Configuration management

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Configuration management (CM) is a field of management that focuses on establishing and maintaining consistency of a system's or product's performance and its functional and physical attributes with its requirements, design, and operational information throughout its life.[1]

For information assurance, CM can be defined as the management of security features and assurances through control of changes made to hardware, software, firmware, documentation, test, test fixtures, and test documentation throughout the life cycle of an information system.[2] CM for information assurance, sometimes referred to as Secure Configuration Management, relies upon performance, functional, and physical attributes of IT platforms and products and their environments to determine the appropriate security features and assurances that are used to measure a system configuration state.

For example, configuration requirements may be different for a network firewall that functions as part of an organization's Internet boundary versus one that functions as an internal local network firewall.



Configuration management was first developed by the United States Air Force for the Department of Defense in the 1950s as a technical management discipline of hardware. The concepts of this discipline have been widely adopted by numerous technical management functions, including systems engineering (SE), integrated logistics support (ILS), Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), ISO 9000, Prince2 project management methodology, COBIT, Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), product lifecycle management, and application lifecycle management. Many of these functions and models have redefined configuration management from its traditional holistic approach to technical management. Some treat configuration management as being similar to a librarian activity, and break out change control or change management as a separate or stand alone discipline. However the bottomline is and always shall be Traceability.

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