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Top Configuration Management Tools

by Marisa Vesel, on Aug 9, 2019 11:00:00 AM

DevOps and its related software are constantly evolving as more companies choose to adopt a DevOps culture in their workplace. A large part of a DevOps is environment is automation. And one aspect of automation that cannot be ignored is configuration management.  

In an ideal world, servers and machines would stay well-configured at all times. However, as changes are constantly being made to the hardware and software infrastructures, the state of systems becomes misconfigured. Configuration management tools aim to ensure that systems are always in their desired state and automatically fix any deviations in the configuration of infrastructure. 

There are several tools on the market that aim to help organizations manage their configured infrastructure, and we have compiled a list of the best configuration management tools currently available.  

 diagram depicting servers drifting and coming back to the desired configuration

Ansible 

Ansible offers a simple solution for configuration management and provides a consistent, reliable, and secure way to manage your environment.  

Features 

  • Provides a low learning-curve and minimalist UI/UX so organizations can easily get started while using a consistent and reliable configuration management tool that is also stable and secure. 
  • Transforms system states to the defined desired state while avoiding scripting failures 
  • Does not require any remote agents or root login privileges Delivers modules to remote systems and runs them with user-given credentials. 
  • Offers an agentless architecture that delivers models to remote systems and executes configurations in order to reach desired state 

GitHub 

CFEngine 

CF Engine is a configuration management and automation framework tool that helps organizations securely manage their complex IT infrastructure.  

Features 

  • Allows you to define the desired state and configuration of your IT infrastructure and ensure they are compliant  
  • Offers both an open source and commercial source software  
  • Uses autonomous agents to ensure your infrastructure is in the defined desired state and provides constant status reports 
  • Rolls out updates automatically throughout your entire infrastructure 

GitHub 

Chef 

Chef offers a suite of DevOps tools-including ChefInfra which is an automated configuration management tool reliable at scale. 

Features

  • Defines infrastructure as code so you can create a malleable and organized configuration policy 
  • Helps automate the process of configuration management by monitoring systems to ensure they are configured to the desired state  
  • Allows the same code that configures development to be used throughout the entire lifecycle through to production 
  • Automatically applies updates to systems as needed 

GitHub 

Consul 

From HashiCorp, Consul is a cross-service distributed service mesh for configuration management for any platform or cloud.  

Features 

  • Updates service configurations across any number of services in real-time  
  • Offers a well-established and reliable tool that is highly scalable and secure 
  • Monitors the configuration and health status of updates to help get systems back to the desired state
  • Stores configurations in a hierarchical key/value to trigger changes out quickly when necessary  

GitHub 

JUJU 

JUJU is a deployment tool that helps organizations simplify the scaling, configuration, and operation of their complex software.  

Features 

  • Allows scripts to be bundled in order to easily deploy chunks of infrastructure at once 
  • Deploys to private or public clouds  
  • Provides reusable and repeatable workloads to configure open-source software 
  • Provides 24/7 monitoring and alerting to give you an available and secure tool  

Otter 

Otter is a tool from the Inedo Suite of DevOps products that allows organizations to provision their servers and manage configuration.  

Features 

  • Continuously monitors servers for configuration changes and reports when there is configuration drift; offering a variety of solutions for remediation  
  • Allows users to define resusable sets of configuration (roles) and scale infrastructure by assigning rules to any number of servers 
  • Provides restrictive access by allowing permission to be granted to any user or group to the exact server or infrastructure needed, while easily maintaining compliance and security on high value servers 

GitHub 

Puppet 

Puppet is a well-established configuration management tool that always organizations to reliably deploy and manage their infrastructure at faster paces.  

Features 

  • Allows users to easily define the desired state of infrastructure and applications  
  • Saves developer time and company money by automatically keeping infrastructure at the desired state 
  • Allows infrastructure to be managed as code in order to provide the opportunity for collaboration between teams and easily combining agile software development practices to IT  

GitHub 

Rudder 

Rudder is an open source continuous configuration tool that combines configuration management and continuous audit to help companies improve performance while reducing costs.  

Features 

  • Helps manage the system base including distributing SSH keys, managing users and permissions, and setting up DNS 
  • Maintains compliance by continuously applying and verifying security policies 
  • Install and maintain middleware and applications such as application servers, web servers, and container orchestrators  
  • Provides easy visualization of the state of machines on clear and concise graphs in order to ensure safety policies are applied throughout the infrastructure 

SaltStack 

SaltStack features a suite of tools that can be utilized to provide automation and orchestration across entire teams.  

Features 

  • Automatically detect issues with event triggers and force a return to the desired state 
  • Increases reliability and enhances resources by ensuring critical systems are properly configured at all times 
  • Offers a simple solution for provisioning, deploying, and configuring infrastructures on any platform in order to have infrastructure running faster 

GitHub 

TeamCity 

TeamCity is a common and powerful continuous integration tool that also has established configuration management capabilities.  

Features 

  • Provides server health updates to help organizations spot problems with configurations including critical errors, redundant VCS roots, and configurations with large build logs 
  • Offers backup and restore options; allowing users to save a system’s state and restore it when needed  
  • Automatically detects when new versions of TeamCity are released and contacts a system administrator with a list of options for moving forward  

GitHub 

Looking for a tool to help with Configuration Management? Inedo DevOps tools maximize developer time, minimize release risk, and empower stakeholders to bring their vision to life faster. All with the people and technology you have right now. To get help streamlining your CI/CD processes, contact mgoulis.inedo.com 

Topics:DevOpsDevOps Automationconfigurationotter