Tools like CVS, and SCCS are commonly used in the development of software or authoring of web content, but in addition system administrators have also found them to be useful for tasks such as keeping track of machines and how each one is set up.
This page describes a example of what can be done with CVS.
"Config: A Mechanism for Installing and Tracking System Configurations", John P. Rouillard, LISA VIII, abstract online. One problem that faces system administrators is how to install and maintain local configuration information on a large number of machines. The authors present a solution which uses CVS along with other tools.
Because CVS has a client/server protocol, it may be an alternative to tools such as rdist. One thing that CVS doesn't yet do is preserve file permissions and related information. You may be interested in cvsmapfs which is an add-on package to do this.
"Patch Control Mechanism for Large Scale Software", Atsushi Futakata Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI), LISA '95, abstract online. This paper concerns another solution to the same issue that is addressed by CVS vendor branches or RPM's pristine sources concept. See our RPM page for more of an introduction.