QoS-enabled component middleware solutions can help reduce the programming complexity of configuring real-time aspects, such as priorities and rates of invocation. However, few empirical studies have been conducted to guide distributed real-time and embedded (DRE) system developers in choosing among alternative configuration mechanisms and performance optimization techniques in practice. This paper makes three contributions to research on QoS-enabled component middleware for DRE systems in the context of the component-integrated ACE ORB (CIAO). First, it describes the design of CIAO's static component configuration mechanisms, which enhance configurability by avoiding features that are not supported by key real-time platforms, while reducing run-time overhead and footprint. Second, it compares the performance of dynamic and static configuration mechanisms in CIAO to help guide the selection of suitable configuration mechanisms based on specific requirements of each DRE system. Third, it presents an empirical comparison of CIAO's static configuration mechanisms to the static configuration mechanisms in Boeing's PRISM avionics component middleware solution.