Historically, website servers were created and managed by one person, or organization and built with third party software – typically open source. This has benefits, but for small businesses especially this greatly limits the purview of security to those select people. Since security is a naturally evolving topic it’s critical that the server itself is updated proactively, or at least re-actively, to security issues that are made public.
In recent years, software like Ansible has allowed server administrators, developers and security consultants (such as hackers) to come together and create scripts that automatically setup servers based on agreed upon configurations. This allows a community of people to share one or more “playbooks” for how to deploy a server that is optimally secure. And, as a benefit, that script can be updated and then run on existing servers to update it when necessary.
We call this crowd-sourced server administration, or distributed server administration. And we believe it’s the best model for server administration to date. Of course, we’ll be on the lookout for even better approaches in the future.