Msg#: 3760565 posted 4:39 pm on Oct 7, 2008 (gmt 0)
Since robots.txt is a 'per-(sub)domain' file, each is treated separately at one level -- The per-site URL-allow/disallow processing. But you're right, they should have a back-end 'association' process that limits the rate per IP address/hardware server.
It may be that it takes some time to associate all the domains and subdomains. Has any change taken place recently, such as a new IP address, or more subdomains added to your 'collection' on the single IP address?
Ultimately, the decision of how many (sub)domains to host on a server should take crawling into account. Fifty thousand is a very high number -- about 125 times higher than a 'normal' shared hosting maximum for medium- to low-traffic sites. So, you might consider setting each crawl-delay to at least 120 if you really intend to host that many sites on one server.