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Configuration management (CM) tools automate the process of identifying, documenting and tracking changes in the hardware, software and devices in an IT environment. CM tools show the system administrator all of the connected systems, their relationships and interdependencies, and the effects of change on system components. Enterprises use CM tools for change-impact analysis in order to reduce system disruption caused by changes to the hardware or software.

Configuration management tools help administrators maintain system consistency, also known as configuration enforcement. This process ensures that new machines, software packages and updates are installed and configured according to the desired state. Consistent system components reduce support incidents, shorten IT problem resolution and help maintain compliance. CM tools also provide version control and change control to keep consistency across various IT sites. Popular open source configuration management tools include Chef, Puppet and Ansible.

Most CM tools support Linux, Windows, Unix and mixed-platform environments. SUSE Manager is a configuration management tool for managing Linux systems on a variety of hardware architectures, hypervisors and cloud platforms. It automatically monitors and tracks configurations and changes in the infrastructure, maintains and demonstrates compliance for Linux workloads, and reduces risk by quickly identifying and remediating systems that are out of compliance. Enterprises may use SUSE Manager to centralize the management of their Linux systems, virtual machines and other software-defined infrastructure (SDI) components. It can provide automated software, asset, patch and configuration management as well as system provisioning, orchestration and monitoring across a variety of hardware architectures, hypervisors and cloud platforms.