Although it's probably not something you want to think about, your organization is likely to suffer a data loss at some point. In a recent study, we found that three out of four respondents experienced a data loss or corruption incident in the last 12 months. More often than not, this is caused by simple human error, such as accidentally deleting records.
Since you are ultimately responsible for the data you keep in SaaS applications like ServiceNow, it’s important to understand your data recovery options when using the platform. ServiceNow provides customers with several options to restore lost data, which we outline in detail below.
The Delete Recovery module, part of the Rollback & Recovery tools, allows you to restore deleted records and related changes within seven days.
The Deleted Records module can be used to recover deleted records that are in audited tables.
Note: Cascade-deleted records can only be restored for seven days after being deleted. After this time, records can still be restored, but references will only be restored if the host table audits deletions.
This module works on scripts executed using the Scripts - Background module. This history only includes seven days of script executions. To find this module, navigate to Rollback & Recovery > Script Execution History.
A full instance restore can be completed by requesting it from ServiceNow support. There are limitations in how far back the restore can be conducted, the granularity of the restore, and the amount of time it will take to complete the full instance restore.
Despite ServiceNow’s Advanced High Availability (AHA) architecture, they do acknowledge that, in certain scenarios, it may be desirable to use more traditional data backup and recovery mechanisms.
According to ServiceNow, such circumstances could be, "where a customer deletes some data inadvertently, or where a customer’s data integration or automation is misconfigured or malfunctions, resulting in data being rendered unusable or inaccessible." In these scenarios, the high availability capability would not assist and restoring from backup is the only option for recovery.
In addition to these limitations, the native restore capabilities provided by ServiceNow present users with several other challenges:
For these reasons, ServiceNow recommends avoiding restoring a production instance from backup and only doing it as a last resort.
The other options to restore data are to use the Deleted Records, Delete Recovery modules or - when the unwanted changes are based on script execution - to use the Script Execution History module.
While the Delete Recovery module enables recovery of records with relationships, that’s only possible for seven days. The Deleted Records module does not have the seven day limit. Instead the limit for how far data can be rolled back depends on whether the needed information is still in the audit records. The Delete Records module is also limited in that it won’t restore record relationships.
While ServiceNow provides industry-leading workflow management solutions, they do not have the same expertise when it comes to data recovery. That’s where OwnBackup can help.
OwnBackup Recover for ServiceNow equips organizations to better address data resiliency and compliance concerns with capabilities such as the retention of daily backups for up to 10 years, proactive notification of unusual data loss or corruption, and the ability to restore data - from the entire instance down to individual records - in self-service fashion
To learn more about Recover for ServiceNow, check out our ebook, "The Complete Guide to Backup and Recovery for ServiceNow".