Document Type


Lead Author Type

CIS Masters Student


D. Robert Adams,

Embargo Period



System administration can be tedious. Most IT departments maintain several (if not several hundred) computers, each of which requires periodic housecleaning: updating of software, clearing of log files, removing old cache files, etc. Compounding the problem is the computing environment itself. Because of the distributed nature of these computers, system administration time is often consumed in repetitive tasks that should be automated. Although current system administration tools exist, they are often centralized, unscalable, unintuitive, or inflexible. To meet the needs of system administrators and IT professionals, we developed the Script Management Tool (SMiT). SMiT is a web-based tool that permits administration of distributed computers from virtually anywhere via a common web browser. SMiT consists of a cloud-based server running on Google App Engine enabling users to intuitively create, manage, and deploy administration scripts. To support local execution of scripts, SMiT provides an execution engine that runs on the organization’s local machines and communicates with the server to fetch scripts, execute them, and deliver results back to the server. Because of its distributed asynchronous architecture SMiT is scalable to thousands of machines. SMiT is also extensible to a wide variety of system administration tasks via its plugin architecture.