When Amazon EC2 left beta in 2008, many developers wanted to begin running their websites on Amazon EC2. However, there was no easy way for developers who weren't sysadmins to install a web stack on EC2 servers without learning server administration.
In 2009, Bitnami began offering Amazon EC2 server images with preconfigured applications, such as WordPress. Each of these images had a web stack (Apache, PHP, and MySQL) and a single web application (WordPress, Drupal, etc.) already installed. This was a great way for developers to test out EC2 servers without needing to install and configure a web stack themselves.
The Downsides of Server Images
Unfortunately, even though it's very quick to get up and running with a preconfigured server image, it's not a good approach for live websites. Fundamentally, with a preconfigured server image, you still needed to learn to be a sysadmin to use the server for anything but simple testing and development.
- If you needed to install an SSL certificate, you had to become a sysadmin.
- If you needed to run more than one website on a server, you had to become a sysadmin.
- If you needed to run websites under separate users, you had to become a sysadmin.
- If you needed to change a website's PHP version, you had to compile PHP yourself or hunt around for and test third-party PHP packages.
- If you needed to change any passwords, such as system user passwords or database passwords, you had to become a sysadmin.
- If you needed your server updated and patched against security issues, you had to become a sysadmin.
As a result, even though preconfigured server images had made it easy to get a simple website up and running on EC2, the pain and risk of ongoing management made preconfigured images a bad choice for developers and businesses.
Using ServerPilot as a Bitnami Alternative
ServerPilot was built to make all ongoing server management fully automated and painless. With ServerPilot, you just connect your server to ServerPilot, and for any change you want to make, such as adding a new site, deploying SSL, creating system users, creating databases, or anything else, you just log into ServerPilot and make the change. ServerPilot then makes all of the configuration changes to your server for you.
ServerPilot also keeps your server safe with automated package updates and secure service configurations, which make it easy to run sites under different system users, while configuring a firewall on your server.
Ready to get started? See how to migrate a WordPress site from Bitnami to DigitalOcean using ServerPilot.
Last updated: January 19, 2017