System Administration

9 Excellent Open Source Configuration Management Applications

Stop IT Teams Firefighting

End users at public and private sector organizations sometimes perceive IT teams a barrier to the development of the business. When the business demands new services and applications, it may take months before progress is made. Why is that? It’s too common for IT teams to spend too much time fighting fires; after all they can come from so many different sources.

An IT team’s main responsibility is to maintain, secure, and operate an organization’s systems and networks. This, in itself, carries a huge responsibility. IT teams that maintain technology infrastructure, deploy applications, and provisioning environments with many manual tasks are inefficient. In modern environments, services are rarely deployed in isolation. Simple applications may need several services to run – such as a web server and a database. Deploying more complex systems, many services may need installing, configuring, and linked together.

Streamlining system administration must therefore be part of an IT solution. And one of the most time-consuming activity for IT teams is the management of the business’s infrastructure. Automation minimizes manual work, reducing the risk of human mistakes, and offering the ability to quickly deploy new services and applications without risking reliability. Whether it involves container orchestration, real-time big data, deep learning, or stream processing, large software demands operations to be automated.

Here’s where configuration management system software steps in. This software automates the configuration of machines to a particular state. Like any other tools, they are designed to solve specific problems in certain ways. The goal is to get a system from whatever state it is in, into the desired state. Configuration management software are the tools of choice for many system administrators and devops professionals.

Cloud platforms enable teams to deploy and maintain applications serving thousands of users, and the leading open source configuration management tools offer ways to automate the various processes.

Many of the finest configuration management tools have a version released under an open source license. This article selects our recommended software, all free to download and published under an open source license. The information in each page should help you identify the software best suited for your needs.


PuppetCentralized configuration management for networks
CFEngineIT infrastructure automation and Continuous Operations framework
AnsibleAutomates software provisioning, configuration management, and application deployment
ChefAutomate IT Infrastructure
SaltA different approach to infrastructure management
QuattorSystem administration toolkit providing a powerful, portable, and modular set of tools
JujuDeploy, configure, scale and operate your software on public and private clouds
RudderContinuous configuration for effective compliance
Bcfg2Helps system administrators produce a consistent, reproducible, and verifiable description of their environment
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