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Configuration Management

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Configuration Management: Deploying “Gold” Configuration Settings to Production

Across a number of pre-production environments, it’s likely the configuration settings of your systems/applications will be different versions at any given time (especially evident in larger companies). Different teams will most likely maintain the configuration settings across production, staging and a number of test environments. Furthermore some systems, while being on the same code base version, will require environment specific configurations dependent on the phase.

Typically configuration change sequencing follow this approach:

  1. Configuration changes are made in a development environment
  2. These configuration changes are then made in the test environment
  3. Once testing is complete these changes are applied to a dress rehearsal or staging environment
  4. Deployment of the code and configuration changes into production environment

In order to manage these steps properly you need to:

  • Keep track of all your environments and the component versions of the application, database, middleware, operating system, network settings and web server that make up an environment.
  • Control which teams and people are allowed to make configuration changes
  • Keep a record of the changes that have been made with the configuration settings from development to production deployment
  • Audit your production environment to ensure it has the expected configuration settings applied post release deployment

Managing these steps properly takes time and effort from multiple stakeholders but not having the correct ‘gold’ configuration settings applied in production deployments will cost a business time, money and downtime.

Here is a few tips for properly overseeing your configuration management processes:

  • Ensuring all Environment Change Requests (CR’s) are raised, managed and stored in a central location.
  • Users are able to raise a single Environment configuration CR that can be applied against multiple Environments at different times.
  • Enforce segregation of duties (permission management) so that only users with the right credentials are able to raise and complete Environment configuration CR’s.
  • Produce real time reports where all environment configuration and version can be checked.
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