Configuration management is still a key requirement when organisations are carrying out “business as usual” support activities. Although there may not be major changes being made to the system it is still vital that support teams keep on top of planned changes to environments, investigate and resolve issues that may arise, control and minimise both planned and unplanned downtime and manage the demands on their time being made by users, management, auditors etc.
One challenge for support teams is to ensure that standards and policies are being adhered to. Although many such requirements centre on security there can be a need for this type of monitoring across any business area. Specific needs vary by organisation but common examples include checking users must regularly change password details or that users are not able to access functions they are not authorised to.
Change is not limited to major projects; it will occur in all organisations and must be effectively managed. Some changes will be made initially in a test environment and then, once approved, must be accurately replicated in the production environment. Others, such as access for new and existing users, may be made directly to the production environment but must be auditable.
Support teams must investigate and resolve any issues that may arise. The nature of this means teams must be able to react quickly, based on the issue priority. The most time consuming aspect of this type of work is often gathering and interpreting information from the system to determine the likely cause.
ConfigSnapshot provides support teams with the visibility of what is happening within their application instances and the ability to quickly prepare tailored reports to allow them to be both proactive and reactive as the situation demands.
Organisations can monitor setups by flexibly targeting data in ways to meet their requirements without the need for coding; running these as regular scheduled reports or on an ad-hoc basis. Extensibility further allows organisations to create their own metadata across any data area they wish to monitor.
Baselines allow teams to capture setups at a specific point and determine any changes subsequently made. This enables, for example, all changes made to security in the current month to be determined and reconciled with agreed change controls. Notes can be appended to records, allowing teams to annotate changes with explanation and references, providing further auditing that changes were authorised.
Over time environments may become out of sync. ConfigSnapshot comparisons enable teams to quickly determine where this has occurred. Transformations can identify the changes to setup needed to synchronise the environments; these changes can be automatically added to a plan and migrated to the target environment.
ConfigSnapshot’s reporting capabilities allow teams to analyse setups as well as documenting them. Rather than reporting all data for a setup area that is suspected of being connected to an issue, extensive filtering options allow just the data that is relevant to be extracted for analysis. Output formats can also be tailored to present the data in a way that makes it simplest to review and understand.
As well as producing reports in a wide range of formats, ConfigSnapshot provides an online inquiry mechanism that can accelerate investigation into issues. The interactive nature of this, along with extensive functionality to drill down, filter, order and export data, enables teams to interrogate areas to discover incorrect settings.
Comparison reporting allows setups to be checked directly against other environments where the issue does not occur highlighting potential inconsistencies.
Regular baselines against environments enable teams to determine whether any recent changes made may have caused the issue.
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"ConfigSnapshot solves the fundamental issue technology looks to address, which is to make a process easier. By allowing us to quickly create standard setup documentation and solve setup issues, we save time and resource hours."
Director IT Solution Delivery, Industry: Designer, manufacturer, integrator and installer of complete material handling automation solutions