If you worked at the factory that formed some product you purchased; there are chances that you might not have an absolute understanding of how the entire product was made. Reason behind that is many factories work using assembly or production lines. Workers assemble or produce just one part of the whole product. In addition to it, major focus is on mass production, then after some time mass customisation using standard tooling becomes focal point as challenges are faced in mass production.
Now, let’s relate above scenario with IT industry. With the growth in the Information Technology, various SMBs and large organizations are growing like never before. Large organizations can handle huge demands of IT resources with huge budgets, sufficient manpower, and enterprise class management tools but for SMBs it is a problem. Organizations had spent a huge amount of time in finding the solutions as to how to scale heavy infrastructures and to monitor and backup critical systems. Currently in the lot of organizations, IT infrastructure is managed manually where different teams handle acquisition, installation, and configuration process. It is similar to the factory situation where huge manual efforts are involved in one specific area without complete understanding of infrastructure and deployment environment. It is a very rigid and time consuming process.
Emergence of Cloud computing in recent year has changed the game in the market and to solve various issues a new paradigm was introduced- i.e. “infrastructure as code”. Idea behind this is to model the infrastructure as code to abstract, design, implement, and deploy the infrastructure in a flexible environment on which organizations can run applications. This code can be committed into source code management along with the application code. By this concept we can think infrastructure as re-deployable from a code base using software development methodologies. Virtualization and Cloud computing along with changed scenario in market resulted into the need of new type of configuration management tools
Organizations needed such a management tool which can help them to classify the infrastructure into reusable and network-accessible services; and to integrate, and produce the required functionality again and again efficiently. Various configuration management tools can be used to fulfil this desire.
First, let’s understand what is Configuration Management? Configuration Management provides detailed information about enterprise’s hardware and software. It basically includes details of versions and updates that are applied to the packages and hardware devices. This approach leads to series of benefits that helped small developer led organizations to solve the scalability and management problems which leads to rapid and overwhelming success. On similar lines, it helps large organizations to efficiently utilize their IT infrastructure.