Enrolments: 532,438

Master Degree and Graduate Certificate Course Enrolments: 8,865

The total number of Master degree and Graduate Certificate enrolments since Charles Sturt University and IT Masters launched our first qualification in 2003.

Short Course Enrolments: 523,573

The total number of enrolments in our free short courses that we offer as a taster of what it is like to study via Distance Education with Charles Sturt University.

Free Short Course: Configuration Management


Managing a single computer is relatively easy; after all, most people manage their own personal computer at home. How does this change when you have hundreds or thousands of computers, running different applications in different datacentres all over the world? How do large companies like LinkedIn™, Google™ and Facebook™ successfully manage hundreds of thousands of servers and their applications? How can you build confidence that the code you develop will work the same “in production” as it does on your laptop?

In this course, we provide an introduction to configuration management — the use of planning and specialised tools to help manage configuration and consistency of computer systems.

We cover the key theoretical and practical considerations you need to understand when starting on your configuration management journey. Lab exercises use Ansible, a popular open-source tool, to demonstrate the principles and benefits of configuration management.

The course was developed in partnership with the Information Technology Professionals Association (ITPA) – an exciting industry association whose members are IT professionals aiming to advance the practice of Information Technology as a profession.

This short course is free to undertake. Please note that by signing up, you will also receive a free (associate level) membership to the ITPA.

Enter your details below to register:

■■■■ Intermediate
More Info
Moderate-level short course where some prior knowledge or concepts may be assumed. Content may be aimed at late-undergraduate or early-Masters students
Duration4 Weeks
Enrolled3,544 students

Course Schedule

Week 1:

Introduction to Configuration Management

  • Course administration
  • System life-cycles and maturity models
  • Core system management activities
  • Developer, System Administrator, or DevOps?

Week 2:

Abstraction, intention, and state

  • Deployment models
  • Introduction to Ansible
  • Dependencies, ordering, and errors
  • Abstraction and mutability

Week 3:

Growing and Planning

  • Preparation and planning
  • Quality attributes
  • Scalability: systems, processes and people
  • Continuous Integration (CI) & Continuous Deployment (CD) activities

Week 4:

The same but different

  • Orchestration
  • Other approaches and related technology: Unikernels and containers

Week 5:


  • Exam pass mark: 50%
  • Time Limit: 1 Hour
  • Attempts allowed: 1
  • Format: 40 multiple choice questions

Course Information Q&A

Who will present the webinars?

This course was developed by Mike Ciavarella, the Secretary of the Information Technology Professionals Association (ITPA).

Mike has an extensive Bio – head over to the ITPA website to check it out.

Mike has been a member of SAGE-AU (now ITPA), a not-for-profit organisation representing IT Professionals in Australia, for over 20 years.

Is there a final exam?

Yes — the short course exam will be a timed, open book exam that you will sit at your computer.

Do I get a completion certificate if I complete the course?

Yes — provided you receive a pass mark (50% or over) for course assessment, which comprises the exam and any available participation marks.

Will the course qualify me for university credit?

Yes — successful completion of three or more of our short courses will qualify you for one credit for an industry elective subject in our postgraduate courses. Click here for further details.

Will I need to purchase any study materials to complete the course?

No — all essential materials will be supplied.

Will the webinars be recorded?

Yes — all webinars are recorded and you will be able to access them, and all other free course materials, by registering for the course.