Templating/automating configuration

Jimmy Hess mysidia at gmail.com
Thu Jun 15 13:35:48 CST 2017

On Wed, Jun 14, 2017 at 3:55 PM, Job Snijders <job at ntt.net> wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 14, 2017 at 09:35:59PM +0100, Nick Hilliard wrote:
>> Graham Johnston wrote:
>> > Would you be able to provide any further insight into your Don’t #5 –
>> > “Don’t agree to change management. Managers are rarely engineers and
>> > should not be making technical decisions. (nor should sales)“.
>> What do you think the purpose of change control / management is?
> well, http://dilbert.com/strip/1995-05-29

> On Wed, Jun 14, 2017 at 09:35:59PM +0100, Nick Hilliard wrote:
>> What do you think the purpose of change control / management is?

Bureaucratic change control implementations using the ITIL view
of change control with a formal CAB are likely an (over)reaction
to human mistakes causing outages,  most of which could probably
be avoided  with a simpler  less-formal process such as peer or
team review.

Change control functions as a risk transfer away from operations teams to
CAB board members,   since if things go wrong b/c of a change: it is now
the CAB's fault.    There may also be bias towards change-aversity
if the CAB cannot be held accountable for issues that come from
delaying or rejecting  important maintenance.

Overall purpose for change control / management,  when applied to  substantial
modifications to an operating environment or configuration of
business-critical network/applications is

To mitigate possibility of damage/outages from high-impact / high-risk
changes made by humans to systems and network-devices by
requiring standards of formal written documentation and  planning,
combined with  peer review And approvals by business and technical
stakeholders for the maintenance time,  including evaluation  of
exact proposed configuration changes,   implementation plans,
and backout/contingency plan:   for  possible errors or omissions.

But as with most things
can be taken to an unreasonable extreme.

The use of change management procedures has a high
associated cost, b/c the time and labor to implement
even simple relatively low-risk changes can be dramatically
increased with an unreasonable delay,  and extensive test labs
may be necessary.    There may actually be increases in
various risks,  if any kind of maintenance is delayed or
lost in the paperwork.


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