DevOps is a set of software development practices that increases an organization's ability to deliver applications and services at high velocity. An important element that acts as a center for the DevOps is “Configuration Management”. As the name suggests, Configuration Management is a practice of managing and automating all the configurations of the software applications to reduce product time.
The role of configuration management in DevOps is composed of “Comprehensive Configuration Management”. As it is composed of different respiratory processes like Source code Respiratory, Artifact Respiratory, and configuration Database. The broad set of activities that the configuration management process takes into consideration are:
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There are several tools for configuration management development in DevOps, which enable deployments and changes in applications for faster, extensible, and scalable performance.
Let us discuss in detail each of the configuration management tools in the following paragraphs.
Ansible is an open-source application deployment, software provisioning, and configuration management tool., Ansible works with multiple systems of your infrastructure by considering ansible’s inventory and ASCII versionable text files. You can pull multiple inventories from cloud sources and formats(INI, YMAL) at the same time. Inventory is Machines that are installed with Ansible can easily leverage the directories and files to orchestration from the nodes.
The playbook is a YAML text file that expresses the orchestration, deployment, and configurations in Ansible. It can run on various platforms like Unix, Linux, Red Hat Enterprise
Linux,macOS, Debian, CentOS, Ubuntu, and BSD. Ansible can automate cloud provisioning, intra- service orchestration, and so on.
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Following are some of the advantages, using Ansible, they are:
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CFEngine is a popularly known and widely used configuration management tool. Let us discuss the primary features and functions of the tools in the following paragraphs.CFEngine is an automation tool used for provisioning and managing software deployment in the operational IT environment. The software of CFEngine is written in C, and it works in a client-server mode with the help of remote nodes and server managing agents. CFEngine is an independent operating system interface. It can host on windows, Unix as well Linux, AIX, HP-UX, and Solaris. The key aim of using CFEngine is changing configurations of the computer system in a “convergent manner.”
The primary function of CFEngine is to provide maintenance and configuration to heavy computer systems, embedded network systems, desktops, servers, mobile phones, and so on. Let us discuss some of the major advantages of CFEngine they are:
Puppet is a Server Configuration Management tool, which gives an automated way to inspect, deliver, and operate your software deployment. It enables system administrators to create control and consistency across the infrastructure, with common easy language. Testing, sharing, and enforcing the modifications in the data center and cloud platforms has become very easy with a puppet. Like other languages like Ruby, Puppet is also a simple modeling language used for the deployment of the infrastructure.
Puppet is installed on the main server and used to manage the clients to deploy, manage and configure the infrastructure, whereas puppet agents are assigned to server clients to communicate with the master puppet for the instructions of configurations. Following are some of the advantages of using Puppet, let us now take a look at them:
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RackHD is automated hardware management and orchestration tool that works with cohesive APIs. Developers can use APIs provided in RackHD to create an interface for users as single access for managing all the hardware services. It has a large community channel and also a Chinese channel #RackHD for Chinese discussions. Documentation and code are released with no service agreements and warranties, with an intention to support a community-driven process.
RackHD lets you automate a varied range of management tasks including the following Installation, creation of bugs, and feature requests. Avail you the provisioning server operating systems, installation, and updating of firmware. Provides data feeds for all the alerting mechanisms and raw telemetry from the hardware.
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A chef is a configuration management tool, used for enabling virtual machine set up in the cloud and servers. The primary aim of Chef is to configure the files and software on a machine. It considers the infrastructure as a code and setup machine as a chef recipe. All the recipes are stored in a cookbook, and it is considered a single task. Whereas, a cookbook may have different server configurations.
This is not only the process of configuring and maintaining the company’s servers but also helps in integrating with the cloud-based platform like the Amazon OpenStack and also Google’s Cloud Platform. With the use of this technology, an individual can manage as many servers that can practically be possible and turn this infrastructure into code. The infrastructure that is in turn described as code can very easily be tested, readable by humans.
Infrastructure automation tools like CHEF and Puppet make IT management a lot easier, efficient and flexible. As mentioned earlier, CHEF has been very well known for the concept of “Infrastructure as Code”.
Following are some of the advantages of using Chef, let us now take a look at each and one of them:
Vagrant is the best tool, to set up and manage the virtual machines in a single workflow for the development with utmost easy processes. Vagrant is a cross-platform, and it works on top of the VM solutions like VMware, VirtualBox, and Hyper-V, etc. The vagrant file holds all the configurations that need to build a VM(virtual machine).
Vagrant, with its easy workflow and automation, focuses on the whole process of building and managing virtual machine environments. It reduces the time it takes to set up a development environment and thereby increases productivity.
Following are some of the advantages of using Vagrant, let us now take a look at each.
SaltStack, a Python-based open-source configuration management tool that helps to maintain remote task execution, event IT automation, and configuration management in defined states. Saltstack was developed from the need to bring task execution and high data collection for the data center system. In puppet and Chef, the code for execution will be pulled from the servers, but in the SaltStack, the code will be pushed to many of the adjoining nodes simultaneously. The code compilation and the required configurations will process fast in the SaltStack.
Here is a list of advantages of using SaltStack, let us take a look at them:
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JUJU is an open-source configuration management tool, which is created by canonical Ltd. It allows you to configure, deploy, maintain and manage cloud applications efficiently on the public cloud platforms and as well on OpenStack, physical servers, and containers. We can use JUJU through GUI or command line.
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Cobbler is a well classified Linux provisioning server that facilitates and caters towards automation of the network-based system installation of multiple computer operating systems. Cobbler helps in facilitating and automating system installations and uses network boot to initiate and control installations. Besides this, it facilitates repository mirroring, kick-start templates, manages connectivity with the available power management systems. There are a lot of features that make it even more powerful is Configuration management, XML RPC APIs and the KOAN client, etc.,
SSH is an acronym that stands for Secure Shell, is a software package that enables secure system administration and file transfers over insecure networks. Using SSH, you can issue commands to the server from just a command prompt just the same way as sitting before a server. As time passes by, you get a better command over the basic commands, and you can work faster than the C-Panel GUI as well.
Following are some of the advantages of using SSH, let us now take a look at each one of them:
The rudder is an open-source, role-based solution, automation, web-driven, and configuration management helps to system configurations to all the IT compliances and organizations. It is a server-side web interface written in Scala, and its local agent is written in C. It is free software produced with General Public License.
Octopus Deploy is a release management and deployment automation server. Using Octopus Deploy, we can design applications securely with deployment on the cloud platforms. Deployments are modified and executed through a web-based interface. Deployment statuses can be monitored by using dashboards.
These configuration management tools provide IT operators and DevOps engineers with event-driven DevOps automation and orchestration for integrated configuration management, infrastructure security and compliance, and control over clouds and containers.
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Ravindra Savaram is a Content Lead at Mindmajix.com. His passion lies in writing articles on the most popular IT platforms including Machine learning, DevOps, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, RPA, Deep Learning, and so on. You can stay up to date on all these technologies by following him on LinkedIn and Twitter.