Configuration Management: What Is It and Why Is It Important?

Uniformity is key when configuring company-owned devices for use by employees to get their jobs done. Company-issuedlaptops, workstations, tablets and cell phones likely all fall into a similar protocol for operating systems, applications, permissions and other necessary settings. Networking products can be one of the most important pieces of IT to manage. Your company’s internet capabilities as well as the intranet of software andnetworkingsettings will need to be configured properly to ensure day-to-day business operations run smoothly.

On a related note, it is useful to log both changes to the configuration and the resulting application to the system. The simple act of committing a new version of a configuration does not always mean that the configuration is directly applied . When a system configuration change is suspected as the culprit during an incident response, it is useful to be able to quickly determine the full set of configuration edits that went into the change. This enables confident rollbacks, and the ability to notify parties whose configurations were impacted. It is also acceptable for the configuration language to be static data.

The Cost of Poor or No Configuration Management

You need to replicate the pre-production environment for the pipeline and testing. Then you can accelerate the CI/CD configuration by storing the data in a structured format like- XML or YAML file. Again, it will be easy to set your pipeline for refreshing the environment between deployments, if you use an IaaC approach. You can replicate an environment precisely with the help of configuration management. Hopefully that helps to clear things up for you about configuration management. It’s all about keeping track of the current state of your software and infrastructure.

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Ansible also integrates with other tools commonly used in DevOps and CI/CD pipelines, such as Jenkins. Now that you understand the phases of a configuration management plan, let’s inspect the tools available configuration components to help you implement one in your organization. Configuration management also means that it’s a straightforward process to analyze the production environment and ensure the test environment matches.

What is configuration management in software testing?

Consider implementing broad improvements that enable your dynamic defaults to run without requiring additional configuration knobs. If only a small fraction of users are unhappy, they may be better off manually setting configuration options. Implementing more complexity in the system creates more work for users (e.g., increased cognitive load to read documentation). There are several factors to consider when selecting a configuration management tool.

what is configuration

Complex assets such as aircraft, ships, industrial machinery etc. depend on many different components being serviceable. Understanding how near the end of their life each of these components is has been a major undertaking involving labor-intensive record keeping until recent developments in software. We’re the world’s leading provider of enterprise open source solutions—including Linux, cloud, container, and Kubernetes. We deliver hardened solutions that make it easier for enterprises to work across platforms and environments, from the core datacenter to the network edge.

British Dictionary definitions for configuration

Configuration flow with a separate configuration interface and configuration data infrastructure. Note the web UI typically also displays the current configuration, making the relationship bidirectional. Once the static configuration data is obtained, it can also be used in data analysis. For instance, if the generated configuration data is in JSON format, it can be loaded into PostgreSQL and analyzed with database queries. As the infrastructure owner, you can then quickly and easily query for which configuration parameters are being used and by whom. This query is useful for identifying features you can remove or measuring the impact of a buggy option.

  • When we build software with tools like Docker, we codify our build instructions into our Dockerfile.
  • Understanding of computer configuration is important as for certain hardware or software applications, a minimum configuration are required.
  • Configuration management helps organizations pass audits by allowing auditors to compare the required configurations with reporting from the configuration management system.
  • The same principle applies to any programming language and any configuration file.

Cataloging should occur across all environments relevant to your application’s testing and operation. The discovery phase will then shift to collecting your identified assets’ metadata into one central repository. This single source of truth will host this information in data files, with special care given to encrypt any secret data like passwords and keys before storing it.

How Can I Get Started with Configuration Management?

Often also called provisioning tools, IaC tools include CloudFormationandTerraform. If our configuration management tools include the setup we need on our assets, our provisioning tools are how we get those assets. It’s this blurred line that explains why we need to bring these tools into our discussion of configuration management. And many consider it an anti-pattern to use configuration management tools for provisioning. Hopefully by now you’re starting to get the hang of what configuration management is and what it aims to do. Configuration Management & PlanningWith that defined, let’s talk about how it works in practice.

what is configuration

A CI/CD pipelineincludes several environments for testing and staging software before release. For the pipeline and tests to operate effectively, pre-production environments need to replicate production as closely as possible and remain consistent between test runs. When companies grow, there is a demand to get the appropriate tools that can accommodate the needs of their growing business. Configuration management ensures that they do not have to invest a lot in acquiring new software by enhancing their existing database. A configuration auditor is responsible for seeing the whole audit process from start to end.

Parsing config files with Lua

This section discusses aspects of configuration that are completely independent of implementation, so these topics generalize across all implementations. Project Management Plan Agile projects, track deadlines, and deliver results. Production goals (such as cost, schedule, performance, quality, etc.) are not being met. Product documentation and changes to that documentation are not calculated as part of a true cost. Products are produced and parts are purchased to the wrong configurations.

what is configuration

Eventually, the 480 series was consolidated into a single standard and slowly evolved into the ANSI–EIA–649, the National Consensus Standard for Configuration Management, in 1998. It makes all the servers synced regularly to eliminate the configuration drifts. When it comes to software, having a declarative style means telling your software the end result you want and then letting the software do the work in figuring out the way to get there.

Origin of configuration

Understanding of computer configuration is important as for certain hardware or software applications, a minimum configuration are required. When used for business purposes, personal devices may need special configurations in order to access company-wide systems, software or even a work email inbox. In the context of software development and CI/CD, configuration management refers to recording the details of a particular infrastructure setup so that you can identify when changes were introduced. Managers are always looking for new tools and technologies to make business operations as efficient as possible.

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