Key Takeaways from Mastering the Marketplace: Developing your virtual machine offer


The recent Mastering the Marketplace webinar on Developing your virtual machine offer is a session that covers the required technical configurations to make Virtual Machine apps and how to publish virtual machines offers to the Azure marketplace. The content covers:

  • A brief overview of what a virtual Machine offer type is.
  • How to publish a Virtual machine offer and integrate the solution from the Azure Portal tool to Partner center.
  • How to setup Tenants.
  • How to create different plans to best suit your customers’ needs
  • How to use Cloud-init within the Azure Portal


Here's a summary of key takeaways from the event. If you want to access the full content, I encourage you to register and watch the recording.


  • The content provides an overview of Virtual Machine Offers, how to create them, how to fill out Partner Center details, how to create a virtual machine on the Azure portal, customize it, generalize it, and capture it into an Azure compute gallery, and certifications and exceptions.
    • As a publisher, you'll create a virtual machine, add your software IP, add anything else that needs to be added into this virtual machine to package it up, and then once you publish it and the customer subscribes to or purchases this subscription, this virtual machine is going to be deployed within the customer's tenancy as it was before when you created the virtual machine image.
  • There is a step-by-step guide on how to create a virtual machine offer (VM) in Partner Center, including the steps on how to create a virtual machine, update the operating system, generalize, save the image, and fill out information.
    • In order to publish a VM offer, you need a virtual machine that you’re going to be working on as a base image so you can configure your virtual machine and add certain software or IP.
    • As soon as you create a VM offer, you are prompted to provide an offer ID and an offer alias.
    • If you want to enable a test drive for your customers, you can go ahead and select that and fill out the technical configuration piece.
  • There is a quick overview of the Partner Center creation and customization steps, and then a demo on creating a virtual machine using the Azure portal.
    • With the option of Referrals workspace, you can go into your Referrals workspace and see all the leads that have come in.
    • You need to make sure that under properties, you give the appropriate category because based on your category it determines where your offer is going to be published and this really helps your customers find your solutions on the marketplace.
    • In the legal section, you have the option to use the standard contract for Microsoft commercial marketplace.
    • Your preview audience is everyone that you set up to be testing your offer when it's in preview.
  • There are instructions on how to create a virtual machine using the VirtualBox software, including the base image, size, and additional disk types, networking, auto shutdowns, and extensions.
    • Depending on the amount of resiliency that you want your virtual machine to have in case of outages, you can either select availability zones or availability sets.
    • Once deployment is complete, you can go into your resource and verify everything that was created as part of the setup.
  • There is a tutorial on creating a virtual machine and installing a web server, and the tutorial explains how to check for updates and create a new plan.
  • There is information on the different subscription models, including free flat rate per core, reservation pricing, free trial, and plan visibility.
    • This is where you can select which subscription model that you want to associate this plan with and provide a particular price associated with it.
    • You can select a free trial if you choose to.
    • Provide a subscription ID and a tenant ID to associate it with the plan and that'll make sure that this plan is only visible to the tenant ID and subscription ID you have specified.
    • Once the deployment of the image definition is complete, the resource group is now ready to be accessed from Partner Center.
  • There are instructions on how to create a virtual machine image for Azure and the process of publishing an image, including the validation process, common certification failures, and how to deprovision or generalize the Linux image.
    • We review what certification and exceptions that you need to be aware of.
    • Once you've completed your test, you can simply hit “go live” and it will run a couple more validations and certifications because it's going to go to the public marketplace for your customer to purchase.
    • The SLA for this certification process is 24 hours, which means that this entire process is going to go through within 24 hours as long as you hit “go live” at the right time.
    • Most of this is automated, but in case something does come up and if something gets flagged during that certification process, you'll need to appropriately modify your listing or your offer and then republish.
  • The presentation ends with a link to the Azure Marketplace and resources available for creating virtual machine offers, including the main learning resource which you can access here.






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