ServiceNow backup and restore limitations may disrupt organization’s backup and disaster recovery strategies.

While instances can be recovered using ServiceNow backup and restore out-of-the-box functionality, many users require more control over how they backup and restore data. 

Data loss and corruption are common concerns for users of cloud-based applications like ServiceNow. Causes include human error, integration failure, malicious intent and even platform upgrades.

To alleviate concerns, many organizations need to overcome the ServiceNow backup and restore limitations, and add functionality beyond ServiceNow’s out-of-the-box capabilities.

Fortunately, Perspectium recently announced the availability of DataSync Snapshot. A BDR application and service for ServiceNow users, allowing for greater control when backing up and restoring ServiceNow.

Read on to understand ServiceNow’s backup and restore limitations and how they can be overcome.

ServiceNow Backup and Restore Limitations You Need to Be Aware Of

ServiceNow’s out-of-the-box backup and restore functionality is enabled by its advanced high availability architecture. 

Full backup retention limited to 14 days

ServiceNow retains full backups of production instances for 14 days. The organization had previously retained backups for a 28 day period. 

The reduction to the retention period means many organizations will need to revise their ServiceNow backup and disaster recovery procedures.

Differential backup retention limited to 7 days

Differential backups are retained for seven days and contain only data that was recently created. They allow organizations to restore recently created or updated data on a ServiceNow production instance. 

Data loss that occurred outside of the seven day period requires a full instance restore. 

No control over when backups occur

With ServiceNow’s out-of-the-box functionality, the end-user cannot control when backups occur. Full backups are created every seven days, with differential backups every 24 hours, but ServiceNow decides the schedule. 

In their policy, ServiceNow states: “Backups for a specific instance do not run on a set schedule and the time of backup is not guaranteed. The system finds the best time for backups within a 24-hour period and customers and ServiceNow cannot modify that time.”

The “best” time in this instance is subjective, and may not line up with your organization’s plans. 

Data created since the selected backup was made cannot be restored

Because ServiceNow decides the schedule of backups, the loss of “delta” data – data entered since a given backup was made – is an inherent risk. 

ServiceNow users can access a “List of backups for the instance” on the Now Support Portal to see a list of backups available for restoration and the time and date they were created. 

Because of this, ServiceNow recommends only restoring a full instance from a ServiceNow AHA backup as “​​a last resort because the impact of a restore from a backup could be more detrimental than the issue that prompted the action.” 

For example, data created since the last restore is lost, and may create confusion among users and/or customers when the incomplete instance is restored.

Data outside of the retention period cannot be restored

Using ServiceNow’s AHA, restoring an instance to a point in time outside of the retention period is not possible. 

Overcoming ServiceNow Backup and Restore Limitations with a Native-App

For reasons such as operational resilience and regulatory compliance, many organizations require more advanced backup and restore functionality for their ServiceNow instance.

This includes the capability to:

  • Retain full backups beyond ServiceNow’s 14 day limit
  • Schedule backups 
  • Select the data to include in a backup
  • Initiate disaster recovery/restore when required

Fortunately, ServiceNow is partnered with Perspectium, who provide advanced ServiceNow backup and restore applications and services.  

Perspectium applications are ServiceNow-native, meaning both business and technical users can use the application from within the ServiceNow UI with which they are already familiar.

With Perspectium’s DataSync Snapshot, organizations have a backup and restore solution that works like a time machine for ServiceNow. 

Backup ServiceNow On-Demand or automate scheduled backups at times that work for you.
Backup ServiceNow on-demand, or automate scheduled backups at your convenience.

Perspectium Snapshot users enjoy benefits including:

  • More control over when ServiceNow backups occur 
  • More control over what ServiceNow data is backed up. I.e. backup and restore at the object level – rather than “all or nothing”
  • Complete data recovery including metadata, attachments, related records, etc.
  • Recover deleted records and fields to any point in time, no matter when it was lost
  • Maintain referential integrity – preserves parent-child and recursive relationships
  • Greater protection against user error, malicious activity, accidental deletion, natural disasters, or viruses/ransomware
  • The ability to “snapshot” applications, including forms, properties, scripts, business rules, referenced records & schemas

As well as the familiar UI, Perspectium’s ServiceNow-native delivery means our applications can avoid performance impacting API and web-services when replicating data

Instead, the more efficient “Push technology” is used, enabling massive throughput, and resulting in a faster backup and restore process. 

Want to talk to get started with DataSync Snapshot for ServiceNow backup and disaster recovery? Talk to us.

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