Orca answers the question: What is configuration management?

And what are infrastructure configurations? 

For starters, let’s address this question first: What is a configuration?  A configuration is any attribute that determines how an application runs (an application in this particular case could be middleware, databases, operating system settings, etc.). A set of configurations is the set of attributes that are associated with an application. Most infrastructure applications have thousands to millions of configurations that need to be managed and monitored. As an example, in Windows environments, teams need to manage IIS configurations, SQL Server configurations, plus all the filesystem configurations, registry keys and more. Similarly, there’s Java-based middleware to manage and all the underlying operating system configurations. This equals millions of configurations, some that may seem innocuous until changing them causes an outage, performance issue, or security vulnerability.

What is Orca’s definition of Configuration Management?

Configuration management is the process by which the application ecosystem (including the application, middleware, database and operating system configurations) is continually adjusted in a controlled manner to meet the needs of a changing environment while remaining in compliance. IT operations environments are nearly always undergoing some type of change. For example, these changes can include migration to new servers, patches to software, updates to middleware, upgrades to networks and introduction of new databases. Other changes include new application release processes or ITIL driven change management processes. Still other changes involve job rotations and new hires. While all this change is taking place, IT operations needs to

  1. make necessary configuration changes to accommodate the modifications listed above
  2. while also ensuring that those same changes do not inadvertently break related elements in their ecosystem, cause performance issues, or undermine security.

 And they must account for what changes are allowed (aka compliance), when changes can be made, where changes can be deployed, who can make changes and who can approve changes. Failing to securely control configuration changes can result in performance problems, security vulnerability, audit/ compliance violations or outages. That is why configuration management is such a challenge. Until recently IT Ops teams had to rely on scripting or manual processes to control this change.

Read more about new techniques to automatically determine current configuration settings, compare configuration settings, detect configuration drift, roll back configurations and view out of compliance configurations

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