yes, this is a workable performance control strategy I introduced in all SAP projects I was responsible for.

1. Capacity planning

All software solution needs a hardware environment to function. Capacity planning is to assess hardware requirement to support additional workload in the designated system from the project. Capacity planning should be a part of the SAP project planning when the project is started and completed with the verification after the project goes alive.

Capacity planning can be a simple and quick work or complex and significant effort depends on type of project and scope of project. If a project is not going to bring new user or new volume into an existing SAP production environment, resulting of evaluation is normally that there is no capacity planning needed. However in some cases the project can create additional capacity requirement even it brings no new users and workload such as move a very significant volume from off-peak window to a peak window.

For new SAP production box setup or a sap project which would bring significant # of new users and significant volume of business transaction to an existing SAP production box, capacity planning is a normally must.

How do we measure resource requirement of a solution? SAP has developed a standard performance benchmark to measure capacity of a system configuration for SAP application. It is called SAP Application Performance Standards(SAPS). It is a hardware independent measurement. A hardware supplier can map SAPS to the physical system configuration.

What is the tool used to know SAPS requirement SAP tool – “Quicker Sizer” is a tool to convert business performance requirements to SAPS, main memory and Disc I/O based on standard SAP solution.

SAP Quick-Sizer tool does sizing based on a user-based or a throughput-based approach. It does not care about your local development. If your project solution has a lot of local development, this could have material impact on the result of Quick Sizer. In this case, we need to check capacity requirement again based on business solution and make necessary adjustment before project is rolled out to production environment.

Capacity planning might be needed for non-production boxes as well to ensure that development environments are properly sized to support project activities to avoid interruption due to performance constraint.

Click here if you would like to know more about SAP system hardware capacity planning in a SAP project.

2. Application performance control

Application performance is a built-in quality. SAP application performance control in a project is to focus on prevention, earlier detection and analysis. To that purpose, Application performance control should be built into each phase of SAP project development life cycle. It starts with performance requirement collection in SAP project investigation phase and ends with production solution performance validation after the SAP project goes alive.

All performance work are carried out by human –so it is an important part of SAP application performance control that we have given an adequate performance training to business users and project developers . So the SAP developers have a good understanding on performance guidelines, standards, best practice and tools used in SAP application solution design, development and testing. This would help to avoid common performance pitfalls in SAP design and development phase. Training on business users helps business users to understand performance work and expectation better so this would facilitate performance related discussion where business input is needed. Training on business users on best practice in using system can also help to avoid un-necessary performance issue related to improper execution like executing a report with a big date range etc.

Application performance control in a project also pays attention to performance sustainability by using proper data volume management strategy.

It cost less to fix a performance concern in design or code phase. It costs more to fix more to fix the same issue in the later phase since you need to start all previous software activities up to the point when the issue is detected. It could impact the project timeline if a critical issue is surfaced in the late phase of a project in addition to stress it put on developer, business people and management. It could cost business heavily if critical issue is found in production phase.

The need to have different performance activities in different project phases is due to constraint of each performance activities. All activities in different phases of a SAP project work together to meet our goal – optimized application solutions/programs based on following measures –

  • Time – Its’ abilities to meet or beat quantified business performance requirement when SAP system is in “expected” status.
  • Resources – Its’ abilities to use system or application resources as much as it needs, as minimum as possible, as when as it is necessary and in a balanced way.
  • Citizenship – Its’ abilities to be transparent to other existing/future processes/functions in the operating environment.

Adding more capacity can help SAP application performance, but we need to remember that hardware is expensive and what hardware can help has its’ limit. More capacity could not address performance issue rooted from design in many cases.

Click here if you would like to know more about performance control in SAP application/solution development.

3. Deployment/Configuration

So now you have adequate hardware and optimized application solutions/programs. Last not least, you need to integrate all those together and have system resources properly allocated or tuned according to resource usage picture from project solutions. System resources includes memory allocation, SAP work process allocations, I/O configuration, database setting, user logon group, server group, background job group, operation mode etc.

You need to properly manage application job schedule etc and allocate parallel processing and interface properly among available production application servers.

4. Post production support

Post production support or project go-alive support is not a separate effort but it is a final validation or true testing of qualities of capacity planning, application performance control and deployment/configuration effort during previous project phases. This is to verify solution performance against what is expected and capacity usage by the project is what expected. This also includes proactive check health of the solution and makes tuning when there is a need. Addressing any performance complains or query is an important part of go-alive support as well.

26 thoughts on “Performance control Strategy in SAP projects/development”

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