We've just released a new feature that should make a big difference to most of our users, by saving you a lot of work and worry : Automated OS Security Updates. Even better, we're providing it in a modern, safe and secure, 'best practice' way that takes advantage of the unique benefits of AWS.
We all know that it's important to apply security updates regularly to keep our systems secure. This is particularly important for servers and especially ones running open source software stacks like the PHP stack we're all familiar with. Until now you still had to do this manually (for instance by redeploying your stack regularly, or logging into your EC2 instances and running 'yum update')
Now when there's a new security update to the operating system that runs on your EC2 Instances in Idealstack, or to the hosting containers that Idealstack provides that actually run your sites, your stack can be automatically re-deployed to use these changed versions.
Due to the magic of how Idealstack handles these updates this can happen without downtime and will safely rollback if there's a major failure.
Important Note: this will apply updates to the OS and platform components like Apache, PHP etc - it doesn't update your sites (for instance with new versions of Wordpress or Drupal) - that's still your responsibility.
Another Important Note: if you make local changes to the EC2 instances that Idealstack runs, these updates, like any stack deploy, will blow away all your changes. You shouldn't make these sorts of updates to the images - containers and instances in Idealstack are "Cattle not pets" - if you need to tweak something on the instances let us know and we can suggest some better options.
Many of the other ways of running PHP out there, such as VPS's or running your own servers, require you to spend a lot of time applying OS updates. Even if they do have a system for applying updates automatically, it's unlikely it happens in such a 'cautious' way as Idealstack does it. Each time this runs it:
At Idealstack one of our design principles is 'Best practice by default'. We're trying to give PHP developers practical ways to do the things "the right way". This approach of treating servers as cattle not pets, automating things like updates but in a "safe" way is what the big players in IT all do (Google, Facebook etc). But it hasn't really been practical for regular web hosting until now, so we're pretty excited about this feature.