Replicate ServiceNow data to third-party systems

Organizations that replicate ServiceNow data to third-party systems can extract more value from ServiceNow, and make its data available to employees and departments without direct access to the platform. 

In ServiceNow, data replication is particularly crucial to ensure high data availability, self-service access, improved analysis & reporting, and minimal scope for data loss.

What is Data Replication?

Essentially, data replication involves creating multiple data copies across different locations and storage devices. It is commonly associated with preventing data loss in the event of disaster.

However, in practice the process supports a range of use cases including integrating a platform with third-party systems.

Data replication is particularly necessary when working with data in siloed systems. This is because data stored within siloed systems is often required for use by departments/employees without direct access to said systems.

In this case, data replication plays a key part in ensuring that the right data reaches the right stakeholders, at the right time, by replicating data to external databases that the wider organization can access.

What Is the Difference Between Data Replication and Data Synchronization?

There is significant crossover between data replication and data synchronization. Both facilitate types of integration. Understanding the distinction will help organizations implement the best possible integration, replication and/or synchronization strategy. 

Data replication copies data from its system or database of origin, and stores it in another, or multiple systems. It serves use cases such as improving data availability, enabling data democratization (self-service access), and protecting data against corruption and loss. 

The process does not inherently involve maintaining on-going consistency between original data and its subsequent copies. For example, backup and disaster recovery is enabled by data replication, and requires replicated data to reflect a historical record of data that can be recovered in the event of loss or corruption. 

In contrast, data synchronization ensures that data stored across multiple locations is kept in-sync and up-to-date. It removes the need for manual input and redundant processes in maintaining up to date and consistent databases, mitigating the potential for human error. 

Data replication is involved in data synchronization, but not all data replication solutions are equipped to meet the needs of a data synchronization strategy. For synchronization use cases, significant automation and dynamic triggers are required, and many enterprises require the replication/synchronization to occur in real-time.

Data synchronization plays a key role in enabling eBonding integrations between multiple solutions.

Replicate ServiceNow Data for the Following Benefits

ServiceNow data replication is particularly beneficial to organizations using the platform, as the solution is notoriously difficult to extract data from.

The ServiceNow platform is a suite of solutions that provide a number of ways to manipulate, use and analyze data. As such, there is little incentive for the organization to build, deliver and maintain data extraction or replication features.

However, in practice, organizations often use a number of solutions that can make better use of ServiceNow data, combining its insight with data from other sources for more in-depth insight and analysis. 

Many organizations also require more control over how their data is stored, such as the creation of backups and where the resulting data is stored. As such, organizations that replicate ServiceNow data to third-party systems experience the following benefits:

  • Self-service access and data democratization: Replicating ServiceNow data to an external system can help organizations more easily distribute data throughout the enterprise, without needing to purchase additional ServiceNow licenses and educate additional employees as to how the platform can and should be used.
  • Combining ServiceNow data with other data sources: By making ServiceNow data available in an external database, organizations can combine ServiceNow data with other sources to analyze it in context with the wider enterprise for more in-depth reporting, analysis and more.
  • Feeding data into third-party solutions: Data replication is required to feed ServiceNow data into third-party solutions such as analysis, reporting, artificial intelligence, business intelligence, and machine learning.
  • Enhanced application reliability: Data replication can ensure uninterrupted data availability, reducing downtime and bolstering system reliability, even during hardware failures or interruptions.
  • Accelerated data access: Multiple data copies across various locations reduce latency, optimizing data retrieval, especially for remote users, and reducing cache misses.
  • Creating backups and enabling data recovery: Data replication can be used to create multiple copies of data, improving disaster recovery and ensuring up-to-date data access during failures. 

ServiceNow Instance Data Replication (IDR) vs. IntegrationHub

ServiceNow Instance Data Replication (IDR) is available to users of the platform. However, its use cases align more closely with data synchronization than replication. 

Users are unable to use IDR to replicate ServiceNow data to third-party systems. 

Instead, IDR provides ServiceNow users with a means of mirroring data in a “producer” instance, to connected “consumer” instances to keep them in sync.

ServiceNow’s solution for replicating data to third-party systems is the API-enabled IntegrationHub. However, users should be aware of ServiceNow IntegrationHub limitations, as it falls short of many organizations requirements.

Limitations of ServiceNow IntegrationHub

IntegrationHub allows users to replicate data to third-party solutions. But many organizations’ requirements go beyond its capabilities, and organizations making significant use of ServiceNow will likely scale beyond what the IntegrationHub can manage.

  • Resource depleting, multi-step processes: Even for basic operations, several actions and steps must be pieced together, putting a strain on users managing the process.
  • Bidirectional integrations are difficult to set up: IDR cannot be used for data synchronization/eBonding use cases without significant configuration requirements in the connected system.
  • Support for basic operations only: Pre-configured data replication scenarios are made available via spokes – logical groupings of actions that facilitate data replication for integrating ServiceNow. While there are many spokes, covering a range of third-party solutions, they typically each support only a handful of actions. Custom spokes can be built, but many organizations use ServiceNow for its low-code functionality, and do not have the resources to effectively build them. 

Key Features of a Good ServiceNow Data Replication Strategy

Identify and document business needs 

The first step is to identify and document the business needs and choose a data replication method that can cater to the unique requirements. 

Organizations must consider factors such as data size, replication locations, the importance of real-time transfers, and resource availability. 

Plan for the required throughput and scalability

Organizations should ensure any data replication solution can handle the throughput of data transfer that they require. This applies to current throughput requirements, and requirements in future as data volumes tend to grow as usage of the platform increases. 

A data replication solution that does not meet the demands in terms of throughput will lead to slow transfers, poor instance performance, and poor data availability.

Be Conscious of Internal Resources

While many organizations choose to design and maintain solutions to replicate ServiceNow data in-house, custom or DIY approaches are difficult to implement and maintain, and the total cost of ownership tends to increase over time. 

Organizations that do not have adequate internal resources such as a robust development team will struggle to maintain a custom-built data replication solution and should consider working with managed service providers.

Consider Data Security Needs

To fortify the security and privacy of business-sensitive data, ensure that the chosen data replication solution supports encryption. Encrypting data during the replication process safeguards against unauthorized access. Some organizations may also require obfuscation capabilities. 

It should also be noted that API enabled data replication exposes organization’s data to greater risk, as it requires external calls to be made to the platform in which data is being replicated from. In contrast, ServiceNow data replication solutions that push data out mitigate this risk.

Assess the replication process and solution periodically 

It is essential to test the data replication process and solution to assess critical parameters such as:

  • Performance: Measure the replication time, data volume, and network impact.
  • Recovery: Evaluate the data recovery process’ capability in simulated failure scenarios.
  • Restoration: Ensure data replication can successfully restore data from backups in disaster situations.
  • Security: Mitigate the potential for breaches by ensuring users are following best practices for security such as never sharing login information.

Ongoing Supervision of the Data Replication Process

By monitoring the data replication process continuously, organizations can detect potential issues proactively and take the necessary measures. Data replication teams should evaluate and monitor the following parameters:

  • Status: Regularly oversee data pipelines to ensure uninterrupted operations.
  • Consistency: Verify data accuracy and integrity, guarding against losses, unexpected schema changes, table anomalies, or irregular data volumes.
  • Latency: Track replication time to align with desired performance expectations.

For modern, data-driven organizations using ServiceNow, it is beneficial to use advanced data replication solutions that provide high-throughput, real-time data transfers; dashboard monitoring; encryption & obfuscation technology; vendor managed implementation and maintenance; and scalability. 

Fortunately, Servicenow is partnered with Perspectium who provide all the above via a ServiceNow-native, no-code solution that guarantees users complete control over their data whilst providing 24/7×365 support.

ServiceNow Data Replication with Perspectium DataSync

Designed by ServiceNow’s founding developer, David Loo, Perspectium DataSync is a ServiceNow-native application and service for replicating ServiceNow data to a range of targets. 

Unlike the IntegrationHub and other typical integration approaches, Perspectium can transfer huge data volumes without impacting ServiceNow’s performance.

This is because unlike traditional approaches, Perspectium avoids making API calls to ServiceNow to transfer data. Instead, it works natively within ServiceNow and uses “Push” technology to transfer data in bulk, or dynamically. 

As with the IntegrationHub, Perspectium benefits from being a ServiceNow-native application for integrations.

Similarly to Integration Hub users, Perspectium’s no-code and business user-friendly applications mean organizations have more scope to focus on mission-critical activities.

The integration applications are delivered and managed as integrations-as-a-service, with 24/7, 365 support. Perspectium’s integration experts handle everything from implementation, to maintenance.

If you’d like to learn more about the following use case, click the links below:

The purpose-built solution allows organizations to replicate ServiceNow data and transfer huge volumes of data to third-party solutions. Since it works natively, using a message-broker system (instead of web services or API calls), it helps preserve ServiceNow’s performance.

DataSync helps synchronize ServiceNow production and sub-production instances, enabling It teams to develop and test ITSM data without relying on “all or nothing” cloning.

They have greater control over what data they wish to replicate and when. With DataSync, organizations can create advanced data synchronization scenarios without any coding. 

DataSync’s features:

  • Automated Datastore creation and real-time modification of schema
  • On-premise or cloud data store compatibility
  • Built-in encryption at rest and data obfuscation feature
  • Fully managed availability and throughput monitoring with OLA definition
  • End-to-end services enablement

Key benefits of DataSync:

  • End-to-end and at-rest encryption ensures that user data remains secure and private. 
  • Thanks to push data streaming, the performance of application instances is minimally impacted.
  • Since DataSync uses a message queue, data endpoints need not be up and functional all the time. This eliminates the risk of data loss during outages.
  • The message broker system allows users to flexibly re-configure the data stream without any change to the source. So the data can flow to multiple targets with minimal impact.
  • Automatic schema creation and maintenance of the data lake ensures that changes to data appear in real time as and when the schema changes.
  • With on-demand DataSync, users can use their existing Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure to configure and automate data extraction to an AWS data lake, which can be connected to a dedicated reporting/analytics tool of their choice.

Do you want to learn more about our data replication and synchronization strategies? If so, you can connect with our experts today!

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