When it comes to optimizing a system, there are a couple different options. Global and Hammer Optimization are the two global techniques available in OpticStudio, located under the Optimize tab.
These two algorithms differ most prominently in the scope of their search. Global optimization is great if you are looking to explore possible design forms. It searches more broadly over all the parameters, saving the 10 best solutions for you. Hammer optimization, on the other hand, is more useful for improving a design you already have. It searches for similar designs that have lower merit functions. However, it does not search on as large of a scale as the Global Search. In many projects, it will likely help for you to use both! Generally, Global optimization would be used in the early stages of the project as you test out the design space, followed by some local optimization, and finally Hammer optimization to more thoroughly improve your design.