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Microsoft Opens Azure Marketplace to Partner 'Ap/Ops'

While DevOps is a key trend for IT departments, Microsoft hopes to seed a new partner ecosystem within the Azure Marketplace around a related idea that it's calling "Ap/Ops."

The immediate evidence of the effort is general availability this month of Managed Applications in the Azure Marketplace, which is Microsoft's 3-year-old catalog of third-party applications that have been certified or optimized to run on the Azure public cloud platform.

Managed applications would be different from regular applications in the Azure Marketplace. Where a customer would deploy a regular application to Azure by themselves or have a partner deploy it, a managed application is a turnkey package. The partner who develops the solution would package it with the underlying Azure infrastructure, sell it as a sealed bundle and handle the operations, such as management and lifecycle support of the application, on the customer's behalf.

Corey Sanders, director of compute for Microsoft Azure, described that packaging of the application and the operations as "Ap/Ops" in a blog post announcing managed applications in the Azure Marketplace.

"Managed Service Providers (MSPs), Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and System Integrators (SIs) can build turnkey cloud solutions using Azure Resource Manager templates. Both the application IP and the underlying pre-configured Azure infrastructure can easily be packaged into a sealed and serviceable solution," Sanders said.

Customers can deploy the managed application in their own Azure service, where they are billed for the application's Azure consumption along with a new line item for any fees the partner charges for lifecycle operations.

Sanders presents the Azure Marketplace offering as a first in public cloud. "This new distribution channel for our partners will change customer expectations in the public cloud. Unlike our competitors, in Azure, a marketplace application can now be much more than just deployment and set-up. Now it can be a fully supported and managed solution," he said.

Three companies were ready to go last week with managed applications for sale in the Azure Marketplace -- the OpsLogix OMS Oracle Solution, Xcalar Data Platform and Cisco Meraki.

Posted by Scott Bekker on November 06, 2017 at 8:21 AM