This topic describes the workflow of using Host Profiles.

You must have an existing vSphere installation with at least one properly configured host.


Set up and configure the host that will be used as the reference host.

A reference host is the host from which the profile is created.


Create a profile using the designated reference host.


Attach a host or cluster with the profile.


Check the host's compliance against a profile. This ensures that the host continues to be correctly configured.


Apply the host profile of the reference host to other hosts or clusters of hosts.


Host profiles is only supported for VMware vSphere 4.0 hosts. This feature is not supported for VI 3.5 or earlier hosts. If you have VI 3.5 or earlier hosts managed by your vCenter Server 4.0, the following can occur if you try to use host profiles for those hosts:

You cannot create a host profile that uses a VMware Infrastructure 3.5 or earlier host as a reference host.

You cannot apply a host profile to any VI 3.5 or earlier hosts. The compliance check fails.

While you can attach a host profile to a mixed cluster that contains VI 3.5 or earlier hosts, the compliance check for those hosts fails.

As a licensed feature of vSphere, Host Profiles are only available when the appropriate licensing is in place. If you see errors, please ensure that you have the appropriate vSphere licensing for your hosts.

If you want the host profile to use directory services for authentication, then the reference host needs to be set configured to use a directory service. See Configure a Host to Use a Directory Service for instructions.