Introduction

What Are Configuration Tools? When we purchase a new laptop, smartphone, or tablet, then what is it that we do first? We start exploring its capabilities, touching and feeling it. We also try out some of the software preloaded into it. We change its settings, upload our favorite wallpaper, add a sound file and delete some of the free software already installed into the system.

We keep using the device, allowing up-gradation of the operating system. We add new apps and software to our device. This is something that we all do.

Now imagine that you have not one single device but have hundreds of devices. Each user has his preference. The machines do not stay standardized, and at times, some minor, as well as major issues, creep in. Here is where you need the services of configuration management.

In this article let us look at:

  1. What Is Configuration Management?
  2. What Are Configuration Tools?
  3. Why Do We Need Configuration Tools?
  4. The Best Software Configuration Management Tool

1. What Is Configuration Management?

So what is configuration management, and why do we need it? Configuration management is a subset of system management. This is a process that keeps systems, servers, and the software functioning consistently as per some set parameters. The process lets the resources and the system perform as per expectations even if there are additions, updates, and deletions in the system.

Configuration management takes care that all the network devices in the network infrastructure work in tandem.

2. What Are Configuration Tools?

The tools needed for configuration management does many tasks. It keeps the logical and the physical asset of the system consistent. These Configuration tools help to identify and to track the configuration items. They document the functional dependencies, which let the IT department understand how when one configuration is changed, it starts affecting the others.

Today most of the tasks of configuration management are automated. It reduces the chances of human error and lets the staff take care of other matters.

3. Why Do We Need Configuration Tools?

The functions that the configuration tools perform include infrastructure automation, application deployment, and orchestration, to name a few.

The benefits of the tool are:

  • It reduces the likelihood of a security breach or an outage
  • It does not cause duplication of technology asset, which makes it cost-effective
  • It establishes procedures and policies for control of the processes
  • Offers a quick resolution of the problem
  • It relies on the baseline configuration offering quick problem resolution
  • Has a fast turnaround of service restoration

The configuration management tool in Devops is capable of handling many crucial tasks, which include application deployment, provisioning the environment, and maintaining the infrastructure. These are labour-intensive and delicate functions. However, the tool saves time and also eliminates the risk of human error.

In DevOps, the configuration management tool consists of:

  • Source Code Repository – This is used mostly in the phase of development
  • Artefact Repository – This is used in operation and the development phase
  • Configuration Management Database (CMDB) – It is used in the operation and development phase

DevOps aims to develop the software and release it fast. The software configuration management tools make this happen.

4. The Best Software Configuration Management Tool

Here are the popular configuration tools that are available in the market today. You need to understand what best suits your requirements to choose the right tool.

Alibaba Application Configuration Management – It allows centralization of the application configuration management that enhances the capability of services of DevOps, big data, and microservices.

Ansible Configuration Tool – This is a top configuration management tool because it offers simple and automated solutions that let the professional avoid the time-consuming work

CHEF Configuration Tool – The tools configure the files and software on the machines and focuses on setting up virtual machines in the server and cloud.

CFEngine Configuration Tool – This is also an automation tool that is used to manage and provision the deployment of software in an IT environment that is operational.

ConfigHub – The tools lets the IT professional manage, secure, and deliver the configuration to the entire stack.

JUJU – The configuration management tool focuses on the operations of the software and applications that are newly generated.

Puppet Configuration Tool – It is a tool that allows automation and centralizing of the process of configuration management.

RackHD – The tool is platform agnostic, automated orchestration and hardware management that works with the cohesive APIs.

SaltStack – This tool allows maintaining of the event IT automation and execution of remote tasks.

Vagrant – The tool has a cross-platform role that sets up and manages the virtual machines in a single workflow.

Each of these configuration management tools offers its unique services. So based on your and your teams’ requirements, choose the one that is the best fit for your organization.

Conclusion

Configuration management tools make life easy for those who use digital assets. The tool keeps a detailed and accurate record of the information in the computer system. It also updates them when required.

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