In networked computer systems, configuration management refers to the processes involved in setting and maintaining hardware and software parameters so that the network operates according to its design and operational specifications. Configuration functions can be performed in software which gives overall visibility of the status of network components as well as providing automated functions for their control.
The process streamlines the delivery of software applications to end-users by automating the process of provisioning systems that run them. Through supervisory functions it can identify where problems are occurring on the network and has tools available to remedy issues remotely. Managing configuration elements also includes features that provide an audit function to preserve a change history – this can be used to roll back changes that cause errors. It also has an important role to play in ensuring that compliance policies are applied consistently across the entire network.