Before you can start using vSphere Auto Deploy, you must prepare your environment. You start with server setup and hardware preparation. You must configure the vSphere Auto Deploy service startup type in the vCenter Server system that you plan to use for managing the hosts you provision, and install PowerCLI.

Before you can PXE boot an ESXi host with vSphere Auto Deploy, you must install prerequisite software and set up the DHCP and TFTP servers that vSphere Auto Deploy interacts with.

vSphere Auto Deploy cmdlets are implemented as Microsoft PowerShell cmdlets and included in PowerCLI. Users of vSphere Auto Deploy cmdlets can take advantage of all PowerCLI features.

You can use the vSphere Web Client or ESXi Shell to specify individual license keys, or you can set up bulk licensing by using PowerCLI cmdlets. Bulk licensing works for all ESXi hosts, but is especially useful for hosts provisioned with vSphere Auto Deploy.