For hosts provisioned with Auto Deploy, the answer file contains the user input policies for a host profile. The file is created when the profile is initially applied to a particular host.

To apply a host profile to a host, the host must be placed into maintenance mode. During this process, the user is prompted to type answers for policies that are specified during host profile creation.

Placing the host into maintenance mode each time you apply a profile to the host can be costly and time consuming. A host provisioned with Auto Deploy can be rebooted while the host profile is attached to the host. After rebooting values stored in the answer file help the host provisioned with Auto Deploy to apply the profile. An answer file is created that contains a series of key value pairs for the user input options.

Note

If you deploy ESXi through host profiles, the syslog utility should be configured. See Set Up Syslog from the Host Profiles Interface for instructions. See the information about Auto Deploy in the vSphere Installation and Setup documentation.