Dave Slusher

2 minute read

Ever since personal developer instances were introduced, the ServiceNow developer community has had a complicated relationship with them. We give them out for free but we don’t have infinite capacity so at points we have run out of them. We introduced hibernation to allow us to fit more on the same set of infrastructure. They do expire after 10 days of disuse, and this continues to happen.


We have introduced a new feature in the program. Effective immediately, when a PDI expires and is wiped back to a fresh instance the image is backed up and saved. This means you can now restore lost instances!!! This does not mean forever, so if you accidentally lose one you should restore as soon as is feasible. We are not advertising the duration because it isn’t guaranteed and might slide up and down a little depending on capacity. Suffice to say it is more than one week and (much much) less than one year. If your backup is there the day you need it, that’s the day to restore it because it might not be there tomorrow if there is a big burst of released instances.

Each time you release an instance, either voluntarily or via timeout, you will have a backup created. You can have the instance restored from any of these backups that exist up until the point where they roll out just like any rotated log file or periodic backup. Note that you are not getting your same instance back, it will be a new random machine in the pool (unless you are extremely lucky) so you will have a new instance name and number but with your old data on it.

This should relieve some of the most heartbreaking stories about data loss. This will now protect you from almost all vacations or illnesses that keep you away from your instance. It will still not protect you if you are away for months and months, so this does not remove the necessity of backing up. Always back up every bit of work that is important to you, with a discipline proportional to that value. If you need a refresher, these recommendations still hold .

Here’s to less work lost, more productivity and more happiness in the ServiceNow developer world. Let’s raise a toast to the Developer Portal team and the fine work they do for us all. clink