Configuration Management

graphic: nested configuration management hierachy A considerable number of businesses see having knowledge of their physical assets as a vital step in preventing theft, and external auditors are required to confirm that the items listed in a company's books are in fact real, albeit perhaps a sample check.
IT asset configuration management is different. The Infrastructure Manager is responsible for ensuring that the servers, their firewalls, and their load balancers all have the identical configurations, with the exception of their identities (names). If a new server system is built, it should match the configuration of the existing servers, unless there is a specific reason to make it different.
One of the most significant dangers to IT operations is the presence of an unchecked "Keys of the Kingdom" technical specialist who disregards the fundamentals of configuration management. This is especially true in situations when the individual is skilled at covering up their errors. Auto-QA and auto-documentation are the friends of a deployment manager.

In one engagement, a new server had been built at a new location for a specific service. A json file with Arabic characters could not be saved through a web browser-based application: the form's submit event went into an infinite 403 (forbidden) loop. The initial focus of the investigation was on some oddment with the Arabic character set. Eventually it was determined that the firewall had been configured to prevent any json file submissions through. This is typical of an IT department with a low maturity index, combined with an "I know what I'm doing: I don't need any bureaucratic documentation" attitude not being challenged.

There was no work protocol for the new build, no request for change document (so no change approval), no auto-QA, no manual QA and apparently zero documentation of the characteristics of the existing infrastructure.

Everything best practices recommends was missing: a master class on how not to do IT.

Next Steps
send email For more information on how we can help you with improving IT asset configuration management, and reducing transition risks, please write to robert@esm.solutions