Top 7 Configuration Management Tools


A typical trait throughout each digital infrastructure in addition to software program is that there are all the time configuration choices. In an more and more distributed IT panorama with deployments that may be brief lived, within the knowledge heart or within the cloud, there’s a actual must handle configurations at scale.

Configuration administration software program is a broad class of instruments and providers that allow directors to handle configuration at scale in a coverage pushed, repeatable and automatic method. Key components like infrastructure monitoring come into play.

Software program Configuration Administration (SCM) was initially a class of software program particularly about software and server software program. Lately, configuration administration has advanced to turn out to be much more expansive. With infrastructure more and more used as a digital service within the cloud and on-premises, there was a motion to outline infrastructure-as-code, which is a spot the place configuration administration tooling is performed a staring position.

Configuration Administration Instruments: Key Options

There are a variety of key capabilities that the highest configuration administration instruments help.

  • Configuration: By definition, configuration administration instruments all allow customers to configure the choices wanted for deployment and operations.
  • Automated deployment: The power to robotically deploy software program and digital infrastructure, in a coverage pushed method with outlined configuration is a key attribute.
  • Coverage compliance: Conserving infrastructure and software program inline with coverage is a invaluable function for many organizations.

The way to Select a Configuration Administration Instrument

When selecting a configuration administration service, there are a number of key concerns:

  • Scope: Determine what kind of software program or infrastructure that must be managed and ensure it is supported by the software
  • Complexity: Some instruments are simpler than others to handle each by way of onboarding and ongoing management. You should definitely check out a software in restricted deployment earlier than committing.
  • Price: Is the answer one thing that scales to cowl totally different use-cases whereas remaining cost-effective?

High Configuration Administration Options

On this Datamation high firms record, we highlight the distributors that supply the highest configuration administration instruments.


Worth proposition for potential consumers: Chef now has a collection of configuration administration and automation instruments that may assist to allow a company of any measurement embrace a coverage pushed method to deployments.

Key values/differentiators

  • On the core of Chef are cookbooks and recipes that present guides on how software program needs to be configured and deployed.
  • Visibility into working methods with Chef Automate may be very helpful for directors to determine what must be configured.
  • Helps to speed up deployment of software program and infrastructure in a constant, repeatable method.


Worth proposition for potential consumers: CFengine supplies a robust open supply method that’s nicely fitted to builders that want speedy configuration administration throughout each massive and small scale deployments.

Key values/differentiators

  • CFEngine is likely one of the longest standing open supply configuration administration initiatives, courting again to 1993.
  • Pace is a key differentiator for CFEngine, because of the truth that its written within the C programming language and has a small reminiscence footprint.
  • Configuration is finished by way of “guarantees’ that are written in a declarative language to outline insurance policies.
  • There are open supply and Enterprise editions, with the enterprise version obtainable without cost for as much as 25 related hosts.

Hashicorp Terraformhashicorp

Worth proposition for potential consumers: Hashicorp has a full suite of infrastructure administration instruments together with Terraform which can assist group to outline infrastructure as code.

Key values/differentiators

  • Hashicorp is likely one of the leaders within the area and simply introduced on March 16 that it raised $175 million in a Sequence E spherical of funding, valuing the corporate at $5.1 billion
  • Terraform permits group to jot down declarative configuration information for the way infrastructure needs to be configured in addition to offering automated provisioning capabilities.
  • A key differentiator for Hashicorp is the Terraform Cloud service that brings collaboration and a SaaS mannequin to configuration administration actions.


Worth proposition for potential consumers: Puppet is an open supply based mostly configuration administration vendor with instruments that may assist allow configuration administration in addition to steady compliance for regulatory necessities.

Key values/differentiators

  • The corporate’s flagship Puppet Enterprise platform permits automation and configuration administration throughout each on-premises and multi-cloud infrastructure.
  • A key differentiator for Puppet is the emphasis on enabling a policy-as-code mode that may determine potential drift after which present automated remdiation.
  • Auditability and visibility is one other space of power for Puppet with nicely built-in dashboards to handle standing.
  • Change administration and the power to know and assess the influence of a possible change is robust function in Puppet.

Pink Hat Ansibleredhat

Worth proposition for potential consumers: Open supply based mostly DevOps automation and configuration administration expertise that works nicely with Linux, container and cloud deployments.

Key values/differentiators

  • Pink Hat acquired Ansible again in October 2015, whereas Pink Hat itself was acquired by IBM in 2019.
  • Ansible Engine supplies the core expertise for configuration administration whereas Ansible Tower brings broader enterprise administration and management capabilities.
  • Ansible’s core method for enabling automation and configuration administration is encapsulated within the idea of Playbooks, that outline actions that must happen.
  • A key differentiator for Ansible is the combination of networking automation and configuration.


Worth proposition for potential consumers: SaltStack’s configuration administration tooling is nicely fitted to each infrastructure automation in addition to safety operations use-cases.

Key values/differentiators

  • SaltStack is predicated on the Salt open supply mission, which is written within the Python programming language.
  • SaltStack Enterprise can be utilized to assist implement configuration administration and infrastructure automation throughout each on-premises and cloud environments.
  • A key differentiator for SaltStack is its integration with safety operations to assist present steady compliance.
  • Integrations with ServiceNow for IT Service Administration (ITSM) and Tenable for vulnerability scanning are highly effective additions for mid to massive measurement organizations.

Vendor Comparability Chart


Key Differentiator


  • Cookbooks and Recipes for configuration coverage definitions
  • Automated deployment capabilities

Visibility into working system configuration


  • Configuration dealt with by way of “Guarantees” written in a declarative language.
  • Developer centered configuration administration

Configuration replace velocity

Hashicorp Terraform

  • Automated provisioning throughout on-premises and cloud suppliers.
  • Declarative configuration for infrastructure configuration

Full suite of infrastructure-as-code capabilities


  • Change administration influence evaluation
  • Coverage-as-code configuration administration

Steady compliance capabilities

Pink Hat Ansible

  • Enterprise-wide configuration administration with Ansible Tower
  • Utility and infrastructure configuration management

Community automation and configuration


  • Infrastructure automation for deployment
  • Configuration administration definition and enforcement

Integration with safety operations

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