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HP Service Manager, Fulfilling your need for speed

ScottKnox ‎04-27-2013 11:15 PM - edited ‎10-04-2015 08:37 PM

Hello, it’s me your ITSM product manager, although some of you may now be thinking of me as “The movie guy”.  I know you have missed my insight and theatrical references. I have been travelling to 5 cities on 3 continents meeting many of you wonderful customers in strange and exotic locations. During my travels I was reminded how fast the world travels and how important it is to keep up.  This reminded me of a movie (shocker!!) which in turn reminded of the need for the aforementioned speed for HP software.


So let’s get started.  Are you ready to look at some ways to improve the speed and performance of HP Service Manager(SM)?


As usual we start with the movie reference.  There are lots of movies I could have gone with in regards to speed.  One thought was Days of Thunder which is about NASCAR racing. Actually though what occurred to me first was a movie that had the same star as Days of Thunder and was a wee bit faster—like Navy fighter jet faster. You know which one yet?  How about a hint:   I want to wear a leather jacket and Ray bans and shout “I feel the need… The need for speed”!  


My editor will want me to give you the movie title and actor but I think this one is so easy that we will skip it for now. (Psst, don’t tell her.)





“Tower, this is Ghost Rider, requesting a flyby. "


The point is that the speed and performance of HP software is something we all work on every day. Just like it is critical that F-14 tomcats are fast and maneuverable; the same rules apply to Service Manager. Customers submit tickets to our support teams regularly in regards to performance issues.  They are often surprised to find out that many of these issues already have well-documented solutions. With this in mind, today I present the following insights on ways to improve the performance of your SM system.   


My first piece of advice is: there are a lot of ways to get help, so don’t struggle needlessly.  As I point out in my blog Uncover what you might be missing in HP Service Manager there are lots of ways we can help. The list includes:

  • Opening tickets with support
  • Engaging with the practitioners forum (passport login required)
  • Submitting questions to the Service Manager support and news forum
  • Requesting an architecture review of your system  


Negative Ghost Rider, the pattern is full


So what can you do for yourself? One idea is to “clear the pattern” by archiving off older records.  I know that many of you need the older records for reporting and some of you are under compliance mandates to retain 5 years or more data.  In these cases I often recommend customers establish a separate reporting instance of SM.  This removes the impact of the records from the production instance while keeping them available for review or audit.  One new consideration is that HP has archive software that is valuable for Service Manager data.  You can find more info here.


One other solution is to take a close look at the database. We all know that tuning the database indexing is "key" (nice eh?) to optimal performance.  One thing that recently came to light is that for Oracle systems there is a “unique” situation where the correct indexes can improve performance by up to 50 to 70 percent.  Basically, querying into a field that allows nulls on Oracle can generate a table scan and be very slow.  To help with this situation HP current product engineering (CPE) has created a white paper and a set of utilities to help you realize this correction by setting not-null conditions for unique keys. Details are available in the SSO knowledge document KM00413937.  



Oh yea,  speaking of the database, if any query in your system takes longer than 5 seconds to complete it should be researched.  What’s that you ask?  How can you find queries that take longer than 5 seconds to complete?  Simple.  Set a couple parms in a debug node and the details will automagically get placed in the log file for you.  You can find out more in the diagnostic and tuning guide on the SSO portal    


“You don't have time to think up there. If you think, you're dead”



The next topic is login performance. The product does a lot of work at login to set up user rights and other conditions. This is kind of like launching Maverick on alert five from an aircraft carrier.  Login is typically the most obvious place to apply performance improvements. Star performers in HP R&D have made a lot of improvements in the recent version of the out-of-box solution. Those of you on 7.11 or 9.20 applications though may be able to realize noticeable improvements in login performance with the changes documented the performance_all_in_one doc.  This is a great example of leveraging your allies on the social forums at HP.  You can find this doc on the connections forum here.    


Next let’s look at a series of tuning and configuration options. Since the “nice” editor is going to yell at me about how long this blog is, I will just encourage you to check out these three articles ….


Those of you looking to improve service manager web service integration performance should consider


And if you want to have a faster web client (does anyone  not want faster web client) look at


And one last one is for performance tuning recommendations for case insensitive Oracle


So there you go.  The next blog in the “did you know series”.


As always we look forward to working with you in the forum or other venues and hope you find this valuable.  Feel free to comment on this blog to let me know of other topics you think your customers may not be aware of. 


OK since some of you actually have a life and may not know the movie reference (and to keep the editor from hunting me down), it was “Gone in 60 seconds”.  Oh wait no it wasn’t it was “Jerry Maguire”.  All right, since there is a big picture of it right here, the movie reference is Top Gun starring Tom Cruise and Kelly Mcgillis.  


Enjoy everyone


Scott Knox

SR Product Manager -- Service Management Center


Join the conversation.


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About the Author


I am Senior Product Manager for Service Manager. I have been manning the post for 10 years and working in various technical roles with the product since 1996. I love SM, our ecosystem, and our customers and I am committed to do my best to keep you appraised of what is going on. I will even try to keep you entertained as I do so. Oh and BTW... I not only express my creativity in writing but I am a fairly accomplished oil painter.

Steve Adamson
on ‎04-30-2013 07:39 AM

Hi Scott,

really great to see a blog on SM performance !


I can confirm its a real pleasure viewing the Production database IO graphs before and after




on ‎04-30-2013 10:53 AM



I think through my favorite movies over the years that deal with speed, and jumping to hyperspace circa 1977 comes to mind.


Anyhow, when/how do you see horizontial and/or vertical scaling coming into play for improving Service Manager performance? Any additional pointers or relatively quick comments here?



on ‎05-06-2013 07:15 AM

Thanx Steve.  We love to get validation from customers.


For the rest of you I want to point out that Steve and his team were instrumental in helping us validate the impact of the performance changes in the doc.  It was one of the reasons I added this particular document to the blog.  :-)

on ‎05-06-2013 06:00 PM

Cool comment Chuck. Although I personally might have waited for May the Fourth to post.  LOL 


Your question regarding Horizontal vs Vertical scaling  is very interesting. For those that are wondering, horizontal and vertical scaling refer to the way you move the knife on the fish. Seriously, they refer to whether there is one (vertical) or multiple (horizontal)  server systems supporting Service Manager.  These scaling options are available to enable unlimited user scaling and  to remove the risk of a single point of failure in the server tier.


So should you consider vertical scaling?  The fast answer is yes,  customers would likely realize faster performance in a vertically scaled configuration than in a similarly sized horizontally scaled system. Generally speaking, Vertical  scaling can be very effective in smaller implementations up to about 250 concurrent user or in larger systems if there is sufficient memory or CPU resources available.  Interestingly, customers with vertical implementations also realize improved resilience, especially on Service Manager versions prior to 9.30.


That said, Just like speed is not the only consideration for an F14 Tomcat (or a starship for that matter) you need to think about other factors. The key topics to consider are system sizing and high availability implications. 


There you go Chuck.  I hope that gives you and your favorite Wookie something interesting to think about.  Should you want more on these topics feel free to reach out to us on the forums or contact customer support as identified in my blog.


May the Fourth be with you….  

on ‎07-22-2013 10:34 AM

Hi everyone. 


I saw a couple new blogs on performanc that I wanted to link to this article.  The first is an introduction to performance testing by our performance center of excellence team.  You can see it here : 


The second is an article on how bandwidth and latency affect performance.  You can see that one here 


I hope you like them. 

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