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When you are responsible for operating your SAP systems, you are surely familiar with SAP EarlyWatch Alert. It’s an automatic diagnostic service for the essential administrative areas of an SAP system, creating alerts on critical situations and offering guidance to improve performance and stability. SAP recommends that you consume the corresponding reports in the cloud-based SAP EarlyWatch Alert apps in SAP for Me.

One of the latest enhancements in the SAP EarlyWatch Alert Workspace are the Event Statistics, which I have already presented in the blog Performance Evaluation after Upgrades and Conversions with SAP EarlyWatch Alert. The card shows performance changes of your managed systems after upgrades and conversions.

One of the key KPIs in this context are “severe slowdowns”. This is a performance degradation within a relevant task type during one hour (e.g. 09:00 - 10:00 on a Monday) compared to the analogous hours of the past weeks. By comparing an hourly slot of a week only to the same slots in the weeks before, it is ensured that the workload and the execution of reports or related functions are similar enough to make such a comparison meaningful. A task type is regarded as relevant if it has an direct impact for the response time experienced by the end-user - in detail DIALOG, HTTP, HTTPS, and WS-HTTP.

If you are interested, the exact requirements for a severe slowdown during a specific business hour are:

  • Daily dialog steps are at least -50% lower than the history median.

  • The hourly dialog steps are at least -50% lower than the history median.

  • The average response time is at least 200% higher than the history median.

  • The average response time exceeds 1.8 seconds.

  • The number of dialog steps per hour in the history median exceeds 5000.

The thresholds are set in such a way that they are outside the usual range of variation and, in addition, a certain number of dialog steps must be exceeded. They are therefore relevant and statistically validated. In short: a severe slowdown is a clear indication of a performance issue that should be investigated - even if there were no upgrades or conversions for the system. You should therefore also be informed about this outside the event statistics.

This does directly lead to notifications for SAP EarlyWatch Alerts. If you haven’t used them already, you can find an introduction in Stay Informed About New SAP EarlyWatch Alerts You Are Interested In. In short, you can use the notification framework to get notified about new issues in the SAP EarlyWatch Alert service. You can define the topics and systems you want to be informed about in in the notification settings.

As an additional topic, notifications for severe slowdowns are activated on the 02.08.2022. Note that there is no severe slowdown detection and therefore no notification for SAP Integrated Business Planning for Supply Chain.

As with the other topics enabled for notifications, you also specify for severe slowdowns the views (which often means: the systems) for which you want to activate the notification - this is described in the blog mentioned above as well. As the first step, simply click Manage Notifications in the SAP EarlyWatch Alert Workspace:

In the Notification Settings for Views, select Severe Slowdowns in the multi-combo box Topics for the correspondent view:

A notification is triggered if at least one hour of the week covered by a new service upload fulfills the conditions mentioned above of a severe slowdown.

But maybe it was the other way: you received a notification about a severe slowdown – but you are sure that you did not activate this notification type, and so you are wondering why you received it.

The reason is quite simple: If new topics are enabled for SAP EarlyWatch notifications, they are automatically activated for exactly the views in which active notifications already exist. In the case of the severe slowdowns, this means that if you currently have active notifications for SAP EarlyWatch Alert, the notifications for this new topic are automatically activated in all views with active notifications – for detailed information about this function, see SAP EarlyWatch Alert: Notifications for SAP HANA Memory.

Now you know why. Receiving a notification that you might not be interested in (and which you can easily turn off at any time) is less problematic than missing a notification for your systems that points you to a potentially serious issue.

Finally, let's take a look at such a notification:

As the most important thing you see the systems and timing of the severe slowdowns. Click the System ID to navigate to the system load detail view in the SAP EarlyWatch Alert Dashboard of the corresponding system and task type during that week.

Below in the notification you can find a link to this blog and, finally, the promised easy way to stop receiving notifications about severe slowdowns for that view in the future.