The Auto Deploy stateless caching feature allows you to cache the host's image locally on the host or on a network drive and continue to provision the host with Auto Deploy. The Auto Deploy stateful installs feature allows you to install hosts over the network without setting up a complete PXE boot infrastructure. After the initial network boot, these hosts boot like other hosts on which ESXi has been installed.

The System Cache Configuration host profile supports stateless caching and stateful installs.

When you want to use Auto Deploy with stateless caching or stateful installs, you must set up a host profile, apply the host profile, and set the boot order.

You can set up your system to provision hosts with Auto Deploy, and configure the hosts to use stateless caching. If the Auto Deploy server is not available when a host reboots, the host uses the cached image.

You can set up hosts provisioned with Auto Deploy to cache the image to disk and to use the cached image on subsequent boots. After the image is cached, the hosts act like hosts on which an image is installed.