Configuration Management Tools

Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice has helped many businesses choose the right configuration management software to track and monitor the actual state of their IT resources.

Showing 1-12 of 12 products

opConfig

opConfig is a configuration management solution that helps businesses streamline processes related to risk management, compliance tracking, disaster recovery, troubleshooting and more from within a unified platform. It allows staf... Read more

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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

Chef Enterprise Automation Stack

Chef Enterprise Automation Stack is a configuration management solution that helps DevOps teams streamline application development, infrastructure configuration and compliance auditing operations. It enables IT teams to automate i... Read more

Puppet Enterprise

Puppet Enterprise is an IT management solution that helps businesses handle IT infrastructure configuration and regulate compliance processes. It enables IT professionals to streamline security management operations in compliance ... Read more

vRealize Automation

vRealize Automation (vRA) is a web-based infrastructure automation platform designed to help businesses streamline continuous delivery of infrastructure releases across various cloud environments. Key features include compliance e... Read more

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

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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

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Octopus Deploy

Octopus Deploy is a configuration management and DevOps solution that helps businesses manage releases, automate deployment and handle operational runbooks on a centralized platform. It provides built-in step templates to define d... Read more

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NNT Change Tracker

NNT Change Tracker is an IT security solution designed to help businesses of all sizes monitor, record and validate changes to files, registries, configuration and performance of devices. Features include threat intelligence, file... Read more

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Rudder

Rudder is an open-source configuration management solution that helps businesses streamline operations related to auditing, remediation, vulnerability tracking and more from within a unified platform. Administrators can set up acc... Read more

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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

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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

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Buyers guide

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.