How to revitalise your performance testing in SAP

When you go live with a new system, feature, or application, you want to be confident in how your system will respond. Performance testing is a critical part of the development cycle for any new or updated application. Performance testing will push your SAP system to the limits, with the aim to find any performance or system bottlenecks before you go live. Enhancing your test with SAP PowerConnect for Splunk will not only help you identify bottlenecks but also get an understanding of how your underlying SAP system behaves under load.

Database metrics can be correlated with performance test data to understand how the system responds to load

There are many benefits to using SAP PowerConnect when testing SAP—starting with rapid deployment.

Rapid deployment

Whether you are using a production or test environment, PowerConnect can be quickly installed, with searchable data available in less than ten minutes. This is good news for performance testing, where deadlines are often tight. It is compatible with NetWeaver versions 7.0 through to 7.5, so if you have older components or are comparing performance after a migration to the latest version, you’ll be covered.

Shortly after installation, you will experience the next benefit—ease of access to data. With an intuitive and highly visual interface, both testing and development teams will have easy and instant access to data from all areas of your SAP system. This will speed up defect investigations, as testers will no longer need to gain special system access or need to submit requests to the Basis team to gather monitoring information.

Highly visual, real-time data

Performance testing may find issues in a variety of places. PowerConnect provides more than 50 dashboards with a visual representation of the data gathered from your SAP system. You can focus on a specific server or look for trends in a system-wide metric. The generated graphs can then be used in the test reports to illustrate resource usage or contention.

Custom code is often more likely to cause issues than out-of-the-box code, which is why it is targeted during performance testing. It can be difficult for testers to know what custom code is doing without working closely with the developers—which isn’t always feasible.

PowerConnect allows you to add monitoring of custom function modules (anything starting with Z_*) by extending its framework. Example extractor code templates are provided to let you collect your own specific metrics very easily. Monitoring your custom code gives your testers increased visibility and frees your developers to work on any bug fixes or changes.

Splunk is a data platform, which means you can mix and match data from other sources to find potential correlations. This can be particularly helpful if you onboard your performance test data. Having both sets of data lets you visualise SAP metrics correlated with test progression. For example, you could compare work process utilisation against user volume, and potentially find system limits in terms of number of concurrent users.

Splunk’s data retention is also a bonus. Inside SAP, the data is aggregated, so detail is not available after a few days or weeks. Knowing when your test started, you can view that time window in Splunk, and still have the same level of detail as the day of the test. This allows you to easily compare today’s performance with the performance from six months ago, greatly helping regression testing analysis.

Volume test optimisation

SAP performance testing will frequently occur alongside volume test optimisation (VTO). This is the process where an SAP expert will analyse the system while under load and make expert tuning recommendations. A common output of VTO is system-wide or server specific parameter changes. It’s sometimes hard for testers to know exactly what parameter changes have been applied, as they typically don’t have access to this config. PowerConnect has a dashboard in the similar vein of a “Gold master” report, which gives testers the ability to compare the current set of parameters across each server, so they can clearly see what has been applied. This dashboard can highlight discrepancies between parameter settings on different servers, which can save time trying to diagnose issues due to misconfiguration.

Parameter comparison between different SAP servers lets testers verify the right settings have been applied without needing system access.

All these benefits give you impressive insight into your SAP system in the test environment—but once testing has completed, it makes sense to have the same level of monitoring in Production. This will give you confidence that you can identify issues as they develop, or perhaps allow you to focus on known triggers so you can act before they become issues.

PowerConnect is the only SAP-Certified SAP to Splunk connector, so you can be sure it has met the stringent SAP development guidelines. You’ll benefit from all the above benefits in production, including rapid deployment, ease of use and fast access to data, a highly visual interface, and the ability to correlate with other Splunk data.

Want to find out more?

Find out more about SAP PowerConnect for Splunk and how it can be a key tool for your business in 2018 by attending our event, "Splunkify your SAP data with PowerConnect." JDS and Splunk are co-hosting three events across Australia between March and May 2018, starting with our event in Brisbane on 28 March. Register today to ensure your place!

Find out more

To find out more about how JDS can help you implement PowerConnect, contact our team today on 1300 780 432, or email [email protected].

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