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Better configuration management strategies for IT pros
This article is part of the Virtual Data Center issue of July 2009, Vol. 12
Years ago the notion of system configuration meant that IT shops made sure they had appropriate hardware characteristics, operating system versions and patch levels. Today’s proliferation of virtual machines (VMs) has dramatically expanded the concept to include every server element, including hardware setups, hypervisor patching, and the makeup of every VM image. In many cases, every machine must share a common, well documented configuration to meet disaster recovery and business continuance needs as well as to demonstrate regulatory compliance. But the sheer number of VMs in a modern data center makes manual configuration almost impossible. So administrators routinely use configuration management tools to exercise fast and accurate control over an increasingly dynamic computing environment. Configuration management is the broad practice of knowing and controlling how systems are set up throughout their lifecycle. Configuration management traditionally starts at the hardware level and tracks system devices through purchase, ...
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