Managing the Configuration

Managing the configuration of products in operation involves the following kinds of changes; Modeling, Provisioning, Assignment, Activation and Auditing. Other terms are used for each of these in different disciplines but the telco terms are some of the most orthogonal definitions.


Modeling includes deciding what can be configured, when the configuration can be performed and how the configurations are recorded. Consider when the number of cylinders can be determined for a car. Until recently this was determined when the car was ordered. Now, some automobiles configure the active cylinders on demand.

This is moving the configuration further out and must have cost huge development effort. It is a modeling decision to determine when the cylinders can be configured. This is done during product development.


Provisioning has to do with the act of physically installing a piece of equipment literally putting things in place. Provision involves; ordering, dispatching installers and actual installation. Provisioning has complimentary operators like deprovisioning and reprovisioning which refer to removing and moving respectively. Note the following configuration operations have the same complements.


Assignment has to do with configuring the installed system making it ready for its intended use. This includes arranging for accounting management. It also includes customizing it for the user.


Activation has to do with turning on the assigned system and making it available for use. This includes making other systems aware of its presence.


Auditing is the ongoing verification that the system is operating according to its specification. This includes reporting the results of self tests to the central operations control center.

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