Virtual machines are gradually replacing shared hosting as the preferred hosting option. Price points are in the same ballpark, and are likely to fall even further.
At the same time, we are moving to a service-based architecture, with separate services for some key tasks like wikitext parsing.
A distribution strategy that lets users easily install and maintain a MediaWiki system with all basic features (at least VE & Parsoid, auth, storage/caching) can enable users to take advantage of modern hosting offers. It can also help us put new features in the hands of third-party users quickly by making it part of the standard distribution. There is also the potential to automate security updates and simplify major version upgrades.
- Simple to use: one-click or at most copy&pasting a few shell commands
- Compatible with cheap VM offers
- Ability to use the same mechanism to create images
- Support for security and major version upgrades
- Support for optional components / services / extensions