I was on a Webex with a customer a few week ago because they had a serious issue with the SMP console being very slow.
It's one of my customer, so I was a little surprised given we implemented quite a few fixes. Anyhow, we double check and we could see that the Application Pool was correctly split, and the Task Server workload was nicely off the SMP.
I opened the task manager. It showed the Altiris-NS-Agent w3wp process running at a high CPU
A glance at the Altiris Log Viewer showed the poor thing almost all red (bleeding to death???).
A quick inspection on the error all pointed to the Client Policy request and problems with patch management (SqlDeadlock and exceptions). So I asked the customer (and their partner who was on-site) if they had changed the patch management or if they were doing something.
As it happened they were running the PMImport after having removing unnecessary languages and platforms. As I remembered from past .Net articles (or book) reading exception handling is a very expensive process, so I pointed that this was the culprit.
The partner stopped the Import task and effectively, the environment and SMP console was back in working order within the minute.
So that's another point to remember when you have performance issue - make sure your log viewer is clean with as little red showing up as possible.