RPM will even work on live production machines. Suppose you have two
identical machines (with identical software and hardware, although,
depending on your setup, identical hardware may be less critical).
Let's say that one is a live server and the other is
for development. You build an RPM with a mod_perl binary
distribution, install it on the development machine, and make sure
that it is working and stable. You can then install the RPM package
on the live server without any fear. Make sure that
httpd.conf is correct, since it generally
specifies parameters that are unique to the live machine (for
example, the hostname).
When you have installed the package, just restart the server.
It's a good idea to keep a package of the previous
system, in case something goes wrong. You can then easily remove the
installed package and put the old one back in case of problems.