Configuration Management at the Crystal Group

Crystal Group Engineering discussing configuration management

This innovation article on “Configuration Management” was written by our US partners, The Crystal Group.  To read the original article click, here.

Firstly, we believe it is important to share this type of content.  As it highlights the forward-thinking process that Crystal undertakes when designing a system.  Their aim is to extend the life of the rugged computing solution you purchase.  Let’s look at how the Crystal Group achieves this.


Managing the use of COTS components in critical applications is a big task.  Especially when it comes to saving time and cost.  Whilst minimising risk to performance and program disruption.  It is serious business.

What is configuration management?

At Crystal Group, configuration management involves forward-looking measures.  With the aim to extend the life of your rugged compute solution. This is a systematic approach.   We track and factor in hardware changes to replace end-of-life and last-time-buy components over the operational life of your product or system.

Firstly, it is important to note that configuration management cannot be applied to every hardware or software element of every product.  Therefore, we are selective and start with stable technologies that have a lot of procurement runway when architecting a solution.

For example, starting at the design phase of a project, our engineers work to incorporate open and stable architectures.  As well as standard interfaces, and long-life chipsets and processors into the design.  This creates a robust, yet flexible compute solution. This is especially critical today, as the supply chain can dictate component availability.

Why does configuration management matter?

Configuration management saves your program schedule and cost.  Whilst minimising risk and disruption. Key elements to our proactive configuration management program includes:

  • Proactively collaborating with our suppliers, strategic partners, and customers
  • Selecting long-life COTS components that can be ruggedised from top suppliers
  • Providing design alternatives, creating technology insights, and proactively charting roadmap options for improved operational readiness
  • Ensuring standards compliance
  • Ensuring products conform to functional and physical requirements of the approved design
  • Maintaining detailed action records
  • Facilitating smooth transitions while minimising risks and disruptions
  • Preventing costly and unnecessary recertifications
  • Planning technology insertions before sources of supply diminish

These forward-looking measures ensure changes to the original configuration are seamless while maintaining consistent product integrity, performance, and compliance.

About Crystal Group, Inc.

Crystal Group, Inc., a technology leader in rugged computer hardware, specialises in the design and manufacture of custom and commercial rugged servers, embedded computing, networking devices, displays, and data storage for high reliability in harsh environments. An employee-owned small business founded in 1987, Crystal Group provides the defence, government and industrial markets with in-house customisation, engineering, integration, configuration management, product life-cycle planning, warranty, and support services.