What is Configuration Management?

What is Configuration Management
July 07, 2022
Author : Charles Hill

Many of you must've come across the term 'configuration'; being a smartphone user, you can't be deprived of this knowledge. The various applications on your smartphone require specific configuration settings to run the application. So now, what exactly is configuration management?

To understand it better, reconsider the example of a smartphone; when your phone's running out of battery, you need to find your charger or, in some cases, a charger that fits your phone's configuration. Unless you find a device charger that fits the charging slot, the voltage, and maybe even the brand of your smartphone, it is difficult to proceed.

Configuration Management was first initiated in the US Defence Department in 1950 to implement discipline in the technology management for the force's hardware, and many years later, it is a standard procedure in almost every industry.

Similarly, configuration management is the process of monitoring all the devices and their configuration in a business. All the various processes - identifying the configuration, recording, troubleshooting, and updating records as per the changes made - fall under configuration management.

What are the Benefits of Configuration Management?

Configuration Management is mainly concerned with collecting metadata on all the company's technology assets. Keeping a record of the functioning and tech requirements of the various operations of a company is also a part of it. But, how can managing configuration help business? Here are a few reasons:

  1. It provides a regularity in the devices, servers, operating systems, networks, data centres, IT assets, configuration files and other configuration settings.
  2. Managing the configuration increases efficiency in the business through controlling and tracking the areas of lack in technology.
  3. Having a piece of detailed information on the various configuration attributes helps discard unnecessary duplication, which further helps in cost reduction.
  4. With effective configuration management, businesses can maintain quick problem resolution and agility, ensuring better customer services.
  5. Process reliability can be ensured through enhanced systems. Quick detection and resolution of configuration errors avoid any negative effect on performance.
  6. Helps businesses define and implement formal policies and protocols that help process monitoring and auditing.
  7. Helps organisations restore and recover faster from tech failure or in case of cyberattacks. Knowing the ideal set of configurations helps initiate the recovery procedure faster and easier.

Did you know that Salt, CHEF, and Puppet are the names of some configuration management tools?

So, configuration management is way more important than it seems. It has many benefits, especially helping IT managers record, monitor and improve the tech-support process. IN today's world, technology indeed powers businesses, and it is a necessary part of our daily work lives. Configuration management has many benefits, but tech upgrades and productivity are the most important.

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How has Configuration Management Changed the IT World?

We will consider the antithesis to understand how important and revolutionising configuration management is for businesses. Why did the need for configuration management come to be, and how did it effectively resolve the companies' issues?

Suppose you have asked a developer to fix your system; they might install some common software and deploy codes. If the system is still slow, they will inform the team manager and the members about the other resolutions and if they will fix it later. The codes are that the developer may write some codes that need to be rewritten later.

But then the work deadline will push the company or the department to get their system fixed quickly. The deadlines will push the task of rewriting the codes and script installation for later. When the current developer leaves the company or isn't able to effectively fix the system, a new developer will arrive. Still, they are now more burdened with fixing and correcting the previous errors.

The cycle keeps repeating, and the system resolution is pushed back for months and years. Configuration management helps you avoid such situations. Fixing the root from the configuration server helps fix the configuration and resolves basic to most intricate issues in system functioning.

Asset management, a procedure under configuration management, involves the management of all the service assets throughout the business' service life cycle; configuration managers are taken from acquisition to disposal. - Micro Focus

  • According to the needs, what are the business's nature and the required system setup?
  • The required configuration upgrade is based on the current services in the business.
  • How did the business attain the current configuration state?
  • Why are future changes in the configuration required?

Configuration management helps answer all such questions and hence offer an effective solution and monitoring required to keep the productivity rate.

What are some Configuration Management Examples?

Managing the configuration setting also helps in problem resolution, incident management, risk management, maintenance, and the necessary upgrades. It isn't limited to a certain industry or a type of threshold or size of systems needing maintenance; configuration management is needed for any business size. Here are a few industry examples of configuration management:

Airlines

Different airlines monitor and identify the parts of an aircraft that need maintenance and repair for safety measures. It is a regular process, and the engineers thoroughly check each flight to manage the optimal performance and procedure of a flight trip.

Banking

Banking softwares are the ones that are dedicatedly configured and monitored for obvious reasons. The tech engineers maintain the system, database, services, and cloud storage to keep the transaction flowing smoothly.

Telecommunications

The database, metadata, and the overall functioning of the software/hardware of a telecom company are very important for keeping their lines running smoothly. Configuration management support helps such companies provide optimal service to their customers.

Space

Astronauts have satellite communication as the only connection to civilization, literally. It is important to keep their technological devices updated and running. The baseline softwares, space station parts and materials are a few of the components managed by configuration managers to extract necessary data from space.

Did you know that Automation is increasingly being adopted by businesses across the globe as a replacement for configuration management?

The need for configuration management is vast. It creates a wide range of scope for businesses and edu-tech tools; for example, schools shifted to online mediums with the changing nature of education. Optimal functioning and maintenance are important for keeping students connected and providing them with effective learning. It is a necessary prerequisite for every business and industry.

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About the Author

Charles Hill

Charles Hill

Charles writes blogs and articles for students who are facing problems with their management assignments. His articles have been featured on several websites. He has contributed to the academic enhancement of students from the University of New South Wales, Central Queensland University, Edith Cowan University, etc. He joined the team of My Assignment Services as a consulting expert and now is a full-time academic help provider. His expertise in the field of management covers topics like leadership management, human resource management, business management and several others. His blogs focus on solving the most complex of the queries and simplifying the processes.

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2022-10-02 11:37:33

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