Configuration Management Software

Configuration Management Software

What is Configuration Management Software?


Configuration management software tracks changes to applications and their infrastructure to ensure that configurations are in a known and trusted state, and configuration details don’t rely on tribal knowledge of the development team. Configuration management software is an accurate historical record of the system state, which is helpful for project management, auditing, and debugging. Configuration management software increases efficiency and stability, and visibility into changes that occur in an application and streamlines a company’s change control process. Configuration management software integrates with version control systems, software testing products, bug-tracking tools, and other software development tools.


A product must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the Configuration Management category:


  • Note any alterations to the configuration elements’ status.
  • Configuration files can be used to automatically configure systems to the desired state.
  • Retrace flaws to their source using version control systems, usually.
  • Keep a copy of the most recent release versions and a snapshot of the system’s state
  • be able to restore configurations to earlier snapshots


Software configuration management is a method in systems engineering that keeps track of and monitors modifications to the metadata describing a software system’s configuration. Configuration management is frequently used in conjunction with version control and CI/CD infrastructure in the software development process. This article focuses on how it is used in contemporary agile CI/CD software setups.


In the SCM procedures, baselines are established through visual controls. SCM can identify who changed anything and what was modified if something goes wrong.


In general, the objectives of software configuration management include configuration, identification, the definition of baselines and idioms for configuration, configuration control, and implementation of a control change process.


Typically, this is accomplished by establishing a change control board, whose main duty is to accept or reject any change requests received in relation to any baseline. Accounting, reporting, and recording of configuration status, including all relevant data regarding the progress of the development process.


SCM Features:


  • Enforcement: By running the enforcement feature every day, you may make sure the system is set up to the condition you want.
  • Cooperating Enablement: This function makes it possible to update one configuration setting and have it affect the entire infrastructure.
  • Version Control Friendly: Thanks to this feature, users can choose the version they want to use for their work.
  • Enable Change Control Processes: Since version control and text editing are supported by Software Configuration Management technologies, we can make changes to the code.


Why Configuration Management?


Utilising unencrypted definition files and tried and validated software development methodologies, configuration management software provides real-time control and provisioning of data centres.


Tools for automating the application of configuration states are all that CM tools are. They are made to solve particular issues in specific ways, much like any other tool. Depending on the knowledge and skill of the person using them, they can be used more or less efficiently.


We’ve made it simple to compare each tool to alternatives and get a quick summary of each one, so you can discover the configuration management tool that’s best for you (and be able to defend your decision not to select choices X, Y, and Z).



Configuration management software helps organisations track and manage various aspects of their IT infrastructure, including hardware, software, networks, and system configurations. Here are some essential content elements for configuration management software:

  • Inventory Management:
  • Hardware inventory: Capture detailed information about servers, workstations, network devices, and other hardware assets.
  • Software inventory: Maintain a comprehensive list of installed software, including versions and licences.
  • Network inventory: Document network devices, IP addresses, VLANs, and other network-related information.
  • System configuration: Track configuration details of servers, including operating systems, applications, and settings
  • Change Management:

  • Change requests: Provide a platform for submitting, reviewing, and approving change requests.
  • Change approval workflow: Define customizable workflows for change request approval, involving different stakeholders and levels of authorization.
  • Change implementation: Record and track the execution of approved changes, including any rollbacks or remediation actions.
  • Change history: Maintain a historical log of all changes made to the IT infrastructure for audit and troubleshooting purposes.
  • Configuration Baseline:

  • Configuration templates: Create predefined templates for different types of systems, ensuring consistency and standardisation.
  • Baseline comparison: Compare the current configuration of systems against established baselines to identify deviations or non-compliance.
  • Configuration drift: Detect and notify administrators about configuration changes that occur without proper authorization or documentation.
  • Compliance and Policy Management:

  • Compliance checks: Conduct automated assessments against industry standards, regulatory requirements, and internal policies.
  • Policy enforcement: Define and enforce configuration policies across the organisation, ensuring adherence to security and operational guidelines.
  • Compliance reporting: Generate reports on compliance status, highlighting areas of non-compliance and suggesting corrective actions.
  • Version Control:

  • Configuration versioning: Track and manage different versions of configuration files and scripts to enable rollbacks and change management.
  • Version comparison: Compare and analyse differences between configuration versions to identify changes and potential issues.
  • Documentation and Knowledge Base:
  • Configuration documentation: Provide a repository for storing detailed documentation, diagrams, and procedures related to system configurations.
  • Knowledge base: Create a searchable database of known issues, troubleshooting guides, best practices, and other relevant information.
  • Automation and Orchestration:

  • Configuration automation: Enable automated deployment and configuration of systems based on predefined templates or policies.
  • Task scheduling: Schedule automated tasks such as configuration backups, updates, and system maintenance.
  • Integration with other tools: Integrate with other IT management tools like ticketing systems, monitoring tools, and asset management software for seamless operations.
  • Reporting and Analytics:

                     Configuration reports: Generate comprehensive reports  on system configurations, changes, compliance, and performance metrics.Analytics and insights: Provide visualisations and analytics to identify trends, anomalies, and optimization opportunities within the IT infrastructure.


Risks and Rewards:


The advantage of automating configuration state changes for your infrastructure is that you can make changes rapidly, but someone or something else must validate those changes. You should think about the complementary tool(s) you’ll employ in addition to the configuration management tool(s) you choose to prevent the expensive consequences of automating the deployment of flaws in your infrastructure-as-code. Additionally, because software configuration management systems (also known as SCM tools) support version control and text, modifications can be made in the code and submitted as merge requests for review.


Many of the operating-system-specific implementations of a configuration are abstracted away for you by configuration management tools. On both Red Hat and Ubuntu systems, for instance, the installation of Apache HTTPD can be managed using the same configuration file.


An enormous cybersecurity risk that can lead to data leaks and other cyberattacks is improper configuration. Cybersecurity, information security, and information risk management must be taken into consideration when automating infrastructure configuration.


Consider your configuration management tools’ security as well as whether you are giving them access to too much private data. Perform a cyber security risk assessment, consider vendor risk management, and have a framework for third-party risk management handy.