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Configuration management policy

Originally Published:
Aug 2017

Implementing a configuration management strategy can involve a lot of work up front, but it will pay off in the long run by making day-to-day administrative life easier. This policy provides guidelines for applying effective, secure, and reliable configuration management techniques, whether in test, development, or production environments.

Configuration management involves applying specific settings, applications, or elements to various hosts, systems, network devices, programs, and other equipment. The applied items can be as simple as basic network settings or as complex as a database or a certain application version intended for target systems in a particular geographic location.

Examples of configuration management software include Puppet and Chef for Linux and Microsoft’s Configuration Manager for Windows.

Configuration management is the smart way to administer IT assets since it permits the implementation of a standard, consistent, predictable environment, so that existing systems can be maintained with ease and new systems to be installed with rapidity. This process also works especially well when enforcing security requirements, and good configuration management solutions will allow reporting/monitoring to ensure consistency among IT assets across the board.

The benefits of an effective configuration management strategy include:

  • Identifying and tracking IT infrastructural details and assets
  • Recording asset configurations and their relationships
  • Helping finance/accounting maintain records of assets and their retirement/disposal
  • Monitoring and controlling the IT infrastructure from a centralized perspective
  • Providing a basis for successful incident/problem management as well as change/release management

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