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

When you apply a host profile that enables caching to a host, vSphere Auto Deploy partitions the specified disk. What happens next depends on how you set up the host profile and how you set the boot order on the host.

vSphere Auto Deploy caches the image when you apply the host profile if Enable stateless caching on the host is selected in the System Cache Configuration host profile. No reboot is required. When you later reboot, the host continues to use the vSphere Auto Deploy infrastructure to retrieve its image. If the vSphere Auto Deploy server is not available, the host uses the cached image.

vSphere Auto Deploy installs the image if Enable stateful installs on the host is selected in the System Cache Configuration host profile. When you reboot, the host initially boots using vSphere Auto Deploy to complete the installation. A reboot is then issued automatically, after which the host boots from disk, similar to a host that was provisioned with the installer. vSphere Auto Deploy no longer provisions the host.

You can apply the host profile from the vSphere Web Client, or write a vSphere Auto Deploy rule in a PowerCLI session that applies the host profile.

You can create a host profile on a reference host and apply that host profile to additional hosts or to a vCenter Server folder or cluster. The following workflow results.

1

You provision a host with vSphere Auto Deploy and edit that host's System Image Cache Configuration host profile.

2

You place one or more target hosts in maintenance mode, apply the host profile to each host, and instruct the host to exit maintenance mode.

3

What happens next depends on the host profile you selected.

If the host profile enabled stateless caching, the image is cached to disk. No reboot is required.

If the host profile enabled stateful installs, the image is installed. When you reboot, the host uses the installed image.

You can create a host profile for a reference host and write a vSphere Auto Deploy rule that applies that host profile to other target hosts in a PowerCLI session. The following workflow results.

1

You provision a reference host with vSphere Auto Deploy and create a host profile to enable a form of caching.

2

You write a rule that provisions additional hosts with vSphere Auto Deploy and that applies the host profile of the reference host to those hosts.

3

vSphere Auto Deploy provisions each host with the image profile or by using the script bundle associated with the rule. The exact effect of applying the host profile depends on the host profile you selected.

For stateful installs, vSphere Auto Deploy proceeds as follows:

During first boot, vSphere Auto Deploy installs the image on the host.

During subsequent boots, the host boots from disk. The hosts do not need a connection to the vSphere Auto Deploy server.

For stateless caching, vSphere Auto Deploy proceeds as follows:

During first boot, vSphere Auto Deploy provisions the host and caches the image.

During subsequent boots, vSphere Auto Deploy provisions the host. If vSphere Auto Deploy is unavailable, the host boots from the cached image, however, setup can only be completed when the host can reach the vSphere Auto Deploy server.