ServiceNow backup retention policy explained

What are ServiceNow Archive Rules? 

In ServiceNow, Archive Rules are used to configure what data to archive. They are made available via the Data Archival plugin which is active in ServiceNow’s default configuration.

Creating ‘Archival Rules’ requires admin level access. Admins can create Archival Rules via the designated ‘Archive Rules’ module within ServiceNow, by specifying the names of the rule and table and defining a condition for the rule.

Once the rule is created, it is set to an Inactive state by default – users must set it to Active to enable the rule. 

Where Can I Find Archive Rules in ServiceNow?

The pathway to Archive Rules in ServiceNow is – Navigation > System Archiving > Archive Rules.

How Do I Create Archive Rules in ServiceNow?

After navigating to Archive Rules, users can create archive rules by completing the Archive Rule form.

(Required field)
A unique name used to identify the archive rule.
(Required field)
Identify the table where the archive rule should apply.

ServiceNow allows only one archive rule per table. When a table has an Archive Rule assigned, it will no longer appear as an option the list of available tables to archive.

Archive rules are specific to the table they are create for and cannot be changed. To archive another table, a new archive rule must be created.

Tables in different application scopes cannot be selected for archiving.
Archive rules for tables where update_synch is set to true in the dictionary entry cannot be archived.
ActiveArchive rules are made active by selecting the “Active” checkbox. New Archive Rules are set to inactive by default. Currently active rules can be made inactive by deselecting the checkbox.

It is considered best practice to leave archive rules inactive until the estimated number of records the rule affects has been calculated. This is so that users can verify that rule will behave as expected.
Retain referencesSelect this check box to keep the sys_id for a reference field instead of storing the display name as a string in the archive table.
DescriptionInclude a description of the archive rule to help users understand the scope of the archive event.
ConditionsGovern the conditions that must exist for the archive rule to run. For example, conditions can be applied to archive inactive records older than a specified date or time period.
Auto RearchiveControl whether a restored record should be automatically re-archived after a defined time period.
Auto Rearchive DurationDefine the time period that must lapse before a restored record is re-archived. This is a required step if Auto Rearchive is set to true.

Manual Archiving vs. Scheduled Archiving

Archive Rules can be activated immediately or scheduled as per the users needs.

To run a ServiceNow Archiver Job manually:

  1. Navigate to System Archiving > Archive Rules
  2. Select the archive rule that should be run.
  3. Click “Run Archive Now”.

Is There Anything Else I Need to Know About ServiceNow Archiving?

There are a number of things ServiceNow users should be aware of when using the platform’s default archive feature:

  • Data is archived within ServiceNow, consuming platform memory
    Data is archived within the ServiceNow platform, meaning the default archive feature is not suitable for reducing the amount of data on the platform. Other, purpose-built archiving solutions for ServiceNow allow users to archive data off-platform, in their preferred data repository. 
  • Each table record can only be archived only once
    ServiceNow’s built-in data archiving feature limits you to running archiving each table record only once. Other, purpose-built archiving solutions for ServiceNow allow users to archive a record multiple times 

The Types of Archiving Rules

ServiceNow’s out-of-the-box (OOTB) configuration makes both archive rules and destroy rules available to help users manage stale, inactive and/or historic data. 

Archive rules govern what data to archive, while destroy rules govern the conditions where archived data should be deleted.

Also available, is the Archive Related Records feature. This feature allows users to add related records to an existing archive rule.

Configuring ServiceNow Archive Settings

As standard, ServiceNow’s archive feature is configured to prevent the archive process from consuming too many system resources.

However, users can manually control/edit their platform’s configuration by adding or changing archive system properties.

Note: For organizations concerned about platform resource consumption, users can also use a purpose-built archiving solution for ServiceNow, designed to avoid performance degradation on the platform. 

Example Archive System Properties and destroy rule configurations are listed below:

Archive System Properties

Name DescriptionTypeDefault Value
glide.db.archive.batch_sizeControls the number of records an archive rule can process per batch jobInteger 100
glide.db.archive.sleep_timeControls the sleep time between each archive rule batch job run within secondsInteger 1
glide.db.archive.max_iterationsControls the maximum number of batch jobs to run within one hourInteger 10

Destroy Rule Configurations

Name DescriptionTypeDefault Value
glide.db.archive_destroy.batch_sizeSpecifies how many records an archive destroy rule processes per batch job.Integer 100
glide.db.archive_destroy.sleep_timeSpecifies the sleep time, in seconds, between the running of archive destroy rule batch jobs.Integer 1
glide.db.archive_destroy.max_iterationsSpecifies the maximum number of batch jobs to run within an hour.Integer 10

Extend ServiceNow’s Archiving Capabilities with Data Archive from Perspectium

For organizations that require more robust archival features, such as the ability to archive off-platform and avoid incurring additional storage fees, Data Archive for ServiceNow is available. 

For ServiceNow Users, by ServiceNow Experts

Data Archive for ServiceNow is a purpose-built archiving application from ServiceNow partners, Perspectium, that facilitates fast, seamless, and secure archiving of ServiceNow data off-platform. 

Easy-to-use, ServiceNow-native Application

Delivered as a ServiceNow-native application – meaning it is available within the ServiceNow UI users are already familiar with – Data Archive for ServiceNow allows users to archive a record multiple times and to an external database of your choice. 

Archive in Bulk and Avoid Performance Degradation

Perspectium’s ServiceNow-native apps were created by the founding developer of ServiceNow, David Loo, who used their intimate knowledge of the platform to create a means of extracting ServiceNow data that does not impact performance. 

Benefits of Perspectium Data Archive:

  • Improved instance performance

Perspectium extracts ServiceNow to an external database for archiving purposes, enabling faster querying, data transfers, and page load speeds by reducing the amount of data that needs to be queried, and the total amount of data on the platform.

  • Less clutter

Perspectium’s approach to ServiceNow archiving allows users to access relevant data more easily and quickly by archiving “stale” data into archive tables.

  • Reduced storage costs

Data archiving with Perspectium enables easier data management, helping organizations avoid additional storage costs arising from harboring huge volumes of obsolete and stale data.

Want to learn more about Perspectium’s Data Archive for ServiceNow? Watch our on-demand webinar to see a demo of the technology in action.

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