Managing VM updates with Maintenance Configurations

Applies to: ✔️ Linux VMs ✔️ Windows VMs ✔️ Flexible scale sets ✔️ Uniform scale sets

Maintenance Configurations gives you the ability to control and manage updates for many Azure virtual machine resources since Azure frequently updates its infrastructure to improve reliability, performance, security or launch new features. Most updates are transparent to users, but some sensitive workloads, like gaming, media streaming, and financial transactions, can't tolerate even few seconds of a VM freezing or disconnecting for maintenance. Maintenance Configurations is integrated with Azure Resource Graph (ARG) for low latency and high scale customer experience.


Users are required to have a role of at least contributor in order to use maintenance configurations. Users also have to ensure that their subscription is registered with Maintenance Resource Provider to use maintenance configurations.


Maintenance Configurations currently supports three (3) scopes: Host, OS image, and Guest. While each scope allows scheduling and managing updates, the major difference lies in the resource they each support. This section outlines the details on the various scopes and their supported types:

Scope Support Resources
Host Isolated Virtual Machines, Isolated Virtual Machine Scale Sets, Dedicated Hosts
OS Image Virtual Machine Scale Sets
Guest Virtual Machines, Azure Arc Servers


With this scope, you can manage platform updates that do not require a reboot on your isolated VMs, isolated Virtual Machine Scale Set instances and dedicated hosts. Some features and limitations unique to the host scope are:

  • Schedules can be set anytime within 35 days. After 35 days, updates are automatically applied.
  • A minimum of a 2 hour maintenance window is required for this scope.
  • Rack level maintenance is not currently supported.

Learn more about Azure Dedicated Hosts

OS image

Using this scope with maintenance configurations lets you decide when to apply upgrades to OS disks in your Virtual Machine Scale Sets through an easier and more predictable experience. An upgrade works by replacing the OS disk of a VM with a new disk created using the latest image version. Any configured extensions and custom data scripts are run on the OS disk, while data disks are retained. Some features and limitations unique to this scope are:

  • Scale sets need to have automatic OS upgrades enabled in order to use maintenance configurations.
  • You can schedule recurrence up to a week (7 days).
  • A minimum of 5 hours is required for the maintenance window.


This scope is integrated with Update Manager, which allows you to save recurring deployment schedules to install updates for your Windows Server and Linux machines in Azure, in on-premises environments, and in other cloud environments connected using Azure Arc-enabled servers. Some features and limitations unique to this scope include:

  • Patch orchestration for virtual machines need to be set to AutomaticByPlatform

    Screenshot of the upper maintenance window time.

  • The upper maintenance window is 3 hours 55 mins.

  • A minimum of 1 hour and 30 minutes is required for the maintenance window.

  • The value of Repeat should be at least 6 hours.


The minimum maintenance window has been increased from 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, while the minimum repeat value has been set to 6 hours for new schedules. Please note that your existing schedules will not get impacted; however, we strongly recommend updating existing schedules to include these new changes.

In rare cases if platform catchup host update window happens to coincide with the guest (VM) patching window and if the guest patching window don't get sufficient time to execute after host update then the system would show Schedule timeout, waiting for an ongoing update to complete the resource error since only a single update is allowed by the platform at a time.

To learn more about this topic, checkout Update Manager and scheduled patching


  1. The count of characters of Resource Group name along with Maintenance Configuration name should be less than 128 characters
  2. If you move a VM to a different resource group or subscription, the scheduled patching for the VM stops working as this scenario is currently unsupported by the system. You can delete the older association of the moved VM and create the new association to include the moved VMs in a maintenance configuration.
  3. Schedules triggered on machines deleted and recreated with the same resource ID within 8 hours may fail with ShutdownOrUnresponsive error due to a known limitation. It will be resolved by December, 2023.

Shut Down Machines

We are unable to apply maintenance updates to any shut down machines. You need to ensure that your machine is turned on at least 15 minutes before a scheduled update or your update may not be applied. If your machine is in a shutdown state at the time of your scheduled update, it may appear that the maintenance configuration has been disassociated on the Azure portal, and this is only a display issue that the team is currently working to fix it. The maintenance configuration has not been completely disassociated and you can check it via CLI using check configuration.

Management options

You can create and manage maintenance configurations using any of the following options:


Pre/Post tasks property is currently exposed in the API but it is not supported at this time.

For an Azure Functions sample, see Scheduling Maintenance Updates with Maintenance Configurations and Azure Functions.

Service Limits

The following are the recommended limits for the mentioned indicators

Indicator Limit
Number of schedules per Subscription per Region 250
Total number of Resource associations to a schedule 3000
Resource associations on each dynamic scope 1000
Number of dynamic scopes per Resource Group or Subscription per Region 250
Number of dynamic scopes per schedule 30
Total number of subscriptions attached to all dynamic scopes per schedule 30

The following are the Dynamic Scope recommended limits for each dynamic scope

Resource Limit
Resource associations 1000
Number of tag filters 50
Number of Resource Group filters 50

Please note that the above limits are for the Dynamic Scoping in the Guest scope only.

Next steps

To learn more, see Maintenance and updates.