Configuration management (CM) is a process for establishing and maintaining consistency of a product’s attributes (both physical and functional) with its requirements, design and operational information throughout its life cycle.
There is a necessity in the IT industry today that requires an effective configuration management system (CMS). CMS should be supported by a well-defined process to provide integration with other processes. The benefits of correct Configuration Management include, among other things:
- Faster problem resolution, thus giving better quality of service. A common source of problem is the incompatibility between different CIs (Configuration Item). Detecting and fixing these errors is time consuming
- More efficient Change Management. Be proactive in knowing what the prior structure is in order to design changes that do not produce new incompatibilities or issues.
- Cost Reduction. Detailed knowledge of all the elements of the configuration allows unnecessary duplication to be avoided, for example.
- Control of licenses. It is possible to identify illegal copies of software, which could pose risks for the IT infrastructure such as viruses, etc., and non-compliance with legal requirements that may have a negative impact on the organisation.
- Higher security. An up-to-date CMDB (Configuration Management Database) allows vulnerabilities in the infrastructure to be detected, for example.
- Faster restoration of service. If you know all the elements of the configuration and how they are interrelated, recovering the live configuration will be much easier and quicker.
Main challenges in Configuration Management
- Incorrect planning: it is essential to programme the necessary activities correctly to avoid duplications or mistakes.
- Inappropriate CMDB structure: keeping an excessively detailed and exhaustive configuration database up-to-date can be a time-consuming process requiring too many resources.
- Inappropriate tools: it is essential to have the right software to speed up the data entry process and make the best use of the CMDB.
- Lack of Coordination between Change and Release Management making it impossible to maintain the CMDB correctly.
- Lack of commitment: the benefits of Configuration Management are not immediate and are almost always indirect. This can lead to a lack of interest on the part of management and consequently a lack of motivation among the people involved.
We have overcome the challenges and have streamlines our configuration management process. We are using GIT as our CM tool. The below slides will explain how we have achieved the CM process.