Is there any virtual machine software that would let me create a virtual machine on my local pc before uploading it to azure?

IsaacB asked:

The time has come for me to configure a new windows server machine. This time though, It would be great if I could run it in a virtual machine and eventually upload the vm to some host somewhere, say, windows azure but other suggestions are welcome.

Is there any kind of VM software I can download that will spit out some kind of image file that hosts would accept to reconstruct my machine?

Thank you!

My answer:

I build virtual machine images for Azure using Hyper-V, of course. The primary thing to worry about is that you have to use a VHD disk rather than a VHDX disk. For Windows, you need to sysprep the image, and for Linux you need to install the Windows Azure agent in the guest.

See also Microsoft’s documentation on creating a Windows image for Azure and creating a Linux image for Azure

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