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I've been doing a lot of work with VMs recently and can see the massive advantages of the platform.

It's my understanding that subscriptions are a very good way of managing your clients. For example I have some software which requires a VM, a SQL database and two websites. When I sign up a new client I create a new Subscription which they pay for and deploy my various components to it - they get the hosting bill.

However, it seems to me that where Azure doesn't scale particularly well is when I have a hundred or a thousand clients. It's my understanding I'd need a publish profile for each one and every time we do a release I'd need to deploy 400 components.

Is there a better way of managing multiple instances of your solution?

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I agree about the advantages. I can see a lot of smaller hosting sites looking at prices and features they just can't match. We're certainly headed in that direction.

When you create an Azure subscription with a VM you are in effect rolling out another PC, so you are in the same territory as people who distribute desktop, tablet or phone apps. They are separate instances of the running software and they have to be updated separately.

The solution as I see it is that your software needs updating capability, exactly as it would for any other app. It is the responsibility of each VM and the instance of the software to execute an update and all that entails. To support that you need an update server, which sits right alongside your licensing server and your logging server, and which you will also host on Azure!

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