IT Infrastructure

The Top 10 Configuration Management Solutions

Discover the best Configuration Management Solutions with features like infrastructure as code, change tracking, and environment consistency.

The Top 10 Configuration Management Solutions include:
  • 1. BitBucket
  • 2. Jira Service Management
  • 3. Manage Engine Network Configuration Manager
  • 4. Microsoft Configuration Manager (part of Microsoft Intune)
  • 5. Progress Chef Infrastructure Management
  • 6. Puppet Enterprise
  • 7. Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform
  • 8. ServiceNow Configuration Management Database
  • 9. Terraform by HashiCorp
  • 10. VMWare Aria Automation

Configuration Management Solutions facilitate the automation and control of configurations and settings across IT environments. They are used to ensure that systems are consistently maintained and set up to operate as we’d expect them to. Configuration Management Solutions not only track and record changes to the IT landscape, but also help to automatically ensure that current system configurations match predefined templates or ‘desired states’. This ensures operational reliability, reduces the potential for human-induced errors, and streamlines deployment and scaling efforts.

Given the complexities of modern IT operations, especially with the advent of cloud computing, containerization, and infrastructure-as-code paradigms, the need for robust configuration management solutions is greater than ever. These platforms often integrate with continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines, offer compliance auditing capabilities, and provide detailed logging and reporting for accountability and troubleshooting.

The market for Configuration Management Solutions is rich and varied, with tools catering for organizations of different sizes, complexities, and work practices. Effective configuration management solutions prioritize ease of use, scalability, and have strong security and compliance capabilities. In this guide, we will explore the top Configuration Management solutions, with information on each product, its features, and use cases. 

BitBucket Logo

BitBucket is an integrated code and Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) platform which facilitates seamless and efficient developer workflows from planning to incident management. It is trusted by millions of developers worldwide due to its efficient integration with Jira.

Key features of BitBucket are designed to streamline coding processes and enhance productivity. It empowers control and consistency through checks and balances in code. Easy review of large differences in code is made possible with contextual commenting and task management features. Integrated test results along, with robust security scans, help in identification and rectification of bugs at early stages.

For enhanced coding and deployment efficiency, BitBucket offers a one-page view eliminating the need for context switching. Merge conditions can be enforced ensuring that pull requests are adequately checked before they are merged. The platform also supports task assignment, turning feedback into actionable tasks.

In addition, Bitbucket enhances coding transparency with built-in Jira integration. It allows immediate issue and task creation within pull requests, meaning reduced feedback loops between submitter and reviewer. It also automates updates of code changes, ensuring teams remain updated without interruptions.

BitBucket connects with Jira Software to provide an up-to-date view of code changes and deployment statuses. Code insights brought on by this integration reduces the need for meetings and strengthens focus on coding. Automation of tasks across Jira and BitBucket through simple clicking and process customization further minimizes coding disruptions and oversees continuous delivery.

BitBucket Logo
Atlassian Logo

Jira Service Management is a solution that encourages high-speed performance in teams. It allows businesses to deliver digital services rapidly by connecting collaborative efforts from multiple departments such as Development, IT, and business sectors.

In addition, the Jira Service Management platform aims to boost the efficiency of non-IT sectors such as Human Resources, Legal, and Facilities. The aim is to streamline requests, consolidate knowledge, and facilitate teams to work in a tailored manner.

Jira Service Management is highly adaptable to individual requirements, avoiding the complexities associated with traditional ITSM solutions. Its features cater to ITSM practices such as request, incident, problem, change, and configuration management. Templates make it easy for any team to get started quickly with a service experience that fits the way they like to work.

Jira Service Management also hosts capabilities for asset and configuration management, giving detailed visibility into the infrastructure that supports critical applications and services. Plus, an efficient knowledge management system is included to allow for self-service and foster team collaboration. Its open platform allows for the integration of custom add-ons via REST API to enhance your service desk further.

Atlassian Logo
ManageEngine logo

ManageEngine Network Configuration Manager is a comprehensive tool designed to manage the configuration of network devices, such as switches, routers, and firewalls. Providing robust functionality, the platform enables automatic configuration backups, user activity tracking, and comparison of configuration versions from a centralized web GUI.

Notably, ManageEngine Network Configuration Manager facilitates real-time change tracking on its platform. This function provides instant notifications on configuration changes, aiming to maintain network environment secure, stable, and compliant. The system empowers businesses to define standard practices and policies, inspects device configurations for any violations, and applies remedial measures swiftly to maintain device compliance.

In addition to this, the platform is equipped with automation capabilities to streamline and enhance efficiency in network configuration tasks. It allows network admins to implement configuration changes in bulk, centrally. In order to prevent potential threats, it scans network devices for firmware vulnerabilities and facilitates remote firmware upgrades. The system also accommodates large, distributed networks, through its Enterprise Edition, robustly managing the configuration of network devices.

Finally, through its configuration backup and change management features, along with user activity tracking function, ManageEngine Network Configuration Manager endeavors to make networks disaster-proof. Businesses can manage configurations, change, and compliance, making the platform a valuable asset in maintaining a healthy and robust network infrastructure.

ManageEngine logo
Microsoft Logo

Microsoft Configuration Manager, part of the Microsoft Intune product suite, is an integrated solution designed to streamline the management of various devices within a business setting. Microsoft Configuration Manager significantly enhances IT productivity and efficiency by automating manual tasks. It ensures hardware and software resources are optimized and that software is provisioned effectively. This tool supports secure and scalable deployment of applications, operating systems, and software updates. It also enables real-time actions on managed devices and provides cloud-powered analytics for both on-premises and internet-based devices.

Microsoft Configuration Manager has two user interfaces: the Configuration Manager console and the Software Center. The former serves as the primary administrative point, allowing the management of multiple sites and offers role-based administration to restrict access and limit visibility as required. The Software Center is installed alongside the Configuration Manager client on Windows devices, letting users browse and install applications, updates, and new OS versions, view software request history, and check device compliance against organizational policies. Configuration Manager integrates seamlessly with Microsoft ecosystems and technologies such as Microsoft Intune and Azure. The platform also integrates with Microsoft SQL Server and synchronizes with SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) to generate reports that monitor and track management activities.

Microsoft Logo
Progress Logo

Progress Chef Infrastructure Management enables DevOps teams to uniformly apply configurations across various platforms such as cloud, virtual machines, or physical infrastructure. This product enables swift deployment through an accessible interface that employs human-readable language like YAML, and optionally Ruby for more complex tasks. The platform also supports AIOps integration, enhancing IT operations through data consolidation, and facilitating seamless cooperation with third-party systems.

Chef Infrastructure Management is equipped with robust tools to streamline the development process. It provides a unified view of both the intended and current states across teams, promoting collaboration in managing complex services and environments. The system grants administrators the ability to craft custom authorizations for users or teams, enhancing control and coordination at an enterprise level. The platform also extends support for data mapping to third-party systems through a feature named ‘Data Path’; this allows for efficient data transmission to intelligence and monitoring systems. Chef integrates with a wide range of DevOps software tools. This includes source code and artifact repositories, CI/CD tools, provisioning utilities, and secrets management tools.

Progress Logo
Puppet Logo

Puppet Enterprise is specifically designed to streamline IT operations by allowing teams to manage and automate complex workflows on a large scale. It supports over 49 different operating systems, making it a versatile platform that can accommodate a diverse range of workflows and global infrastructure setups. Users can leverage more than 6000 modules crafted by Puppet experts and the community to further enhance and simplify automation processes.

Puppet Enterprise aids IT teams in automating infrastructure setup and deployment while preparing for future expansion. The platform facilitates continuous configuration automation, allowing users to enforce the desired state at scale without requiring manual intervention, reducing the chances of human error. It allows you to define and enforce configurations programmatically across various operating systems, middleware, and applications. It also simplifies the management of infrastructure state through a centralized dashboard view, providing insights into the inventory across the organization.

Puppet Enterprise also assists in minimizing operational risks by creating a predictable and secure environment that adheres to compliance and security prerequisites. It monitors and reduces drift between the desired and actual configuration states, offering continuous configuration automation and alerting facilities. The solution is designed to help teams maintain compliance with automation, integrating security, compliance, and operational policies directly into your infrastructure code.

Puppet Logo
Red Hat Ansible Logo

Red Hat provides open-source enterprise solutions, for Linux, hybrid cloud, edge, and Kubernetes technologies. The Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform is a part of their comprehensive offering, available both as an on-premises solution and a managed service on Microsoft Azure, with a billing system based on nodes rather than users.

The Ansible Automation Platform automates routine and time-consuming configuration management tasks. It ensures consistency in managing compliance through automation execution environments; this maintains uniformity across multiple platforms, be it in your data center, the cloud, or at the edge. Additionally, the platform enables proactive issue responses through Event-Driven Ansible. This feature creates a seamless bridge between data, analytics, and service requests to automated actions, fostering quick responses to outages or server patches.

The solution carries out performance measurement and drift monitoring, with comprehensive insights into your automation effectiveness and can facilitate preemptive problem-solving. This platform is compatible with several industry partners including IBM, PureStorage, SAP, ServiceNow, and VMWare.

Red Hat Ansible Logo
ServiceNow Logo

ServiceNow is a cloud-based platform aimed at optimizing work processes and unifying organizations to foster a smarter and more efficient workflow. One of the core components of ServiceNow is the Configuration Management Database (CMDB), which stores crucial details about your digital services and the underlying infrastructure. It manages operational processes, helping to foresee, prevent, and address service interruptions, and respond promptly to user requirements.

ServiceNow’s Service Graph Connectors, are a set of tools that facilitate the easy integration of large quantities of third-party data into your CMDB, guaranteeing data accuracy, efficiency, and consistency. These connectors ensure that the data is mapped accurately in the CMDB according to the Common Service Data Model (CSDM). This enhances reporting accuracy and application usability. These connectors are developed by accredited ServiceNow technology partners and follow stringent guidelines and standards to ensure data quality and scalability.

ServiceNow Logo
Terraform Logo

Terraform is a cloud-based configuration management solution from HashiCorp. It’s centered around automating infrastructure across various cloud environments. It utilizes a cloud-native approach to adhere to the ever-changing state of infrastructure, making it highly scalable. Terraform can accommodate multi-tenant architecture, supporting hundreds of teams simultaneously. One distinctive feature is its agent-based structure which incorporates versioning and secure state management.

The solution offers the ability to integrate third-party services, thereby enhancing workflows, compliance, and security. Terraform codes cloud APIs into distinct configuration files aiding in the automation of resources, ranging from servers to firewall policies. In addition, it provides capabilities for deploying serverless functions with platforms such as AWS Lambda and managing network tasks like updating load balancer target pools.

HashiCorp’s Terraform is equipped with Sentinel policy, a code framework that helps in avoiding misconfigurations by enforcing policies prior to infrastructure provisioning. The solution can operate from various platforms including CLI, version control, UI, or API. The platform requires manual approval for complex changes, whilst allowing automatic acceptance for simpler ones. Other significant capabilities include custom workspace permissions and audit logs. In conclusion, Terraform delivers simplicity, automation, and vast integration possibilities, making it suitable for organizations of any size transitioning to the cloud.

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VMWare Logo

VMware Aria Automation is a multi-cloud infrastructure automation platform that seeks to enhance the efficiency of IT productivity. The platform expedites the adoption of cloud-native technologies through a future-ready framework built on Infrastructure-as-Code and DevOps principles. VMware Aria Automation aims to streamline cloud management by offering a self-service multi-cloud with governance, resource lifecycle management spanning across VMware Clouds, and prominent public clouds, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.

The platform allows users to request and provision infrastructure resources across clouds, granting a consistent IaaS consumption layer. VMware Aria Automation also offers templatized cloud and policy definition, leading to comprehensive visibility of cloud environments and automated remediation. With this platform, users can deploy resources on VMware Clouds or public clouds through Infrastructure-as-Code and native cloud resources, using a plugin-based framework.

VMware Aria Automation features an Orchestrator for extensibility and customization, action-based extensibility, and integrations with widely used third-party tools. It also provides user-friendly release automation pipelines tailored for CI/CD in infrastructure use cases. In addition, it integrates with VMware Workspace ONE Access and Microsoft Active Directory for identity management, and tools such as Ansible, Puppet, and Terraform for Infrastructure as Code and Kubernetes automation.

VMWare Logo
The Top Configuration Management Solutions