Systematic configuration management to us is not only extremely useful - it is part of our philisophy.
First, configuration management is a tool that can help administer every aspect of IT infrastructure from hardware all the way to virtual machines - and it does so easily, quickly and comprehensibly.
Automatization is key
This is achieved by means of a high degree of automatization. Thus, not only do highly qualified IT specialists have more time for more creative things; system structures and changes therein become better documented and thus reproducible; plus, how many systems are to be administered hardly plays a role any more - the key word being "scalability" - and nor does their respective location.
The need for measures like configuration management is driven by the omnipresent, rapid changes within IT system landscapes. Today, they scale horizontally: When in former times, the job was done by few high-capacity servers, nowadays the load is balanced shared by numerous, rather basic servers.
Security by Redundancy
This results in two advantages in particular: As available computing capacity can be increased relatively easily by adding further servers, the sky is more or less the limit, physically. Plus, system redundancy increases their reliability. If the load is borne by twenty instead of two servers, a single one's outage can be compensated much easier. Due to the growing number of similarly configured systems, it is getting more and more inefficient to administer those independently and manually.
At the push of a button
What's to be gained by systematic configuration management? To begin with, it is faster than manual system administration: Provisioning new systems all but works at the push of a button. At the same time, it allows for the highest possible flexibility when faced with highly differentiated system landscapes - "one size fits all" solutions for the administration of Linux-servers haven't been around any more for a long time now.
Pets and Cattle
Together with say Thomas Hatch, founder of the configuration management project Saltstack,we don't see servers as "pets" but rather as "cattle". Firtly and foremostly, they have to function. The goal is to make all servers and deployments disposable. What's to be avoided are so called "snowflake servers": sytems that have been set up a long time age with virtually no documentation. They might still be working, but nobody wants to have to change anything about them - out of fear of causing harm.
All's Open Source
Following another integral part of our philosophy, we use the open source projekt Salt as a configuration managemen system; the version control system of our choosing is Git. With those, we continually and comprehensibly work on optimizing performance, availability and security within the server landscapes we run.