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ServiceNow Performance Troubleshooting

Some performance troubleshooting tips for your ServiceNow instance.

VPN + HTTPS 

ServiceNow currently (as of 02/26/2015) uses an https connection that is encrypted with 128-bit encryption and SSL Certificate with a 2048-bit length private key.  At many companies, you can connect to ServiceNow at work, home, or using a mobile device.  Also at many companies, you don't need to use a vpn to connect to ServiceNow, as it already uses a https connection.  You can just login into ServiceNow without a vpn.
 
When you connect to ServiceNow using that vpn, are essentially encrypting twice on that connection.  This is not necessary, and will make your connection slower than without a vpn.
 
How to improve ServiceNow Performance when working at home or offsite
 
1. Turn off vpn and login into ServiceNow directly.

Reports, Dashboards, and Filters

ServiceNow is largely open platform, and empowers users to build their own reports, filters, and dashboards. However an user can create a report that is poorly designed and takes a lot time to run.  You can also create dashboards with too many gauges that takes a long time to load. 
 
ServiceNow has added new features over the years to limit this impact.

  • Report Export Limits.  Can only export so many records
  • List Limits. Can only show so many items in a list
  • Report Run Time.  In ServiceNow Fuji, there is a run time on reports that we can run in the future to find slow reports.

Poorly designed reports and dashboards can not only affect a single users session, but can affect overall performance. 
 
Things you can do to improve your ServiceNow report and dashboard performance

  1. Limit number of columns in the report
  2. Remove extraneous reports in your personal dashboards
  3. Set your list limits to 100 or lower
  4. Set your filter in the report to limit rows returned.  For example, running a report on all incidents that were ever created takes longer than just a report on active incidents this month.

Country Networks, Connection Strength, and Encryption

Your location can impact ServiceNow response times greatly. 

  • Some countries have a strong network connections, others less so or less consistent.
  • Some countries uses additional encrypted connections or use a decryption/encryption process to access the internet. This slows down the connection.
  • Your datacenter is located also makes a small difference.  It may be is San Jose or Culpeper, VA, or outside the US.  Use stats.do to find your Datacenter used in your ServiceNow instance.

Also if you are accessing ServiceNow via Wi-Fi or Wired, 3G, 4G...these factors will all affect your response times with ServiceNow.
 
How to improve network connection speed
 
1. Reduce unnecessary application traffic from your computer
2. Try use the best network connection available

Webservices, ODBC and Email

These are written with SOAP, REST, LDAPS, ODBC, and Email.  The email integrations are the slowest, as ServiceNow has to take all those emails and process them in queue.
 
How to improve integration performance

  1. Try to use REST webservices, which is most lightweight integration method available.
  2. Limit who can build integrations outside your instance and provide oversight
  3. Limit email integrations.  These are not great performance wise, and can cause issues with email loops and missed emails.

Browser Settings and Cache

If you use Internet Explorer, there are certain browser settings that can improve performance.
 
Keeping your browser up to date is good idea, as performance improvements and security fixes for browsers are often implemented.
 
For all browsers, be sure to clear your cache occasionally as this can affect performance as well.
 
Firefox

  1. From the History menu, select Clear Recent History. ...
  2. From the Time range to clear: select Everything.
  3. Next to "Details", click the down arrow to choose which elements of the history to clear.

Chrome

  1. Click on the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Tools.
  3. Select Clear browsing data.
  4. A dialogue window will appear, providing you with a list of checkboxes for the types of information that you wish to have removed.

Internet Explorer

  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. IE 8: From the Tools menu choose Internet Options. ...
  3. On the General tab, under Browsing history, click Delete.
  4. Un-check the Preserve Favorites website data box.
  5. Check the Temporary Internet files, Cookies, and History boxes

Safari

  1. From the "Safari" menu, select "Reset Safari"
  2. Click "Clear history" and "Remove all Website Data"
  3. Click Reset 

Computer Hardware and OS 

Although ServiceNow runs a majority of its code on the server-side, some code is client-side, and if you have an older computer that can affect speed. 

Related Lists 

In ServiceNow, Related Lists are the lists that load at the bottom of the form.  They display records in another table that have a relationship to the current record.
 
These are most noticeable in Project Management, where there can be many related lists.  When you open a project form, ServiceNow has not only has to load that project record, but also do all the queries for the related lists before the form loads.  ServiceNow Fuji allows you to adjust the related list loading settings, which can greatly improve performance.

Hope that helps,
Mike