How can I manage hostnames across multiple servers?

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http://serverfault.com – In a lot of documentation I've seen recently, servers are referred to by internal hostnames, such as production-1, production-2, db-1. I realize I can associate these names in the hosts file on the server, but this would obviously mean maintaining a host file for multiple servers, which for anything greater than 2 or 3 would get unwieldy. Is there some simple way people manage common hostnames across multiple servers and keep them in sync, without having to edit multiple files every time? (HowTos)