Corda Network Foundation Document history

Configuration Policy

1 Introduction

This document describes the policy for managing versioning of all technology resources employed in the delivery of Corda Network services.

2 Motivation

The Corda Network comprises a complex technology stack which is likely to continue to grow in scale and complexity over time. Changes to Corda Network components (governed by the Change Management Policy) are likely to occur frequently, creating risk of disruption or otherwise inconsistent performance of Corda Network services over time. This policy seeks to mitigate these risks by ensuring that changes in configuration are co-ordinated over time.

3 Scope

This policy covers all (physical & virtual) hardware and software components required to deliver Corda Network capabilities. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • Hardware provisioning.
  • Device firmware.
  • Operating systems.
  • Relevant middleware, e.g. Java Runtime Environments.
  • Corda-specific application components, e.g. certificate signing (‘Doorman’) services, network map services and notary services.

The following are out of scope for this policy:

  • Resources outside the Operator’s direct control (business network operators and participant nodes).
  • Resources (e.g. Corda nodes) operated the Operator on behalf of external parties, which do not constitute core Corda Network services.
  • Corda node release management (except where this underpins a Corda Network service, e.g. Notary).

4 Principles

Configuration management is subject to the following general principles:

  • Immutable infrastructure: To the extent possible, components will be effectively re-deployed rather than subject to updates and changes within the production environment. Re-deployment should be the default practice for all cloud-based infrastructure, with in-situ updates/configuration changes performed by exception only (and for physically-hosted resources). See the  for more information.
  • Consistency: Except where constrained by specific versioning requirements, updates should be applied to ensure version consistency of all instances of a given component within each environment, and between environments as appropriate.
  • Operational continuity: In the context of production environments and test environments with specific agreements in place, software updates should avoid loss of business continuity for users to the maximum extent possible. Planning of the deployment process may seek, for example, to progressively update workers within a clustered service whilst avoiding a situation where all members of the cluster are simultaneously down. This principle also reflects the requirement to retain continuity of user data through the course of the update process (see migration, below).
  • Non-automatic: All update operations should, in principle, be consciously instigated by a member of the operations team. Any automatic update features provided by software components should be disabled from the point of installation onwards.

5 Governance

The operations team is collectively accountable for ensuring appropriate configuration management of all Corda Network services.

Within the operations team, a Technical Service Owner (TSO) shall be appointed for each Corda Network service.

In relation to that service, the TSO is responsible for:

  • Capturing and retaining up-to-date information on the configuration of all resources supporting that service.
  • Identifying the potential impact of any configuration change.
  • Ensuring such impacts are documented in each Change Request (CR) and considered in the CR review (see  Change Management Policy)).
  • Identifying which previous test outcomes are invalidated by the change, and ensuring these are re-tested prior to execution in a production environment.

TSOs for different services shall collaborate to ensure any inter-service impacts of changes are identified and managed.

6 Resource Naming

The operations team is responsible for establishing and enforcing a fit-for-purpose convention for the naming of all Corda Network components. This naming convention should:

  • Relate resources to the environment(s) in which they are used.
  • Relate resources to the functions or services they support.
  • Be demonstrably consistent across each environment and between environments.

7 Resource Monitoring

The operations team is responsible for maintaining up-to-date information on the configuration of all deployed resources, and should be able to share this information with internal parties upon request. Appropriate monitoring mechanisms should be implemented to facilitate this; where appropriate, such mechanisms should be implemented alongside operational monitoring tools to provide an integrate view of the Corda Network resource portfolio.

8 Asset Management

In addition to configuration management information, the operations team is accountable under the for tracking all physical and electronic assets of commercial value to the Operator.

Asset management and configuration management information should, where relevant, be closely integrated to ensure consistency and internal transparency for the purpose of informing financial decisions on the management of Corda Network resources.

9 Resource Deployment

Deployment procedures (described in the Deployment Policy) must be appropriately designed and managed to facilitate effective configuration management, specifically to enable consistently repeatable deployment of configurations across instances and environments. 

10 External Disclosure

The Operator shall enable external stakeholders (primarily Corda Network business network operators and participants) to obtain relevant, up-to-date configuration information in relation to the Corda Network environments and services to which they have access (see Environments Policy).

The operations team is accountable for ensuring such information can be provided upon request. Where appropriate, mechanisms to publish this information on an automatic basis to external parties should be developed.

Forthcoming changes in configuration which impact external stakeholders must be scheduled in advance and communicated in accordance with the Change Management Policy.

11 Corda Releases

The configuration of Corda Network services is implicitly required to maintain compatibility with successive releases of the Corda software to be used by Corda Network participants. 

TSOs must maintain engagement with Corda release owners to ensure clear visibility of the pipeline of changes required to support each release. TSOs are accountable for raising CRs on a timely basis to ensure each environment is able to meet its requirements to support successive Corda versions. This should generally occur within the framework of a Corda release plan, management of which is outside the scope of this policy.