Best Configuration Management Tools include:
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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
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.