The intent is ultimately to build a human-readable language to describe system management policies in some sorta-English-like language, and then apply them in the somewhat nondeterministic, somewhat goal-searching fashion of Prolog.
RDist is a program to maintain identical copies of files across multiple hosts. It can use ssh to help ensure the security of connections.
rsync is a utility that provides fast incremental file transfer. It sends merely the differences across the link, and can preserve such additional attributes as hard/symbolic links, file ownership, permissions, devices, and times. It can use secure connections using ssh.
Runs on many platforms based on Win32 and Unix.
Runs across these platforms; you could synch a Windows laptop with a Unix server.
Runs in user mode, requiring no kernel or supervisor privileges.
Can cope with conflicting updates; it doesn't merely mirror/backup data.
Claims to be well-specified and resilient to failure.
It is implemented in OCaml.
Another way of distributing configuration information is via CVS. Its advantage over the other options described is that so long as updates are regularly committed via cvs commit, you can analyze changes in configuration over time, and manage the deployment of whole sets of configuration information.
CVSup is a software package for distributing and updating collections of files across a network. It is almost certainly the most prominent application written in Modula 3 .
Like rsync , with which it shares the rsync differential update algorithm, it supports unidirectional synchronization.
How the University of Waterloo MFCF managed a horde of Unix servers.
This is a different sort of "toolbox;" it describes what sorts of tools (e.g. - like screwdrivers, wrenches, ear defenders, as well as some rather more surprising and esoteric things) are good for a sysadmin to have around in the data centre...