What is configuration management?
Configuration management is a process for maintaining computer systems, servers, and software in a desired, consistent state. It’s a way to make sure that a system performs as it’s expected to as changes are made over time.
Configuration management benefits
Configuration management keeps you from making small or large changes that go undocumented. Without it, you could end up not knowing what’s on a server or what software updates have happened, which makes it hard to manage and maintain.
When these types of undocumented changes are made across many systems and applications, it adds to instability and downtime. But with configuration management, you’ll always know what services exist where and the current state of your applications.
Think of it like preventative maintenance for your car. If you keep up with the small things, you can avoid more complicated, expensive repairs in the future. Configuration management is about preventing issues so you don’t have to deal with as many problems later.
For example, you can make sure that your test and production environments match. That way, you’ll have fewer problems with applications once they’ve been deployed than you would if these environments weren’t exactly the same.
With configuration management, you can accurately replicate an environment with the correct configurations and software because you know what exists in the original environment.
Automating configuration management
The role of configuration management is to maintain systems in a desired state. Traditionally, this was handled manually or with custom scripting by system administrators. Automation is the use of software to perform tasks, such as configuration management, in order to reduce cost, complexity, and errors.
Through automation, a configuration management tool can provision a new server within minutes with less room for error. You can also use automation to maintain a server in the desired state, such as your standard operating environment (SOE), without the provisioning scripts needed previously.
Configuration management tools
Red Hat® Ansible® Automation Platform, when used as a configuration management tool, is used to store the current state of your systems and help you to maintain that state. Configuration management tools make changes and deployments faster, remove the potential for human error, while making system management predictable and scalable.
They also help you to keep track of the state of your resources, and keep you from repeating tasks, like installing the same package twice.
Improve system recovery after a critical event with automated configuration management. If a server goes down for an unknown reason, you can deploy a new one quickly and have a record of any changes or updates that occurred so you can identify the source of the problem.
Your configuration management tools can also help you to run an audit of your system so you can more quickly identify where the problem is coming from.
Why choose Red Hat for automation
Red Hat works with the greater open source community on automation technologies. Our engineers help improve features, reliability, and security to make sure your business and IT performs and remains stable and secure. As with all open source projects, Red Hat contributes code and improvements back to the upstream codebase—sharing advancements along the way.
Our solutions, services, and training give you the control you need to automate your business so you can focus on innovation and moving forward.