How to Cut Your Storage Footprint (and Bill) by Using Clone Options in ServiceNow

Reducing storage costs in ServiceNow can be a game-changer for organizations looking to optimize their IT expenditures. Leveraging advanced clone options effectively can significantly cut down your storage footprint as well as help secure your data by only cloning what is needed.  This means we must be good stewards of our resources even in Non-Production Environments (NPE).

Most instances have a limit on storage included per instance.  If you do not know your storage limits are work with your account team to ask how many TB per instance you have.  What many of us do not realize is that this also applies to our non-production instances.  This is where it really starts to add up!  If my pipeline goes DEV -> Test -> Pre-Prod -> Prod, then every 1TB over our limit in production is now 4X.  Imagine having an instance with a footprint of 100TB and then I clone that to all my non-production environments.  That would be 400TB of storage consumed!  Instead of using our IT budget for awesome features like AIOps, HRSD or GenAI we would be stuck footing a storage bill ☹.  This is where something as simple as using Advanced Clone Options and Clone Profiles can be a game changer.

Clone Home Page

At the time of writing this article we are using the Washington release which has a new feature of the Clone Homepage.  We will be doing using the Clone Homepage for the purposes of this article.  Navigate to “System Clone -> Home” and you should see the new home page like this:

ServiceNow Clone Homepage Washington Release

Creating a clone profile:

Before we can get to the advanced settings, I like to use a clone profile.  This way I can tweak the advanced clone setting once and it applies to all future clones.  Lets go create our first clone profile!

To get here from our home page we are going to:

  1. Click Configurations – that will take you to the overview page for configurations.
  2. Click on “View all” under Clone profiles – This will show you all the clone profiles on your instance
  3. Click on “New” – this will create our new Clone Profile

ServiceNow Clone Configuration Homepage Washington Release

 

 

 

 

ServiceNow Clone Profiles Create New Profile Washington Release

 

 

 

 

Advanced Clone Settings:

There are currently a few options to setup our clone profile.  In my opinion ServiceNow’s DOCS site does not do a good job of explaining each setting for us to make an informed decision on what will work best for our organization.  Let’s take a few seconds and over each one of them so you can make the best decisions for your instance.

Naming our Clone

Let’s Give our Clone Profile a name and set it as default.  This will ensure that this profile is used in all future clones by default and remind you how awesome the Guru’s are here at SNGuru!

ServiceNow Naming a Clone ProfileWashington Release

General Settings

Now let’s go through the current options available on the “General” tab as this is where we will start to see some space savings in NPE!

  • The amount of data copied from the Task Table:
    • This is a MAJOR setting to help save on storage.
    • Some instances have never archived and have 10 years of data in the task table, do we really need all that data in NPE?
  • Apply On-Demand Backup
    • This is a personal preference and does a good job explaining what it does.

Exclusion Settings:

Next up is our Exclusions tab and it is an important one.  This is the second part that can move the needle BIG time for storage.  To give you an idea I have seen an instance with an audit log in excess of 40TB+ and this was a game changer in our clone times as well as storage footprint.  OOTB our clone profile had 182 tables in the “Exclusions list”.  You’re probably asking how do I know what tables to add here to save on storage?

I cannot provide screenshots for this portion so you will have to follow along via text.  If you have screenshots of this please add them into the comments below.

  1. Login to the Support portal formerly known as HI.
  2. Go to the “Automation Store” and find the item called “Database Footprint”.
  3. Once the item is opened select your production instance
  4. Second select Number of largest tables by size. It defaults to 10 so I select 40
  5. Hit submit

After hitting submit you will be presented with the top tables on your production instance that are taking up space.  From here we need to evaluate each table and decide if we can add it to our exclusion list!  Here are a few tables I exclude from clones to save on storage:

  • sys_flow_* //Any flow tables that have runtime data and logs
  • pa_snapshots
  • discovery_log
  • cmdb_multisource_data
  • sys_journal_field
  • cmdb

Once you have all the tables added, here are the settings we use for our clones to ensure we exclude tables in our Exclusion list, Audit and Attachment data.

Preservers Settings:

These won’t save you on storage but we did not want to leave anything out as to cause confusion.  I prefer to have each Non-Production instance have its own theme, the uglier the better so I know it is not Production.  The settings below reflect my preferences.

Scheduling your Clone:

All the hard work is out of the way with our new clone profile, and it should be a breeze scheduling our next clone and all future clones.

Navigate to “System Clone -> Home” and select “Request clone”

 

On our clone request form, we should see our profile show up automagically because we set default above when we named it.  If not select your Clone profile and watch the settings apply.  As for locking your settings I prefer to lock them to ensure that this clone moves forward with the settings I have when requesting it.

Conclusion

By incorporating these clone options, you not only have an opportunity to save on storage costs but also enhance the performance and security of your sub-production instances.  Let us know in the comments how you plan to use these and let’s see who can save the most on their storage.  Happy Cloning!

Date Posted:

June 18, 2024

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One Comment

  1. Bharat Goyal June 18, 2024 at 1:51 pm

    Thanks for sharing Marcus, Really useful !

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