As a critical-business solution, performance degradation in ServiceNow can impact the whole organization. Often, such performance degradation is caused by stress on the system due to over-customization, large data volumes/data debt and/or poorly-optimized integrations.

This post will help you understand what might be affecting the performance of your ServiceNow instance, providing best practices to address, resolve and prevent issues. 

Tell-tale Signs of ServiceNow Performance Degradation

Users can monitor a number of common signs that indicate ServiceNow’s performance is lagging. Some of the symptoms include:

  • The homepage takes too long to load/does not load
  • Transactions take longer than expected 
  • Nodes go offline unexpectedly
  • The appearance of low or out-of-memory notifications
  • Difficulties in connecting to instances
  • Specific Java apps drain more memory than native apps
  • Programs consume an increasing amount of memory when running
  • The UI is inaccessible even though stats and threads are accessible

If you face any of these issues, it’s time to identify the underlying causes leading to them. Understanding the causes of performance issues helps you mitigate and avoid problems to get your system performance on track again.

Common Causes for ServiceNow Performance Degradation

If left unchecked, poor system performance impacts your organization’s ability to scale, limiting growth. 

The top three causes of ServiceNow performance degradation are:

Over customization 

Enterprises often choose ServiceNow for its efficiency and customization features. They can tweak the platform’s custom capabilities to cater to their unique business needs by designing custom-built applications, code, and APIs.

Unfortunately, if you go overboard with ServiceNow customization, you may slow down instance performance significantly.

With an increasing number of custom-built features, it becomes challenging to manage ServiceNow instances.

Moreover, for implementing custom features or upgrades and maintaining system compatibility with custom functionalities, connecting with multiple third-party tools/apps is essential. 

This brings us to the next major driver of performance issues.

Poorly Optimized Integrations

ServiceNow is often integrated with other systems so organizations can make better use of its data and insight. But most approaches to integration require API/web services that share ServiceNow’s bandwidth to operate.

This approach negatively impacts the performance of ServiceNow – mainly when extracting or replicating large volumes of data. 

Organizations that build and maintain their own integrations (DIY integrations) are particularly susceptible to performance degradation of this nature. Smaller organizations with more manageable data volumes often opt for the DIY approach initially.

However, as the organization scales, they experience diminishing returns in their ability to maintain the integration, and for the integration to keep up with the organization’s growing data demands.

On average, DIY ServiceNow integrations take 470 hours to build and maintain.

The requirements to maintain the integration lead to a cycle of data and technical debt – where the organization is constantly fighting to keep the integration running, rather than optimizing it to improve its performance and scalability.

Technical debt

As companies opt for quick fixes for ServiceNow integration to save costs, they don’t realize that soon they’ll be in the trap of technical debt – a significant hidden cost of poorly optimized integrations.

Technical debt arises from poor coding practices and documentation processes that accompany quick DIY and custom fixes. 

While DIY and point-to-point integrations may help you save costs upfront, they lead to inconsistencies.

Consequently, developers must resort to patchwork in constantly fixing and refining poorly optimized code that can impact ServiceNow’s performance.

Further, when developers don’t document integration processes and code, it increases the organization’s dependency on those implementing and managing the integrations. This leaves the integration itself vulnerable to turnover among the development team.

Best Practices to Avoid ServiceNow Performance Degradation

Instead of opting for workaround, ad-hoc solutions, it’s wise to adopt foolproof practices that optimize ServiceNow’s performance

1. Introduce Data Archiving Best Practices

Growing data volumes consume more and more system memory, slowing down queries, instances, and reports. But for many organizations, this data must be retained for auditing, or for analysis. 

ServiceNow users can set up archiving rules that archives data to free up system resources, or set up a destroy rule to delete the data after a specified period.

However, as with third-party API/web services-based integrations, this approach consumes ServiceNow bandwidth and can impact performance when transferring large data volumes. 

Some organizations can incur this performance degradation short-term. But for organizations that need to archive large amounts of data, or organizations that need to archive data more frequently, a dedicated, performance-impact free integration solution is advised. 

2. Identify and rectify slow queries

You can use ServiceNow slow query logs to understand how your queries impact performance. Periodic evaluation of queries will help you determine the need for new indexes, or whether you must modify existing ones.

If your columns get queried frequently and bear referential integrity constraints, you should create new indexes to optimize performance.

3. Opt for performance impact-free integrations

For ServiceNow users with large volumes of data that need to be integrated with third-party apps and databases, an integration solution that avoids web-services/API can help maintain ServiceNow’s performance. 

Perpectium provides ServiceNow-endorsed, ServiceNow-native integration applications that avoid using web-services/API calls, and so do not negatively impact ServiceNow’s performance. 

Perspectium integration applications minimize the chances of sluggish ServiceNow instance performance because they don’t rely on ServiceNow’s bandwidth to operate.

Running natively within the Now platform, Perspectium applications use “Push” technology to extract ServiceNow data and replicate it into a queue in a cloud-enabled message broker system.

The target system then retrieves the data from the queue, subverting the need for web-services/API calls on the Now platform.

By using Perspectium’s native applications for ServiceNow integrations, organizations can extract, replicate, archive and integrate large volumes of data while maintaining ServiceNow’s performance. 

Benefits of Perspectium

Perspectium provide a number of features that benefit ServiceNow instance performance, including:

  • Push technology – Perspectium applications avoid API calls to ServiceNow, leveraging “push” technology to replicate records to the message broker system, to be retrieved by the target system.
  • Load-balancing – The push technology effectively leverages non-active nodes for load-balancing to improve performance.
  • Throttle posting rate – For high data volumes, Perspectium publishes data to instances or databases via HTTP POST. It allows teams to work on otherwise performance-impacting jobs outside of the production instance.

As well as being a ServiceNow-native, Integration-as-a-Service, Perspectium is also a trusted ServiceNow partner, and provider of integration services to ServiceNow.

Created by the founding developer of ServiceNow, Perspectium leverages its expert’s understanding of the ServiceNow platform to deliver reliable integrations as a managed service.

That’s why ServiceNow decided to use Perspectium for its own integration requirements, despite offering their own integration solutions in Integration Hub and Instance Data Replication.

With Perspectium, ServiceNow are able to replicate data from 10 production instances of ServiceNow into 4 SAP/HANA databases for analysis by Sales, Marketing, Finance, and other departments.

Perspectium’s high-throughput and performance preserving integrations were more than capable of handling ServiceNow’s massive data volumes – production data alone accounts for about 20 million transfers per day.

If you’d like to learn more about Perspectium’s performance impact-free ServiceNow integrations, talk to us.

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