Configuration Management Tools

Configuration Management Tools Overview

Configuration Management is a subset of systems management. Configuration management tools perform various roles to ensure consistency among physical and logical assets. These tools identify and track configuration items and document functional dependencies. These tools are invaluable for understanding the impact of changing one configuration item on all the others. Configuration management data is usually stored in a configuration management database.

Best Configuration Management Tools include:

SUSE Manager, AWS Config, and Terraform.

Configuration Management Tools TrustMap

TrustMaps are two-dimensional charts that compare products based on trScore and research frequency by prospective buyers. Products must have 10 or more ratings to appear on this TrustMap.

Configuration Management Products

(1-25 of 48) Sorted by Most Reviews

The list of products below is based purely on reviews (sorted from most to least). There is no paid placement and analyst opinions do not influence their rankings. Here is our Promise to Buyers to ensure information on our site is reliable, useful, and worthy of your trust.

Microsoft Endpoint Manager (Microsoft Intune + SCCM)

Microsoft Endpoint Manager, combining the capabilities of the former Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager, SCCM or ConfigMgr with the mobile device management application Microsoft Intune, is presented as a unified endpoint management option. The former Microsoft Intune…

Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform

The Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform (acquired by Red Hat in 2015) is a foundation for building and operating automation across an organization. The platform includes tools needed to implement enterprise-wide automation, and can automate resource provisioning, and IT environments…

Terraform, by HashiCorp

Terraform from HashiCorp is a cloud infrastructure automation tool that enables users to create, change, and improve production infrastructure, and it allows infrastructure to be expressed as code. It codifies APIs into declarative configuration files that can be shared amongst team…

Chef Infra

Chef IT infrastructure automation suites were developed by Chef Software in Seattle and acquired by Progress Software in September 2020. The Chef Enterprise Automation Stack is an integrated suite of automation technologies presented as a solution for delivering change quickly, repeatedly,…

TeamCity

TeamCity is a continuous integration server from Czeck company JetBrains.

Octopus Deploy

Australian company Octopus Deploy offers their eponymous automated deployment and release management software that integrates with the user's preferred CI server and adds deployment & ops automation capabilities. Octopus Deploy enables developers, release managers, and operations…

Microsoft System Center

Microsoft System Center Suite is a family of IT management software for network monitoring, updating and patching, endpoint protection with anti-malware, data protection and backup, ITIL- structured IT service management, remote administration and more. It is available in two editions:…

Vagrant, by HashiCorp

Vagrant is a tool designed to create and configure lightweight, reproducible, and portable development environments. It leverages a declarative configuration file which describes all software requirements, packages, operating system configuration, and users.

Cisco Intersight

The Cisco Intersight platform provides intelligent cloud-powered infrastructure management for the Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS®) and Cisco HyperFlex™ platforms. The platform offers a level of management that enables IT organizations to analyze, simplify, and automate…

Puppet Enterprise

Puppet Enteprise is an IT automation and configuration management solution that enables users to manage and automate infrastructure and complex workflows. The vendor states Puppet Enterprise combines both model‑based and task-based capabilities in a way that enables organizations…

VMware vRealize Automation SaltStack Config

vRealize Automation is an infrastructure automation platform that enables private and multi-cloud environments on VMware Cloud infrastructure.

AWS Config

Amazon Web Services offers AWS Config, a service that provides monitoring and assessment of AWS resource configurations to support compliance auditing, change management and troubleshooting, with resource histories and comparison of historical configurations against planned configurations.…

SUSE Manager

German company SUSE offers SUSE Manager, a software defined infrastructure Linux server configuration management tool supporting patching, provisioning of Linux servers, and related actions.

Consul, by HashiCorp

HashiCorp Consul is a tool for discovering and configuring services in the IT infrastructure. It provides service discovery, health checking, key/value stores and support for multiple data centers out of the box.

AWS CloudFormation

AWS CloudFormation gives developers and systems administrators a way to create and manage a collection of related AWS resources, provisioning and updating them in a predictable fashion. Use AWS CloudFormation’s sample templates or create templates to describe the AWS resources, and…

AccuRev

AccuRev, a software configuration management offering, is now owned and supported by Micro Focus since the December 2013 acquisition.

AWS OpsWorks

AWS OpsWorks is a configuration management service that provides managed instances of Chef and Puppet.

Micro Focus Configuration Management System (formerly HP CMS)

Micro Focus Configuration Management System, formerly from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, is a configuration management and CMDB solution.

IBM Rational ClearCase

IBM Rational ClearCase offers software configuration management and version control.

ZENworks Configuration Management (f.k.a. Novell ZENworks Configuration Mgmt.)

Micro Focus now offers ZENworks Configuration Management, formerly Novel ZENworks Configuration Management, as a solution to large scale IT asset management which provides automation where it can be applied to IT lifecycle management and updating, and provides tools to end-users…

Quali CloudShell (formerly CloudShell Pro)

CloudShell, from Quali headquartered in Austin, is an infrastructure automation solution for cloud, on-premise, or hybrid environments.

IBM Tivoli NetCool Configuration Manager

IBM Tivoli Netcool Configuration Manager provides network device discovery, configuration management and compliance. It helps network managers automate configuration changes and check for compliance across the network.

Tanium

Tanium, headquartered in Emeryville, provides two solution packages: Unified Endpoint Management and Unified Endpoint Security. The vendor states this approach reduces complexity, improves efficiency and closes the gaps between operations and security. Tanium can also be delivered…

TrueSight Automation for Servers (formerly BladeLogic)

BMC's TrueSight Automation for Servers (formerly under the BladeLogic Automation Suite) is a server lifecycle automation application supporting configuration, patching and maintaining physical, cloud and virtual servers.

Salt Open Source Automation Engine

Salt is an open source automation, infrastructure management, data-driven orchestration, remote execution, and configuration management solution.

Learn More About Configuration Management Tools

What are Configuration Management Tools?

Configuration Management is a subset of systems management. Configuration management tools perform various roles to ensure consistency among physical and logical assets. These tools identify and track configuration items and document functional dependencies. These tools are invaluable for understanding the impact of changing one configuration item on all the others. Configuration management data is usually stored in a configuration management database.

Configuration Management Tools Features & Capabilities

  • Infrastructure automation
  • Automated provisioning
  • Application deployment
  • Task management
  • Visualization and reporting
  • Orchestration
  • Node management
  • Role-based access control

Configuration Management vs. Workload Automation

Configuration management software is one of a constellation of DevOps categories designed to facilitate cooperation between IT and Development.


Configuration management software is designed to automate the deployment of applications in the data center and in the cloud. This is related to the older workload automation category of software. Workload automation is still used by many organizations to handle event-based scheduling and resource management across applications, databases, and architectures.

Configuration Management Benefits

The purpose of configuration management is really to keep a detailed record of the information about the computer system and updating them as needed. This includes listing all of the installed software, the network addresses of the computers, and the configuration of different pieces of hardware, and creating updates or ideal models that can be used to quickly update computers or restore them to a predefined baseline.


The main benefits are:


  • Reduced risk of outages and security breaches

  • Cost reduction by avoiding duplication of technology assets.

  • Process control through enforcing formal policies and procedures Faster problem resolution

  • Efficient change management by understanding the baseline configuration

  • Quicker restoration of service

Configuration Management Comparison

When considering Configuration Management options, consider the following aspects of each product offering.

  1. Scripting language: Most configuration management tools provide a scripting language for creating logic for automation. When purchasing a configuration management tool, you should consider how difficult each option's scripting language is, and how similar it is to what your developers already know.

  2. Ease of use: Some configuration management tools are built to be usable by inexperienced users, but most offer complexities such as advanced scripting languages. Consider what the capabilities of your organization are when purchasing a configuration management tool.

  3. Deployment Environment: Configuration management tools don’t all support all deployment environments, or in some cases specialize in some environments with limited support for others. When choosing a configuration management tool, be sure to pick one that can support your deployment environment, and ideally specializes in it.

Pricing Information

Several of the leading tools in this category are open-source, but even if the software is free, successful usage will require experienced teams with knowledge of unit and integration testing, version control and other development concepts.


Many of these open-source platforms also have commercial products with additional features designed with enterprises in mind. These products are usually sold by a physical device or network node. Typical pricing is over $100 per node, but product packaging differs from one vendor to another making direct price comparison more difficult.

Related Categories

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key benefits of configuration management tools?

Configuration management tools provide disaster recovery for the applications and resources they are managing, as well as help reduce downtime for those resources. Additionally, Configuration management tools make it easy to provision resources to applications, which makes scaling more manageable as businesses can see and allocate resources with a single tool.

Are there free or open source configuration management tools?

In addition to proprietary configuration tools, there are also many open source solutions that businesses can implement and use for free. One of the most popular configuration management tools, Ansible, is an open source tool.

What businesses can benefit most from a configuration management tool?

Configuration management tools are most popular with larger enterprises that are more likely to have a complex IT infrastructure. Despite this, a configuration management tool can save time and automate processes for any business with a multitude of resources and applications to manage.