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Netwrix Change Tracker

Netwrix Change Tracker enables organizations of all sizes to enhance their security posture by hardening configurations, monitoring changes and delivering superior forensic capabilities that minimize the time and effort needed to ...Read more about Netwrix Change Tracker

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Netwrix PolicyPak

In today's hybrid work environment, users need to access their desktops, laptops and other devices at the office, at home, while traveling, through kiosks and virtually. But many organizations are struggling to manage and secure t...Read more about Netwrix PolicyPak

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Razor

Razor is a business process management tool that streamlines and automates workflows, designed for small to mid-sized businesses across various industries. Razor allows users to map and optimize business processes. It provides a...Read more about Razor

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ServiceNow

ServiceNow is an IT service management solution that provides asset management, change and release management, incident management, IT cost management and problem management. It caters to various industries, including financial se...Read more about ServiceNow

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Aras Innovator

Aras Innovator is a web-based product lifecycle management software designed to help businesses across various industry verticals such as aerospace, defense, automotive, consumer packaged goods, energy, high-tech electronics, indu...Read more about Aras Innovator

3.6 (8 reviews)

CYRISMA

CYRISMA provides a complete risk assessment and mitigation ecosystem to organizations via a unified platform. The cloud-delivered solution is easy to deploy and use, with capabilities for internal and external vulnerability scanni...Read more about CYRISMA

4.8 (5 reviews)

TeamCity

TeamCity by JetBrains is a continuous integration solution for DevOps teams. It can be used by developers, engineers, managers, and administrators. TeamCity is highly flexible and can support several workflows and development prac...Read more about TeamCity

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AWS Config

AWS Config is a compliance and policy management solution that helps businesses streamline processes related to change management, continuous compliance, troubleshooting, and security analysis. With AWS Config, users can continuou...Read more about AWS Config

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PDMPlus

PDMPlus is a web-based configuration management software designed to help businesses track and report on the status of fielded assets across the product lifecycle. Key features include change management, cost tracking, compliance ...Read more about PDMPlus

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Split

Split provides a feature delivery platform that helps companies embrace impact-driven development across their engineering teams. It pairs the speed and reliability of feature flags with data to measure the impact of every featur...Read more about Split

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CFEngine

CFEngine is a cloud-based configuration management solution designed to help businesses control IT infrastructure and automatically release updates across endpoints while ensuring compliance. Features include event logs, file chan...Read more about CFEngine

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UCMDB

Universal Discovery and Universal CMDB is a configuration management solution, which helps enterprises of all sizes manage, discover and monitor IT assets across multi-cloud, on-premise or container environment. Features include c...Read more about UCMDB

2.0 (2 reviews)

baramundi Management Suite

baramundi Management Suite is an IT management solution that helps businesses of all sizes streamline processes related to IT asset installation, distribution, protection and backup. The license management module allows employees ...Read more about baramundi Management Suite

4.7 (7 reviews)

Ansible Automation Platform

Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform is a cloud-based IT automation tool, which assists businesses of all sizes with system configuration, cloud provisioning, application deployment and various other tasks. The automation serv...Read more about Ansible Automation Platform

4.5 (8 reviews)

FNT Command Platform

The FNT Command Platform software solution enables efficient management of IT, Telecommunication and Data Center infrastructures as a digital twin – from the physical level (cables, switches, servers, etc.) through virtual compone...Read more about FNT Command Platform

4.1 (8 reviews)

FluentPro FluentBooks

FluentBooks for administration: - Bulk edit of projects, custom fields, lookup tables, SharePoint sites - Configuration documentation - Publish projects in bulk - Download PWA configuration and SharePoint sites - Configuration aud...Read more about FluentPro FluentBooks

4.9 (7 reviews)

C2-ITSM

C2 ITSM is a cloud-based IT service management solution that helps users manage and automate requests, assets, and tasks. Service desk features are built around filtered service catalogs and can be customized to meet the specific ...Read more about C2-ITSM

Versio.io

Versio.io continuously and automatically detects and documents changes in businesses and IT landscapes. Data from third-party applications that companies use to run business processes, monitor the IT landscape and control IT servi...Read more about Versio.io

4.5 (2 reviews)

Pointel Configuration Management Solution

Configuration Management Solution (CMS) is a web application, lets your operators manage the Genesys configurations environment in one place. CMS provides you with a centralized vision of your Genesys configuration environment to ...Read more about Pointel Configuration Management Solution

5.0 (5 reviews)

Resolve

Eliminate friction and automate instantly. Resolve Actions Express SaaS Edition has nothing to download and no infrastructure to set up, so our customers can spend time on creating value for their business. Actions Express SaaS Ed...Read more about Resolve

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Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

Traditionally, system administrators used to run scripts manually to configure and manage infrastructure, applications, networks, servers, or anything that needs to be connected to the IT system. This involved manual documentation of every change within the IT environment, which increased the chances of human error.

This is where software tools designed for the job come into play. Called configuration management systems, these tools allow IT professionals and operations teams to control hundreds of servers, track changes to applications, and gain visibility into the actual state of an organization’s IT resources. This makes system management predictable and scalable.

But given the many options available on the market, buying a configuration management tool can be difficult. In this buyers guide, we’ve included all the information you’ll need to make a purchase decision.

Here’s what we'll cover:

What is configuration management software?

Configuration management software is a tool that can help track, control, and maintain IT resources and services. The software helps DevOps teams record all changes in their IT environment (such as any software added, removed, or updated) and changes in server settings or network configuration. Tracking these changes allows users to know the current state of their applications and identify poor performing, outdated, or noncompliant configurations.

Such type of software integrates with bug tracking tools, version control systems, and compliance management systems to mitigate risks, making sure the functions in the IT environment are complying with policies and regulations.

Reporting-and-visualization-in-Puppet-Enterprise

Reporting and visualization in Puppet Enterprise (Source)

Common features of configuration management software

Configuration automation

Automate the deployment and configuration of settings in the IT infrastructure, and automatically discover network devices, applications, or any middleware running in the IT infrastructure and store their configuration settings.

Compliance management

Ensure IT systems and servers are secured and in compliance with mandated policies.

Reporting and visualization

Gain real-time visibility into the functioning of IT resources and applications.

Infrastructure automation/infrastructure as code

Automate the provisioning of infrastructure to develop, deploy, and scale cloud applications with greater speed, less risk, and reduced cost.

Node management

Classify and manage the lifecycle of nodes that form the bridge between actions and the events that trigger those actions.

Role-based access control

Grant employees/users access rights to applications, networks, or other systems based on their roles/job functions.

Change management

Track and monitor any configuration change and transition of components/elements within the IT infrastructure.

REST API Integration

Integrate with other systems/databases to effectively monitor and control IT resources from one central location.

Application deployment

Deploy any application by instructing the software on how and when to install.

Orchestration

Manage the interconnections and interactions among workloads to automate tasks in the IT environment.

What type of buyer are you?

Before purchasing a system, you should assess what kind of a buyer you are. The majority of buyers belong to one of these categories:

  • Small and medium enterprises (up to 500 employees): Small and medium businesses often have a resource crunch and lack the dedicated support and operations staff as large established companies. Also, as the organization grows, the servers, networks, applications, and databases tend to become complex. Due to these reasons, a configuration management system that is easy to install, does not require huge system resources, and has low maintenance needs would be beneficial for such organizations.

  • Large enterprises (more than 500 employees): Businesses in this segment have a lot of processes and software products to complement those processes. Businesses need to manage these carefully and keep track of all configuration changes to minimize system outages, data breaches, or data leaks. Buying a configuration management tool that can record the state of the systems, manage changes, and detect and correct improper configurations could prove beneficial for such organizations.

Benefits of configuration management software

Below is a comprehensive list of benefits you can expect from deploying configuration management software:

  • Disaster recovery: Configuration management tools ensure that your assets are recovered quickly from any system failure, with proper logs and documents. It allows you to go back to the state of your software before the changes are implemented.

  • Cost reduction: The real-time visibility into the IT infrastructure gives you detailed knowledge about all the elements of the configuration. This helps reduce costs by avoiding duplication of IT assets.

  • Productivity increase: The detailed knowledge and visibility into the IT configuration will enable you to detect any outages, data leakage, and change in configurations that might have a negative impact on productivity. The software lets you take prompt actions, saving a lot of time and thus increasing productivity.

Market trends to understand

  • Rise of cloud-based configuration management tool: Bring your own device (BYOD), internet of things, and other technological advancements have led companies to invest more in SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, and cloud ITSM. Organizations are increasingly adopting cloud-based infrastructure such as data containers, networks, and data centers. This has brought opportunities in the configuration management market to accommodate cloud computing.

Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.