When consuming the final configuration data, you will find it useful to also store metadata about how the configuration was ingested. For example, if you know the data came from a configuration file in Jsonnet or you have the full path to the original before it was compiled into data, you can track down the configuration authors. Once the static configuration data is obtained, it can also be used in data analysis. For instance, if the generated configuration data is in JSON format, it can be loaded into PostgreSQL and analyzed with database queries.
This brief history of configuration management tells us that the discipline originated in the technical materials sector and was gradually adopted by the software development industry to maintain software quality across its lifecycle. CM is now essential to project management and DevOps since it regulates how application changes are rolled out over time, the models and frameworks to follow, and the dependencies involved. In the 1990s, the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Foundation embarked on the journey to create the industry’s most widely accepted best practices guidance for IT Service Management (ITSM). Configuration management helps ensure that accurate and reliable information about the configuration of services and its components are available where and when needed. As adoption of the ITIL framework gained momentum, organizations started integrating network configuration management with IT service management to enhance visibility across IT services and reduce operational costs.
Backups and Data Storage
Since then, researchers have studied what different configurations within the DNA strands mean and what they control, and genetic engineers have tried to configure or reconfigure DNA in new ways to prevent or treat diseases. Compliance configuration is the act of configuring infrastructure and systems to enable compliance with regulatory standards such as GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI. Configuration management can also automatically correct issues to ensure that your systems perform as expected.
This model of conceptualization holds true regardless of whether users are editing XML files or using a configuration GUI wizard. However, configuration tends to differ meaningfully from code in several aspects. Changing a system’s capabilities via code is typically a lengthy and involved process, involving small incremental changes, code reviews, and testing. In contrast, changing a single configuration option can have dramatic changes on functionality—for example, one bad firewall configuration rule may lock you out of your own system.
What is a config file?
When we need to change system behavior quickly, and the change process requires an expensive, lengthy rebuild and redeployment process, a code change won’t suffice. Instead, configuration—which we can loosely define as a human-computer interface for modifying system behavior—provides a low-overhead way to change system functionality. SREs take advantage of this on a regular basis, when deploying systems and tuning their performance, as well as during incident response.
These terms and definitions change from standard to standard, but are essentially the same.
British Dictionary definitions for configuration
A structured CM program ensures that documentation (e.g., requirements, design, test, and acceptance documentation) for items is accurate and consistent with the actual physical design of the item. In many cases, without CM, the documentation exists but is not consistent with the item itself. For this reason, engineers, contractors, and management are frequently forced to develop documentation reflecting the actual status of the item before they can proceed with a change. This reverse engineering process is wasteful in terms of human and other resources and can be minimized or eliminated using CM. To “configure software” means selecting programmable options that make the program function to the user’s liking.
You already know that most if not all of your company’s electronics need to be able to talk to each other. This communications configuration is essential to proper functioning of your systems and processes. Function and performance are two of the biggest concerns surrounding the demand for a properly configured technology infrastructure. Reliability also comes into play, along configuration with the safety and security of your company’s data. Devices that are properly configured initially can save you headaches in technology audits down the line. 1) In computers and computer networks, a configuration often refers to the specific hardware and software details in terms of devices attached, capacity or capability, and exactly what the system is made up of.
Just as it’s important to set up systems correctly, performing regular, thorough maintenance helps prevent more costly problems in the future. CM applied over the life cycle of a system provides visibility and control of its performance, functional, and physical attributes. CM verifies that a system performs as intended, and is identified and documented in sufficient detail to support its projected life cycle. The relatively minimal cost of implementing CM is returned manyfold in cost avoidance. The lack of CM, or its ineffectual implementation, can be very expensive and sometimes can have such catastrophic consequences such as failure of equipment or loss of life.
- Secrets such as encryption keys and passwords should be identified so they can be encrypted and stored safely.
- “Configurability” refers to the hardware or software’s ability to be changed and customized.
- This analogy is helpful both to the users and the developers who work on the configuration system.
- This tracking is essential to follow up on the modification of the configuration in your system.
- Devices that are properly configured initially can save you headaches in technology audits down the line.
In fact, before you even pick a configuration management system, it’s best to spend time identifying why you need one. Every configuration management system is designed to do a similar set of basic things. The different types of configuration management and the specific ways it gets there all ladder up to enforcing a desired state in a system. Configuration management tools assess configurations, establish baselines, manage changes, and remediate drift in a system. 6There are various practical ways to automate compiling a new configuration into raw data. For example, if you store your configuration in a version control system, a post-commit hook can facilitate this.