In this position, I have a lot of WordPress management to do. We have 250+ WordPress sites (and growing). Management of that many sites has been a nightmare to say the least. The savior has been two programs.
The first to enter the scene was WP-CLI. It has been a godsend in managing individual instances of WordPress from the command line. Since all our WP installs are identical, I have written several scripts around WP-CLI that have allowed me to be able to do everything from installing a plugin across all sites to cloning an existing site into a new one (including setting up the apache conf file for the virtual host. I absolutely love this tool.
The problem I ran into was knowing when updates needed to occur. Enter InfiniteWP. This is a free-to-use monitoring application that is self-hosting. With the help of a client plugin on each WordPress install, it monitors the version status of themes, plugins, and the core of each install. The nice thing is that it does not matter if IWP is on the same server, it can still monitor the site due to the IWP Client plugin that is installed.
There are quite a few addons for IWP as well, but we don’t really need them at this point. Additionally, there is a script available that will install all the sites on a server into the IWP installation. Unfortunately, they will not give it to you, but require ftp access to the server in order to install and run it. Was not happy about that, so I wrote my own using cURL making the ajax call. I am sure there is a better way, but this was faster to get it done. Hopefully soon, I will be able to post at least some of the scripts I have written for this.
I will try and keep everyone update on how things go with these tools.