Configuration management is defined as a process in systems engineering that allows establishing and maintaining the consistency of a product’s performance and attributes with the requirements, design, and operational information.
Configuration management ensures that a system performs as expected even as it is modified, and it enables automating the installation and setup of system and software packages. Configuration management can eliminate the need to configure servers by hand: this in turn eliminates human errors and gives engineers more time to dedicate to other activities. All this applies to cloud configuration management as well.
Misconfigurations are changes that are made but remain undocumented. They are one of the leading causes of security incidents and can create inconsistencies and poor performance. Misconfigurations made across various applications can cause instability and downtime. Doing everything manually - such as maintenance, changes, etc. - is impossible in every bigger environment, and is generally not recommended due to the high possibility of errors. And yet it is vital to maintain every system regularly and document all changes in order to be efficient.
Thanks to configuration management, it is possible to:
More companies are switching to the cloud, especially after a big part of the population started working from home. This places developers under stress as they have to deliver new multi-cloud applications quickly. At the same time, these applications become more self-contained, which makes it more difficult to manage relevant company concerns - such as reliability and security. In fact, this complexity is one of the causes of security breaches.
Managing configurations is increasingly complex, and the complexity is mostly felt in the following areas:
AWS offers a useful tool for your cloud configuration management needs - CloudFormation. It allows organizations to represent AWS infrastructures as code. Turning any process into code is beneficial since code management is a well-known technique that has been improved over time. It enables you to put into practice various quality control and efficiency approaches that you're presumably already using, such as peer reviews, source control, validation, and many more.
AWS CloudFormation offers additional possibilities:
Cloud configuration management might seem like a lot to take on, but it brings undeniable rewards.
If you want to know more:
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