I use the ssh+keys and a script to update servers. It depends on the situation though. If I only need to update say 5 of the servers I use the
for i in `cat hostnames`
and just add the hostnames to that file. That way I can control which servers get the updates. I also have a file that has all the hostnames if I need to update them all.
It's SO handy to do it this way. Plus I can use the script to check the status of services and to start them if I need to. I would love to hear of other ways though that could be even better.