Resource

Advancing Seamless Services

ServiceNOW moves all the company’s information technology from physical infrastructure to the cloud

The ServiceNow and Actifio Partnership

Executive Summary

ServiceNow’s business was growing, and its physical data center infrastructure was no longer sufficient. It was time to move to the cloud. The IT team devised a multi-cloud strategy to provide High Availability and enable production to move between two public cloud platforms easily. Using Actifio, ServiceNow consolidated multiple data management functions into a single solution. Actifio replaced individual point applications for database backup, replication, archive, Disaster Recovery (DR), data deduplication, and copy data management. It would shrink the data footprint, quickly creating unlimited virtual SQL and SAP HANA database copies on demand and eliminating the many physical copies previously held in data center storage

About ServiceNow

ServiceNow provides its customers with the power of technology to reduce job complexity. Manual processes are transformed into modern digital workflows. Employees and customers get what they need when they need it—fast, simple, easy. ServiceNow has consistently placed the highest for execution in the Gartner leader’s quadrant for IT Service Management (ITSM) tools.

ServiceNow Challenge

ServiceNow had made a decision. It was time to move all the company’s information technology from physical infrastructure to the cloud. The company’s business was growing rapidly and had consistently sustained annual increases of 30% or more. As a result, the pressures and costs of physical systems were mounting. A cloud move promised flexibility, on-demand scalability, and a responsive resource environment. The cloud would provide what ServiceNow needed to support business requirements now and allow for rapid expansion as future needs required. However, moving to the cloud demanded new thinking; it demanded new approaches to managing data and creative approaches to SAP HANA in particular.

New Thinking

As ServiceNow began its planning, a multi-cloud structure emerged as its most effective and versatile strategy. Everything became possible by offering customers Software as a Service (SaaS) and relying on infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in a public cloud to host it. Operating on dual cloud platforms would provide secure data protection and failover as well as High Availability (HA) which was a central objective. That assumed a means to move data between two public cloud platforms easily and to fail over and run production on either. ServiceNow decided to begin with a combination of Azure Cloud and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

“We were developing ideas about where we were taking the

infrastructure in the future. This was our twenty-year plan.”

VENKAT LAKSHMINARAYANAN,
SR. DIRECTOR, IT INFRASTRUCTURE ENGINEERING & OPERATIONS SERVICENOW

In its search for practical solutions, ServiceNow faced the challenge of how to move data from its physical data center locations to the chosen cloud platforms. Ongoing operations also needed a simple means to transfer data between cloud platforms on demand. Also, moving to the cloud called for a new look at managing data, handling backups, and shrinking the data footprint overall. For example, in the data center, one database had grown to 80 duplicate copies. And there were multiple SAP HANA copies. It was unnecessary to move all the duplicate copies; it would be costly and impractical to run a cloud infrastructure that way.

The Solution

After extensive proof of concept testing, ServiceNow chose to partner with Actifio. The testing demonstrated that using Actifio technology, ServiceNow could consolidate multiple data management functions into a single solution. Actifio would replace individual point applications for database backup, replication, archive, Disaster Recovery (DR), data deduplication, and copy data management. “We don’t want six different things that are good enough,” said Venkat. “Actifio can do everything and do it well with no compromise.”

A single Actifio physical database copy could easily create any number of virtual database copies on demand, eliminating the many physical copies previously held in datacenter storage. Where creation or refresh of physical copies had previously taken three hours or more, a new Actifio clone can be available in less than five minutes.

“This is a great story; it’s about mutual benefits from a ServiceNow and Actifio partnership. It showcases advantages for both and why we have partnered with Actifio. Together, Actifio and ServiceNow are serving staff internally and improving customer satisfaction through direct user access.”

VENKAT LAKSHMINARAYANAN,
SR. DIRECTOR, IT INFRASTRUCTURE ENGINEERING & OPERATIONS SERVICENOW

Actifio presents ServiceNow with an elegant business solution for database replication and conservation of storage capacity. It provides advanced copy data management for SQL databases and secure data protection for SAP HANA. Once an initial database copy is created, incrementalforever updates add only changed data. This collapses the backup window, collapses storage capacity, and because only modified data needs to move, it saves time and reduces network traffic. Added cost benefits come from eliminating the expense, training, and time consumed by multiple tools.

Using Actifio, ServiceNow accelerated data migration from its datacenters to its chosen cloud platforms by 30%. Now, running in the cloud, Actifio provides the flexibility to move seamlessly between cloud platforms for backup or to fail over and run production in either GCP or Azure. And Actifio satisfies ServiceNow’s recovery point and recovery time objectives (RPO & RTO) of two hours or less.

ServiceNow has directly integrated Actifio as a self-service offering at scale in the public cloud. Internal customers have direct access and can create virtual database copies or refresh a copy without waiting for support requests. “We don’t want our internal customers to wait for anything,” said Venkat.

Benefits

  • Actifio replaces multiple point applications for database backup, replication, archive, Disaster Recovery (DR), data deduplication, and copy data management.
  • Using the Actifio platform, ServiceNow accelerated data migration from its datacenters to the cloud platforms by 30%.
  • Actifio provides the flexibility to move seamlessly between cloud platforms for backup or to fail over and run production in either GCP or Azure.
  • Actifio provides advanced copy data management for SQL databases and secure data protection for SAP HANA.
  • A single Actifio physical database copy easily creates any number of virtual database copies on demand in under five minutes.
  • Integration of the ServiceNow platform with Actifio delivers direct self-service access for internal customers to create virtual database copies or refresh a copy with no waiting.