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Configuration Management

4 Ways to Start Cleaning Up Messy Configurations

July 26, 2022

Today, 93% of forward-looking organizations are investing in new CloudOps deployment strategies to quickly move projects through the development lifecycle and bolster their uptime and velocity. As teams rely more upon disparate IaaS, PaaS, and 3rd party SaaS platform tools, misconfigurations are more common.

In short, misconfigurations can lead to a host of issues that every organization wants to avoid. Upwards of 70% of all cloud security challenges arise from misconfiguration. They also impact your organization’s ability to remain compliant and meet consumer expectations. The question is — how can your organization start to clean up its messy configurations without sacrificing velocity, uptime, or security posture?

Let’s take a closer look at four ways you can start to simplify your cloud configurations in order to enable comprehensive oversight and improved visibility across all teams. 

Take a Crawl, Walk, Run Approach

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your messy configurations certainly can’t be optimized in one either. When it comes to cleaning up your cloud configuration, it’s not feasible to make sweeping wholesale changes in a live environment. Your best bet is to create a strategic roadmap to clean up configurations project by project. 

Once you’ve prioritized which projects you’ll work on first, you can start to clean up the configurations within each project one at a time. This process should be carried out alongside your team’s normal processes and work, and shouldn’t disrupt other projects in motion. Dedicating just a handful of hours to each project in order to remove the configuration messiness can get you on a more stable, future-proof path towards efficiency.

Embrace Automation

Automating routine manual deployment tasks is a major initiative for all CloudOps teams. Investing in the tools and processes to support automation pays back dividends forever, and a good place to start is automating configuration management tasks. 

Let’s take your cloud security, for example. Your DevOps team is likely pressed for time as is, with applications constantly needing to be built, deployed, updated, and maintained. By automating tasks like configuring security groups, adjusting scripts, and pushing deployments, you can increase velocity and uptime without jeopardizing your security posture. 

Automation combined with an Infrastructure as Code (IaC) system ensures your organization is prepared to meet regulatory compliance requirements (such as SOC2, ISO27001, and FedRamp). Change management tracking is required by auditors and is time-consuming and error-prone without a configuration management system.

Through automated technologies, your teams can offload the responsibilities of monitoring and troubleshooting misconfigurations across all systems. If your configuration changes are automatically tracked and your team has comprehensive visibility into project statuses, it’s much easier to know whether or not you're meeting the necessary standards and regulations.

Create Consistency Across Teams

When there are no consistent patterns used across teams for managing cloud and application configurations, it creates unnecessary complications that can lead to decreased velocity. In order to start cleaning up messy configurations, it’s important to implement processes that are repeatable and consistent across all teams.

Consistent configuration management for build, deploy, and run-time minimizes costly and time-wasting mistakes. This starts by taking a top-down approach to ensuring teams are aligned around a standardized approach to carrying out build workflows and not straying from the outlined processes. The same goes for how you deploy and maintain apps.

Once you’ve set clear standards around how teams should be carrying out builds and deploys, you’ll need to track consistency through dev/test, staging, and production environments. As your cloud needs become more complex and configurations become increasingly decentralized, ensuring consistency across different components will become even trickier. In order to know whether your teams are following repeatable, consistent patterns when it comes to building and maintaining your cloud tools, you need technologies in place that allow you to track these processes.

Work from a Single Source of Truth

Configuration sprawl is presenting serious problems for organizations that have a wide range of apps and components to manage. As your organization continues to grow, the number of moving parts to manage grows with it. And with each app and component having their own unique complexities, the task of managing configurations across disparate systems becomes increasingly cumbersome.

In order to keep configuration sprawl at bay and address configuration complexity head-on, your organization needs to invest in a single, centralized configuration management platform. Uniting your teams around a single source of configuration truth gives them a consolidated platform to manage build, deploy, and run time config data without having to search other systems for answers.

Being able to access and configure your critical systems within one platform makes it easier to sync your cloud configuration solutions at scale and fosters a more agile, efficient workforce. While less complex organizations may be able to get by with an in-house solution early on, effectively managing cloud configurations as they become more nuanced requires a configuration management platform that is proven to perform.

Ready to Scale your Secrets and Config?

Getting a top-down, high-level view of what your system is doing and how it can be efficiently modified over time is easier said than done. Cleaning up messy configurations requires you to implement tools that enable effortless scaling and quicker problem-solving.

Tools like CloudTruth.

Our platform unifies access and visibility into your organization’s infrastructure, application, and secrets configuration data. By leveraging CloudTruth’s API, CLI, and GUI, companies can manage their parameters, templates, environment variables, and secrets, all from one central location. Best of all, CloudTruth works to strengthen your existing tools and systems, meaning you won’t have to start your tech stack from scratch when you work with us.

Software developers and CloudOps teams rely on CloudTruth to ensure uptime, security, and team velocity. Learn more about our solutions or register for a free demo to see what CloudTruth can unlock for your teams.

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