Configuration Management Tools
Best Configuration Management Tools
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Configuration Management Tools Overview
What are Configuration Management Tools?
Configuration Management is a subset of systems management. Configuration management tools perform various roles 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
- 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
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.
Configuration Management Products
Ansible is IT workload automation software from the company of the same name in Montecito, California.
Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager is a system monitoring and configuration management tool from Microsoft.
Puppet Enterprise (formerly Puppet Data Center Automation) is IT workload automation software from Puppet in Portland, Oregon.
Vagrant is a tool designed to create and configure lightweight, reproducible, and portable development environments.
SaltStack is a cloud management platform from the company of the same name in Lehi, Utah.
Chef is IT workload automation software from the company of the same name (formerly Opscode) in Seattle, Washington.
Terraform enables you to create, change, and improve production infrastructure. It is an open source tool that codifies APIs into declarative configuration files that can be shared amongst team members, treated as code, edited, reviewed, and versioned.
AccuRev, a software configuration management offering, is now owned and supported by Micro Focus since the December 2013 acquisition.
IBM Rational ClearCase offers software configuration management and version control.
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.
Australian company Octopus Deploy offers their eponymous automated deployment and release management software.
Netflix offers Spinnaker, a continuous delivery platform with a range of cluster management and deployment management features.
BMC's TrueSight Server Automation (formerly the BladeLogic Automation Suite) is a server lifecycle automation application supporting configuration, patching and maintaining physical, cloud and virtual servers.
AWS OpsWorks is a configuration management service that provides managed instances of Chef and Puppet.
WinReporter is a change and configuration, and client desktop management solution from French company IS Decisions.
The ScriptRock platform is configuration management and monitoring software from the company of the same name in San Francisco.
Micro Focus Configuration Management System, formerly from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, is a configuration management and CMDB solution.
For companies already using Microsoft's SCCM, Parallels offers Mac Management, software that allows SCCM to manage both PCs and Macs.
RemoteExec is a change and configuration management and client desktop solution from French company IS Decisions.
CFEngine is an open source configuration management system.
Centrify’s Endpoint Services are designed to stop breaches that start on endpoints. The vendor aims to help organizations secure their heterogeneous endpoints through a single source of identity and a least privilege access model.According to the vendor key business benefits and features include:...
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 to safely and...