How to fix Slow ServiceNow Instances

Slow ServiceNow instances prevent users from working efficiently with the product, and limit the data and insight that can be gained from the platform.

Organizations working with ServiceNow are encouraged to take steps to prevent performance degradation, and tackle it when it arises.

Since ServiceNow is a platform that serves a range of business functions, the effects of a slow ServiceNow instance can be – and often are – felt organization-wide.

Performance Degradation: Spotting the Signs

A slow ServiceNow instance is a symptom of performance degradation on the platform. 

Generally, when ServiceNow users experience performance issues or interrupted access across applications, they witness a few common symptoms:

  • Transactions take longer than expected, affecting tasks such as extracting data and creating reports.
  • Slow and/or unresponsive dashboards
  • Unable to connect to an instance. 
  • Low or out-of-memory notifications appear.
  • Some Java applications drain significant memory compared to native applications.
  • An application/code consumes increasing system memory while running.
  • Stats and threads remain accessible, but the user interface is not.
  • An instance becomes unresponsive to keyboard or mouse commands.
  • Operations run slower than they did before.
  • Slow performance across all or specific applications in the instance.
  • Slow response time when entering data into applications.
  • The graphical user interface (GUI) takes longer to refresh.

Slow ServiceNow Instances are Quick to Generate Technical Debt 

Since ServiceNow supports a range of business functions, a slow ServiceNow instance causes problems across the organization. Problems such as limited ServiceNow data availability are common, as the employees and systems that require regular data input face delays in receiving ServiceNow data.

Organizations managing their own ServiceNow integrations expend considerable internal resources troubleshooting and then addressing the issues.

However, such teams are often already under significant pressure and time constraints, making them more likely to introduce rushed and inefficient solutions that add to technical debt over time.

For example, rather than tackle the issue at the source many organizations facing issues with slow ServiceNow reports, or data transfers to reporting solutions respond by introducing workarounds.

They attempt to workaround ServiceNow’s poor performance by performing data extensive tasks outside of operational hours.

The impact is that reports do not reflect an accurate, up-to-date view of the business. When performance degradation is severe, reports may still be incomplete by the time operational hours resume, causing delays around the enterprise.

As they aren’t tackling the issue at the source, performance degradation continues to increase over time, increasing the likelihood of significant delays and poor data availability.

Common Causes of Slow ServiceNow Instance and Performance Degradation

API-based integrations

Whether building integrations internally, or buying pre-built integrations, many organizations rely on API to extract and replicate ServiceNow data. It’s a common approach, and API-based solutions are widely available due to their compatibility with various systems.

However, despite their compatibility they are often inefficient, especially when transferring large data volumes. 

API calls share the same data layer as users that are working on the platform. This means they compete for ServiceNow’s available bandwidth, putting a considerable strain on the platform and slowing it down as a result.

Slow reports, unresponsive platform features and other performance-related issues generate a substantial technical debt and when managing integrations in-house, significant resources are lost trying to fix broken or inefficient integrations.

Organizations experiencing issues with slow ServiceNow instances should evaluate their use of API-based integrations and consider alternatives.

Fortunately, ServiceNow is partnered with an integration-as-a-service provider, whose solution is not reliant on API, and is capable of extracting and replicating over a billion records from the platform, per month.

Over customization

A wide range of customizations are available for ServiceNow, with the goal of allowing users to do more with the platform.

Many organizations find such customizations necessary due to difficulties in getting ServiceNow data out of the platform.

However, ServiceNow can be over-customized, leading to an inefficient use of ServiceNow’s system resources.

The solution is to replicate ServiceNow data externally, so it can be fed into purpose-built solutions to work with, preserving ServiceNow’s system resources and performance in the process.

The benefits of this approach don’t just stop with improving ServiceNow’s performance. Purpose-built solutions provide a wider range of functionality than is available on the ServiceNow platform. 

In many cases, it’s more cost-effective and beneficial to employees to work with ServiceNow data in third-party solutions. This way, extra ServiceNow licenses, training to use the platform, etc are not required.

Preserve ServiceNow Performance With a Native, Purpose-built Solution

Organizations that wish to extract maximum value from ServiceNow data need an integration approach that can keep up with their demands. They need a solution that can rapidly replicate and move huge data volumes to facilitate AI, ML, BI, reporting, performance analytics, and other use cases. 

As such, the performance degradation associated with highly customized ServiceNow instances and API integrations should be avoided. 

Fortunately, there are alternatives. Including data replication and integration solutions from ServiceNow partners, Perspectium.

ServiceNow-native, API-free Integrations

Perspectium provides high-throughput integrations-as-a-service. The technology facilitates ServiceNow integrations and data replication without needing to make external API calls to the platform.

This way, there is no additional strain on ServiceNow meaning more system resources are available to support employees using the platform.

Perspectium achieves this feat by leveraging its ServiceNow-native installation. Because it’s embedded directly within ServiceNow, Perspectium applications use ServiceNow’s internal mechanics to push data out of the platform – a far more efficient process.

The approach allows Perspectium customers to replicate massive amounts of ServiceNow data externally – over 1 billion records per month – and in real-time, vastly improving the availability of ServiceNow data.

Purpose Built to Better Support ServiceNow Users

Created by the founding developer of ServiceNow – David Loo – Perspectium was tailor-made to circumvent common issues facing users extracting data from the platform. 

The advantages of using Perspectium’s native, automated data replication and integration applications include:

1. Real-Time Updates with Push Technology

  • DataSync, as a native application, tracks changes in records in real time.
  • Push technology sends updated record payloads to a message bus.

2. Optimized Performance through Load-Balancing

  • Perspectium’s native application employs push technology to distribute tasks across non-active nodes.
  • Load-balancing enhances performance by maximizing resource utilization.

3. Efficient Data Publishing with Throttling

  • In high data volume scenarios, DataSync users can control the rate of data posting.
  • A staggered approach using HTTP POST minimizes the impact on system performance. This allows teams to focus on critical tasks without affecting the production instance.

4. Protect against data loss

  • In contrast to point-to-point integrations facilitated by external API calls, Perspectium operates natively within ServiceNo, pushing data out into a cloud-enabled message broker system (MBS).
  • Target systems retrieve data from the MBS – rather than directly from ServiceNow – so ServiceNow’s performance is unimpeded and data is not lost in the event of an outage at the target system during a transfer. Instead, data waits encrypted in the MBS until the system is back online.

Perspectium’s Pedigree

As well as being created by ServiceNow’s founding developer and being an official partner of ServiceNow, Perspectium also provides integration services to ServiceNow. 

“Everyone loves the product. It’s very easy to manage and we are able to provide quick results to the business – that is key”
– Venugopal Malyala, Sr Director of BI, MDM & Analytics

Rather than rely on their own, API-based IntegrationHub, ServiceNow prefers Perspectium’s integration approach that allows them to replicate data from multiple ServiceNow instances, into external repositories. 

Speaking to the benefits of Perspectium’s high-throughput integrations-as-a-service, Venugopal Malyala, Sr Director of BI, MDM & Analytics said: “we were able to scale. I definitely think this is a key differentiator.”

Want to benefit from API-free ServiceNow data replications and integrations? Talk to us.

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