SAP

How to maintain versatility throughout your SAP lifecycle

How to maintain versatility throughout your SAP lifecycle

There are many use cases for deploying a tool to monitor your SAP system. Releasing your application between test environments, introducing additional users to your production system, or developing new functionality—all of these introduce an element of risk to your application and environment. Whether you are upgrading to SAP HANA, moving data centres, or expanding your use of ECC modules or mobile interfaces (Fiori), you can help mitigate the risk with the insights SAP PowerConnect for Splunk provides.

Upgrading SAP

Before you begin upgrades to your SAP landscape, you need to verify several prerequisites such as hardware and OS requirements, source release of the SAP system, and background process volumes. There are increased memory, session, and process requirements when performing the upgrade, which need to be managed. The SAP PowerConnect solution provides you with all key information about how your system is responding during the transition, with up-to-date process, database, and system usage information.

Triaging and correlating events or incidents is also easier than ever with PowerConnect through its ability to time series historic information. It means you can look back to a specific point in time and see what the health of the system or specific server was, the configuration settings, etc. This is a particularly useful feature for regression testing.

Supporting application and infrastructure migration

Migration poses risks. It’s critical to mitigate those risks through diligent preparation, whether it’s ensuring your current code works on the new platform or that the underlying infrastructure will be fit for purpose.

For example, when planning a migration from an ABAP-based system to an on-premise SAP HANA landscape, there are several migration strategies you can take, depending on how quickly you want to move and what data you want to bring across. With a greenfield deployment, you start from a clean setup and bring across only what you need. The other end of the spectrum is a one-step upgrade with a database migration option (DMO), where you migrate in-place.

Each option will have its own advantages and drawbacks; however, both benefit from the enhanced visibility that PowerConnect provides throughout the deployment and migration process. As code is deployed and patched, PowerConnect will highlight infrastructure resource utilisation issues, greedy processes, and errors from the NetWeaver layer. PowerConnect can also analyse custom ABAP code and investigate events through ABAP code dumps by ID or user.

Increasing user volumes

Deployments can be rolled out in stages, be it through end users or application functionality. This is an effective way to ease users onto the system and lessen the load on both end-user training and support desk tickets due to confusion. As user volume increases, you may find that people don’t behave like you thought they would—meaning your performance test results may not match up with real-world usage. In this case, PowerConnect provides the correlation between the end-user behaviour and the underlying SAP infrastructure performance. This gives you the confidence that if the system starts to experience increased load, you will know about it before it becomes an issue in production. You can also use PowerConnect to learn the new trends in user activity, and feed that information back into the testing cycle to make sure you’re testing as close to real-world scenarios as possible.

It may not be all bad news. PowerConnect can highlight unexpected user behaviour in a positive light, where you might find new users are introduced to the system, they don’t find a feature as popular as you thought they would. Hence you would then be able to turn off the feature to reduce licence usage or opt to promote the feature internally. PowerConnect will not only give you visibility into system resource usage, but also what users are doing on the system to cause that load.

Feedback across the development lifecycle

PowerConnect provides a constant feedback solution with correlation and insights throughout the application delivery lifecycle. Typically migrations, deployments, and upgrades follow a general lifecycle of planning, deploying, then business as usual, before making way for the next patch or version.

During planning and development, you want insights into user activity and the associated infrastructure performance to understand the growth of users over time.

  • With the data retention abilities of Splunk, PowerConnect can identify trends from the last hour right back to the last year and beyond. These usage trends can help define performance testing benchmarks by providing concurrent user volumes, peak periods, and what transactions the users are spending time on.
  • In the absence of response time SLAs, page load time goals can be defined based on current values from the SAP Web Page Response Times dashboard.
  • With the ability to compare parameters, PowerConnect can help you make sure your test and pre-prod environments have the same configuration as production. When the test team doesn’t have access to run RZ10 to view the parameters, a discrepancy can be easy to miss and cause unnecessary delays.

Once in production, PowerConnect also gives you client-centric and client-side insights.

  • You can view the different versions of SAP GUI that users have installed or see a world map showing the global distribution of users.
  • Splunk can even alert from a SecOps perspective, and notify you if someone logs in from a country outside your user base. You can view a list of audited logins and browse the status of user passwords.
  • The power of Splunk gives you the ability to alert or regularly report on trends in the collected data. You can be informed if multiple logins fail, or when the CPU vs Work processes is too high. Automated scripts can be triggered when searches return results so that, for example, a ServiceNow ticket can be raised along with an email alert.

Even after a feature has completed its lifecycle and is ready to be retired, PowerConnect remains rich with historical data describing usage, issues, and configuration settings in Splunk, even if that raw data disappears or has been aggregated from SAP.

Backed by the power of Splunk, and with the wealth of information being collected, the insights provided by PowerConnect will help you effectively manage your SAP system throughout your SAP lifecycle.

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" in May.

Choose the most convenient location and date for you, and register below. We look forward to seeing you there.

Register in Sydney or Melbourne

Sydney Event—Tuesday 15 May, 12pm

Splunk Office

Level 1, 141 Walker Street

North Sydney NSW 2060

Splunkify your SAP data with PowerConnect—Sydney

By clicking this button, you submit your information to JDS Australia, who will use it to communicate with you about this event and their other services.

Melbourne Event—Thursday 17 May, 12pm

Splunk Office

Level 16, North Tower, 525 Collins Street

Melbourne VIC 3000

Splunkify your SAP data with PowerConnect—Melbourne

By clicking this button, you submit your information to JDS Australia, who will use it to communicate with you about this event and their other services.

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 contactus@jds.net.au.

Our team on the case

Work smarter, not harder. (I didn't even come up with that. That's smart.)

Daniel Spavin

Performance Test Lead

Length of Time at JDS

7 years

Skills

IT: HPE Load Runner, HPE Performance Center, HPE SiteScope, HPE BSM, Splunk

Personal: Problem solving, Analytical thinking

Workplace Solutions

I care about quality and helping organisations get the best performance out of their IT projects.

Organisations spend a great deal of time and resources developing IT solutions. You want IT speeding up the process, not holding it up. Ensuring performance is built in means you spend less time fixing your IT solutions, and more time on the problems they solve.

I solve problems in our customers’ solutions, so customers can use their solutions to solve problems.

Focus. Work hard. Stay positive. It always seems impossible until it’s done.

Daniel Tam

Account Manager

Length of Time at JDS

10 years

Skills

I am an experienced Account Manager, with a strong capability for problem-solving and creating the solutions that best match each customer’s unique requirements. I have a demonstrated technical capability across numerous disciplines, including:

  • Performance testing
  • Application performance monitoring (‘APM’)
  • IT Service Management (ITIL 3 certified)
  • CMDB, automation and orchestration

Workplace Passion

I have a strong passion for understanding our customers’ unique requirements and helping to create solutions that best solve both their technical and business needs.

Read more Tech Tips

Posted by Amy Clarke in SAP, Splunk, Tech Tips
How to revitalise your performance testing in SAP

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!

Register in one of three locations

Brisbane Event—Wednesday 28 March, 5pm

Tattersall’s Club
215 Queen Street
Brisbane City QLD 4000

 

Splunkify your SAP data with PowerConnect—Brisbane

By clicking this button, you submit your information to JDS Australia, who will use it to communicate with you about this event and their other services.

Sydney Event—Tuesday 15 May, 12pm
Splunk Office
Level 1, 141 Walker Street
North Sydney NSW 2060

Splunkify your SAP data with PowerConnect—Sydney
By clicking this button, you submit your information to JDS Australia, who will use it to communicate with you about this event and their other services.
Melbourne Event—Thursday 17 May, 12pm
Splunk Office
Level 16, North Tower, 525 Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

Splunkify your SAP data with PowerConnect—Melbourne
By clicking this button, you submit your information to JDS Australia, who will use it to communicate with you about this event and their other services.

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 contactus@jds.net.au.

Our team on the case

Work smarter, not harder. (I didn't even come up with that. That's smart.)

Daniel Spavin

Performance Test Lead

Length of Time at JDS

7 years

Skills

IT: HPE Load Runner, HPE Performance Center, HPE SiteScope, HPE BSM, Splunk

Personal: Problem solving, Analytical thinking

Workplace Solutions

I care about quality and helping organisations get the best performance out of their IT projects.

Organisations spend a great deal of time and resources developing IT solutions. You want IT speeding up the process, not holding it up. Ensuring performance is built in means you spend less time fixing your IT solutions, and more time on the problems they solve.

I solve problems in our customers’ solutions, so customers can use their solutions to solve problems.

Focus. Work hard. Stay positive. It always seems impossible until it’s done.

Daniel Tam

Account Manager

Length of Time at JDS

10 years

Skills

I am an experienced Account Manager, with a strong capability for problem-solving and creating the solutions that best match each customer’s unique requirements. I have a demonstrated technical capability across numerous disciplines, including:

  • Performance testing
  • Application performance monitoring (‘APM’)
  • IT Service Management (ITIL 3 certified)
  • CMDB, automation and orchestration

Workplace Passion

I have a strong passion for understanding our customers’ unique requirements and helping to create solutions that best solve both their technical and business needs.

Read more Tech Tips

Posted by Amy Clarke in SAP, Splunk, Tech Tips
SAP Quality Assurance Solutions (QAS)

SAP Quality Assurance Solutions (QAS)

JDS has years of experience working with numerous SAP environments across a range of customers and industries. Our status as the trusted Australian SAP Quality Assurance Solutions (QAS) implementation partner, coupled with our domain expertise in testing and monitoring, make us the ideal choice for your SAP implementation.


Experienced SAP subcontract partner

Whether you are upgrading your SAP components, installing a new on-premise environment, migrating from On-Premise to SAP HANA, launching your application on mobile devices with SAP Fiori, or developing custom SAP application add-ons or modules, JDS has the expertise to implement the right quality assurance solution to fit your needs.

End-to-end analytics and monitoring

JDS is highly experienced at interpreting the wealth of SAP data through a business context. All of our consultants work in multiple fields that relate to quality assurance, including performance testing, operations management, and service management. We take pride in our ability to ensure IT works—that means more than just installing a tool.

Why choose SAP QAS?

Reduce cost
Lower costs by applying end-to-end standards that improve the quality of all SAP solutions, including test strategy, overall solution, and security design

Identify and mitigate risk
Minimise the risks associated with system upgrades, organisational changes, and solution implementations

Improve performance
Reduce the risk of defects and vulnerabilities in custom software, plus optimise and improve system performance and stability in the operational phase

Align your strategy
Employing quality assurance services ensures that projects are in alignment with the overall business scope and strategy

Secure your application
Ensure security is built into the SDLC from the time of code development, penetration testing, and through to continuous production monitoring

JDS capabilities with SAP

End-user monitoring
JDS can help monitor end-user behaviour through our Splunk Active Robot Monitoring (ARM) solution and also leverage the SAP information in PowerConnect for Splunk across your design, development, and testing lifecycle, as well as in production environments.

Automated testing
Increase the productivity of your testing teams by automating your time-consuming manual regression test cases. JDS can support your team in automating repetitive test cases, or manage the entire process for you. Spend less time executing tests and more time fixing defects.

Performance testing
Optimise the performance and availability of your SAP implementation with JDS. Testing de-risks your project to give you confidence that your go-live will be successful. We conduct targeted performance and load tests aimed at evaluating custom code, determining capacity and finding any vulnerabilities (application and/or infrastructure) in the system.

Security testing
Security poses a threat for modern businesses, as it has privacy, financial, and reputational implications. JDS helps you protect against the threat of breach or infiltration of your SAP system throughout the development lifecycle via static code analysis, as well as dynamic penetration testing to provide holistic assurances.

Service virtualisation
In complex environments with multiple integrations, it’s not always possible to test end-to-end. With service virtualisation, JDS can help you “shift left” and test systems that are available, and virtualise the components that are not yet ready. This will help you isolate issues earlier, and allow for concurrent testing to optimise your time.

Why choose JDS?

JDS is a leading IT solutions provider and systems integrator, with expertise across industry-leading tools such as ServiceNow, Splunk, AppDynamics, Micro Focus, SAP, PagerDuty, CA Technologies, and more. We provide local, skilled, and responsive services to support IT projects and operations. Bringing together expert services, the latest technology, and best practices, JDS achieves improved IT outcomes for businesses. We do this by giving independent advice, providing training and ongoing support, and implementing IT testing, monitoring, and management solutions.

JDS is the trusted Australian SAP Services Partner in the implementation and configuration of the Micro Focus (formerly HPE) and SAP Certified Quality Assurance Solutions (QAS). These solutions cover the breadth of test management, service virtualisation, automated functional testing, performance testing, and security testing, namely:

  • SAP Quality Center by Micro Focus
  • SAP QuickTest Professional by Micro Focus
  • SAP LoadRunner by Micro Focus
  • SAP Service Virtualisation by Micro Focus
  • SAP Fortify by Micro Focus
  • Integration of SAP Quality Center by Micro Focus with SAP Solution Manager and SAP Test Acceleration and Optimisation

Our success stories

Posted by Amy Clarke in SAP, Splunk, Tech Tips
Technology Partners

Technology Partners

JDS has nearly 15 years of experience working with the top technology and enterprise system providers from across the globe. We work with a broad range of leading systems and software, but we have a carefully curated list of technology partners that we come back to again and again.


JDS technology partners

Why choose JDS?

At JDS, our purpose is to ensure your IT systems work wherever, however, and whenever they are needed. Our expert consultants will help you identify current or potential business issues, and then develop customised solutions to suit you.

JDS is different from other providers in the market. We offer 24/7 monitoring capabilities and support throughout the entire application lifecycle. We give your IT Operations team visibility into the health of your IT systems, enabling them to identify and resolve issues quickly.

We are passionate about what we do, working seamlessly with you to ensure you are getting the best possible performance from your environment. All products sold by JDS are backed by our local Tier One support desk, ensuring a stress-free solution for the entire product lifecycle.

Our success stories

Posted by Amy Clarke in SAP, Splunk, Tech Tips
Performance Testing SAP

Performance Testing SAP

Testing SAP helps mitigate risk to your reputation by ensuring your software does what you need it to do, how you need it to be done. Functional and nonfunctional testing go hand in hand to ensure SAP works when it goes live, saving your business time and money.


Ensure a good user experience

Successful SAP performance tests need to do more than just produce load—you need to understand how users will engage with your site and how the platform will respond. SAPGUI performance testing simulates users on the application clicking buttons and typing into fields, letting you see what they will see.

Fix issues before they impact your business

Migrating to HANA can boost application performance, but it pays to test your upgrade. Code optimised for MaxDB doesn’t always translate to performance in HANA. Testing your custom code will let you know what works well and what needs improving.

Why test SAP?

User experience
Have confidence that your system will support your users before going live; avoid unhappy customers and preventable downtime

Resolve issues fast
Ensure your SAP implementation is correctly configured by testing the entire system at load to reveal any weak links

Assess your capacity
Test your SAP system at 3- or 5-year volumes to help understand and plan for your future infrastructure needs

Troubleshoot code
Find out how your new features fare for an entire department versus a single-user interaction

Ensure integration
Make sure that complex integrations work with existing legacy systems

JDS testing capabilities with SAP

Performance testing
Optimise the performance and availability of your SAP implementation with JDS. Testing de-risks your project to give you confidence that your go-live will be successful. We conduct targeted performance tests aimed at evaluating custom code and finding any weak points in the system.

Service virtualisation
In complex environments with multiple integrations, it’s not always possible to test end-to-end. With service virtualisation, JDS can help you test systems that are available, and virtualise the components that are not yet ready. This will help you isolate issues earlier, and allow for concurrent testing to optimise your time.

Security testing
Security poses an important threat for modern businesses, as it has privacy, financial, and reputational implications. The security experts at JDS are available to help you protect against the threat of breach or infiltration of your SAP system through comprehensive security testing.

Mobile testing
JDS designs testing solutions to emulate real users working from mobile locations. Through network virtualisation, JDS can simulate the network conditions common with mobile users, so you can understand the performance of your remote users working alongside your desktop users.

Automated testing
Increase the productivity of your testing teams by automating your time consuming manual regression test cases. JDS can support your team in automating repetitive test cases, or manage the entire process for you. Spend less time executing tests and more time finding defects.

Why choose JDS?

JDS tests solutions based on leading enterprise platforms including SAP, Oracle e-Business Suite, SharePoint, Citrix, and ServiceNow.

We have nearly 15 years of experience optimising performance and availability for a wide range of Australian businesses using a variety of industry-leading tools. With strong domain expertise and experience in application performance, operations monitoring, and managed services, JDS is the partner of choice for trusted IT solutions and services to leading Australian organisations.

See also: The benefits of performance testing ServiceNow

Testing success stories