My next article for Penton Publishing (SharePoint Pro) will be published shortly. A snippet from the Article.

SharePoint is one of the applications that grows (sprawls) at a rapid almost uncontrollable pace and soon administrators lose control. Changes are made, multiple administrators get the hands on SharePoint and soon the complete knowledge of the environment is in no one place. Worse, changes are made without all Administrators (Stakeholders) being informed. There are usually no tools in place for collecting data regarding the farm(s) configuration. As a result there’s no reference documentation of any merit (timely, accurate and detailed) exists and in many cases the ability troubleshoot is impeded (don’t know what I have) and worst case the environment couldn’t be rebuilt exactly to current specifications resulting in data loss or performance impacts.

So what is Configuration Management exactly?

WikiPedias definition (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Configuration_management ) is “a process for establishing and maintaining consistency of a product’s performance and functional and physical attributes with its requirements, design and operational information throughout its life.”

To get more specific, configuration management covers the following areas:

  • Identify components (What do you have?)
  • Establish standard (What is the baseline standard?)
  • Store and Maintain (Accounting for and tracking what you have)
  • Manage (Administration and support)
  • Change management (Control and quality)

Though beyond the scope of this article I cannot stress enough how important Change Management is in facilitating the success of Configuration Management. Specifically, Change Management is the gate keeper of changes to the production configurations. So configuration management is a discipline consisting of people, process, policy and tools that come together to management your SharePoint environment effectively.

Link to article will be published in January.

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