Common SAP system performance issues and their solutions

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Common SAP system performance issues and their solutions

Mar 24, 2023
3 minutes

SAP is the leading provider of enterprise software in the world. Many global organizations depend on various SAP systems for running their operations. Naturally, SAP system performance issues can take a toll on business performance.

Slow system performance can even lead to issues like downtime or lower user productivity. At the same time, SAP performance troubleshooting can be complex for large enterprises. This is due to the heavily interconnected global IT infrastructure and the complexity of these environments.

This article will discuss some SAP performance issues and how you can deal with them. We'll cover:

  • SAP performance issues impacting different components of the system
  • The impact of SAP performance issues
  • Ways to optimize SAP performance

Learn how Avantra can identify and resolve all of your SAP issues

Common SAP system performance issues

Performance issues may impact the entire SAP system or particular functions/operations. Based on the symptoms the problems can be divided into four categories:

  1. SAP application server
  2. Database
  3. Network 
  4. Hardware

SAP application server 

The SAP application server is made up of the application servers, ABAP and JAVA.

The problems with server ABAP are typically system-wide, single transaction, and/or background jobs. Furthermore, slow performance may occur at specific times or continuously: when users log in for example. 

Single-transaction issues are relatively easy to resolve. However, system-wide performance issues may require more comprehensive measures and extensive troubleshooting in order to find the root cause. 

Ad hoc performance issues, like a sudden increase in CPU or memory usage, may also be challenging to troubleshoot. Similarly, a slow performance on a background job may result from CPU or memory bottlenecks.

The SAP system may face slow performance with the AS JAVA because of a particular application or the whole cluster. In addition, long-running jobs (SM37) are another common issue with AS JAVA.


Database performance is vital for the overall smooth operation of the SAP system. Generally, the problems may include slow data retrieval, long procedures, or administration errors. 

The troubleshooting process may vary depending on your database (SAP HANA, Oracle, MaxDB, DB2/DB6, MS SQL Server, SAP Sybase, etc.). 

Again, complications may arise from the server's high CPU or memory usage. However, the problem may be exclusive to individual SQL statements, indicating that the overall database performance is fine. 

Network latency also impacts database performance. It's best to first check for that before moving on to troubleshooting the database.


With a network issue, all queries and transactions would be slow. You can perform a quick check, a LAN check (ping test ST06) to ensure that the network, indeed, is the problem. This quick check will indicate if there is any packet loss between the applications and database servers. 

Although, if you want a more detailed analysis, you can use the NIPING tool. It will check the throughput and clock the roundtrip time of packets between the applications and servers.


ST06 can indicate if the problems exist within your hardware. To troubleshoot hardware malfunctions, you can use /SDF/SMON or /SDF/MON, which collects key hardware performance metrics. 

Compare these metrics against earlier benchmarks to identify hardware bottlenecks, dumps for example. In addition, this performance monitoring tool can be customized to monitor continuously or at specific time intervals. This allows you to identify if the problem occurs at certain times or around the clock. 

Suppose you find that your server's hardware is insufficient and causing SAP transactions to run slowly. In this case, you may have to size your system to determine how many resources you need to support current SAP operations. 

How to improve SAP system performance

As SAP system problems, including performance issues in SAP Basis, get bigger, they can bring your whole enterprise to a halt. Regardless of your industry or enterprise size, the SAP system can impact every aspect of business operations. 

Optimizing SAP performance is an ongoing process. This ensures that there are no downtimes and everything runs smoothly. For this, you need to run a SAP system health check and closely monitor performance metrics. 

Unfortunately, SAP doesn't provide robust means to monitor performance and troubleshoot issues in a single step. A detailed analysis of each system component must be conducted in order to identify the root cause, possibly taking days: ultimately impacting your operations and bottom line.

A better approach would be to use an independent solution that can observe SAP performance, keeping tabs on critical tasks, work processes, batch processes, database statistics, etc. This is where Avantra, an SAP automation solution, comes in. The modern platform can optimize performance through constant observability. 

With an SAP performance dashboard, the platform proactively approaches SAP system monitoring, empowers engineers, administrators, and users to take action quickly. Furthermore, recurring performance issues typically have a known resolution. In these cases, the team understands what they need to do to resolve these recurring performance issues that are displayed on data driven visual elements in the dashboards. These recurring issues are prime examples of where a simple script to resolve the issue may be. Having an all in one platform, like Avantra, will not only give you the insights into the performance issues but can initiate a script to resolve the problem. This keeps the team focused on bigger picture projects and keeps the business moving along with no performance issues.

Automate SAP for better performance

SAP system performance issues, if overlooked, can cause serious problems in the long run. Even if the problem isn't system-wide, it's worth looking into and resolving promptly. 

Automating SAP performance monitoring and optimization is a step in the right direction. It can give you the opportunity to maximize your enterprise operations. Avantra is a leading AIOps solution that can help optimize the SAP system and other tools used within your enterprise. 

If you want to prevent costly performance and security issues with the SAP system, talk with one of our SAP experts today.