I’m going to begin by saying you should never ever do what I’m about to describe, as it’s bad practice, sloppy and dangerous. But then, so is working late on a Friday night, so you might as well choose the lesser of two evils.
As a sysadmin my overriding concern is to do as little work as possible, as quickly as possible. If that’s at all possible. And by work, I mean those repetitive and tedious tasks. There is probably nothing worse than performing the same command, or series of commands, over and over again on multiple hosts. It’s the adult equivalent of writing out lines on a blackboard, and unfortunately this seems to crop up more often than it should.
The best practice way of addressing multiple updates is by implementing some form of configuration management system. This kind of software allows the administrator to centrally manage the files, packages and patches of all their hosts from a single central point. Puppet, Chef, Spacewalk and Satellite are all excellent products that approach this problem from different angles, with each enjoying differing degrees of favour among different factions of the Linux community.