Restore ServiceNow Data

Organizations attempting to restore ServiceNow data using the platform’s out-of-the-box (OOTB) capabilities often find serious limitations that disrupt operations.

Upgrading ServiceNow’s backup and restore functionality can remove such limitations and provide organizations with more control over how they backup and restore ServiceNow data.

How ServiceNow Backs Up and Restores Data (and its Limitations)

ServiceNow makes a daily, differential backup of your whole instance, retaining the backups for  6 days. They also make weekly instance backups, keeping them for 14 days. 

Users have no control over the backup schedule and cannot create backups on-demand. 

Note: As of May 8th 2023, the ServiceNow backup retention period was reduced from 28 days, to only 14. Click here for more information about ServiceNow’s backup and restore policy, and how the changes may affect you.

The 14 day retention period presents significant challenges, as instances of corrupted, missing or compromised data may not be discovered within the 14 day period. Any data existing outside of the 14 day period cannot be restored using ServiceNow’s OOTB functionality.

Since organizations cannot control the frequency of backups or when they occur, users have very little control over what the ServiceNow platform backs up or restores. 

Further, restoring to a previous version of your instance using ServiceNow-created backups requires users to submit a request via the support portal. Actioning such requests requires written approval from the user. 

This prevents the process from being truly agile, and the turnaround time is a concern when considering the already short retention period. 

Organizations should also be aware that ServiceNow’s OOTB restore capabilities can only recover data to the originating instance of the backup. The restoration also overwrites the entire instance, and the instance becomes unavailable during the restoration process. 

The need to factor in this downtime is another reason why the short retention period presents challenges. 

Ultimately, ServiceNow users are limited by a lack of control over the backup and restore process when using the platform’s OOTB capabilities. ServiceNow is aware of the limitations, citing:

“For production instances, a restore from backup is a last resort because the impact of a restore from a backup could be more detrimental than the issue that prompted the action. In most cases, such a restore means data loss because the data created or updated since the backup was taken will not be available after the restore.” 

How to Upgrade ServiceNow Backup and Restore

While users have little control over ServiceNow’s OOTB functionality, purpose-built solutions – including ServiceNow-native backup and restore applications – provide a better way to restore ServiceNow data.

Purpose-built backup and restore solutions grant ServiceNow users more granular control over the whole process. 

Imagine that a spreadsheet file on your computer has become corrupt. Well, you don’t wish to restore the entire laptop, which might overwrite other needed data – you just need an earlier version of that spreadsheet file. 

In a similar way, you can get more control over ServiceNow backups and restore and reduce data loss if you back up and restore at the object level. Of course, maintaining the referential integrity of recovered data would also be nice. 

For example, you might have changes to your catalog that you wish to put into production. You think to yourself, “If this update doesn’t work out, I want to restore my catalog to the exact moment before the changes were made.”

So here are some of the ways that ServiceNow customers have more granular control over ServiceNow data is restored with purpose-built solutions.

Top 6 Benefits of Purpose Built Solutions for Restoring ServiceNow Data

With the right purpose-built solution for backing up and restoring ServiceNow data, organizations enjoy the following benefits:

1. Restore only the required data and applications.

When you restore your entire instance, you lose data that has been added or modified since the backup that you’re restoring.

2. Let users initiate a restore/recovery themselves – from within the ServiceNow platform.

Without the ability to rapidly restore ServiceNow data, you risk extended downtime, delaying business operations.

3. Restore to a different instance.

By restoring to a different instance, you can migrate data and applications without having to make sure that everything is included in an update set.

4. Schedule your own automated or on-demand backups at the desired frequency.

With the ability to make backups more frequently than ServiceNow does or at intervals that you customize, you have more control to restore to a point in time that you desire.

5. Extend the ServiceNow backup retention period indefinitely.

By making your own backups, the length of time that they are retained is up to you. You are able to make as many backups as required, and keep them for as long as required.

6. Keep ServiceNow instances operational during the restore process.

When using ServiceNow’s OOTB functionality, the instance becomes unavailable during the restoration process. Purpose-built solutions can recover a ServiceNow instance with zero down-time required. 

Take Control of ServiceNow Backup and Restore with DataSync Snapshot

To maintain operational resilience and customer trust, companies must protect their data from attacks, disasters, and even just loading errors or failed rollouts. Moving quickly to protect your ServiceNow data and applications enables business to keep moving forward.

Fortunately, ServiceNow partners Perspectium provide users with a solution for upgrading ServiceNow’s backup and restore capabilities via a ServiceNow-native application. 

Backup and Restore ServiceNow data using a ServiceNow-native application

With Perspectium DataSync Snapshot, you control your ServiceNow backup and restore, allowing users to:

  • Restore in full, or select only the required data and applications both manually and with condition-based filtering.
  • Easily initiate the restoration process, as and when required, and from within the ServiceNow platform.
  • Restore to a different instance in support of migration and other use cases
  • Schedule ServiceNow backups on your terms – including their frequency – or initiate on-demand backups as and when required.
  • Retain backups for as long as you need them to limit the potential for data loss.
  • Keep ServiceNow instances operational throughout the restoration process.

Want to talk to get started with ServiceNow backup and restore? Talk to us.

Need a little more information about upgrading ServiceNow backup and restore capabilities? Click here.

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