What Is Configuration Management And Key Terms Associated With It?

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What Is Configuration Management And Key Terms Associated With It?
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What is Configuration Management

Configuration management is the activities associated with a technology platform that automates this process at scale. The primary aim of CM is to track Configuration Items (CI) in an IT organization. 

Some examples of Configuration Items 

  • Hardware/Devices

  • Software/Applications

  • Communications/Networks

  • Database

  • Service

  • Documentation

  • People (Staff and Contractors)

Why is Configuration Management Needed in Service-Based Industry? 

When providing SaaS, it is essential to keep track of all the configuration changes to ensure traceability. This is very important because it can lead to system outages, data leaks, and breaches if not handled correctly. 

However, to counter and reduce security risks, organizations employ a configuration management database (CMDB), configuration management to ensure successful configuration management. 

The other benefits associated with configuration management are asset management, software development, and debugging. 

5 benefits of configuration management:

  • Reduced risk: Risks related to outages and security breaches are reduced because of the visibility and traceability of the systems' changes.

  • Cost cuts: Reduced overall cost by avoiding wasteful duplication of your technology assets. This is handled by having detailed knowledge of all the elements of the configuration.

  • Improved Overall Experience: Customers and internal staff have an overall experience because of the rapid detection and correction of improper configurations that could negatively impact performance.

  • Faster Problem Resolution: Configuration management makes it possible for more immediate problem resolution, enabling a higher quality of service for customers and reducing software engineering costs.

  • Quick Restoration of Service: In an outage, systems can be quickly rebooted to the last saved state because the configuration is documented and automated.

Terms Associated To Configuration Management

  • Configuration model: This model helps connect these components, evaluating infrastructure changes and checking for causes of incidents. It is a tool that consolidates interactions between dependent components and service assets that must be managed and controlled.

  • Configuration item (CI): A CI is considered the fundamental structural unit in a CMS that can be managed and modified independently of other IT environment components.

  • Configuration records: Configuration Records are the set of records describing the attributes and relationships associated with a CI.

  • Configuration management database (CMDB): As the name suggests, it is a database that stores all the configurations records, including relationships between the configuration items.

  • Service asset: They are the resources that enable the delivery of services in the IT Sector. However, this can include the services provided by third-party vendors or the overall capability to address IT security incidents.

  • Definitive management library (DML): It is a protected library containing the authorized versions of configuration items and master copies of controlled software and documentation.

Best Practices of Configuration Management

  • Track changes: When it comes to tracking changes made, changesets are to be used instead of single-file commits. Changesets allow for a rollback of unwanted changes or revert to an earlier configuration if needed.

  • Early testing: Testing needs to be started in the previous stages to avoid harmful regressions and makes it easier to catch bugs.

  • Performance testing: The advantage of having performance testing done is that it gives the DevOps team an insight into how their latest changes affect the performance and system functionalities.

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