Before you can start the proof of concept setup, make sure that your environment meets the hardware and software requirements and that you have the necessary permissions for the components included in the setup.

You need the following hardware and software for your proof of concept setup.

vCenter Server 5.0 installed on a Windows system. In this proof of concept setup, you install the Auto Deploy server and the vSphere PowerCLI on the host on which the vCenter Server is running. You perform many of the setup tasks by logging in to that host, either directly into the console or by using Remote Desktop (RDP).

Datacenter, clusters, and folders configured on the vCenter Server system.

At least 4GB of free space on the vCenter Server system. Preferably a second volume or hard drive.

Storage for ESXi datastores (NFS, iSCSI, or FibreChannel), with servers and storage arrays that are configured so the servers can see the LUNs.

List of target IP addresses for NFS or iSCSi.

List of target volume information for NFS or iSCSI.

Two or more hosts to be provisioned with Auto Deploy, and the following information for each host.

List of MAC addresses for each physical NIC.

List of IP addresses and fully qualified host names preassigned for target ESXi installs.

Default route, netmask, and primary and secondary DNS server IP addresses.

IP address and netmask for the VMkernel primary (management) network.

IP address and netmask for other VMkernel networks such as storage, vSphere FT, or VMware vMotion.


If you set up Auto Deploy to boot a host, vSphere checks each of the local storage devices on the system for existing partitions. To avoid the possibility of data loss, vSphere does not create partitions under the following conditions:

A local storage device contains a GPT partition map.

A local storage device contains an MBR partition table that defines at least one partition.

Storage is remote.

If hosts have local storage with a partition table that vSphere does not recognize, such as Linux Logical Volume Manager, vSphere overwrites the storage and creates new partitions. To make sure local storage is not considered for partitioning, you can physically disconnect that storage.

vSphere installer (DVD or ISO).

Window 7 or Windows Server 2008 system with Microsoft PowerShell preinstalled.

vSphere PowerCLI installer binaries downloaded from the Downloads page on the VMware Web site.

Location of the ESXi software depot on the Downloads page of the VMware Web site. You will use a URL to point to the image profile stored at that location or download a ZIP file to work with a local depot. Do not download the ESXi 5.0 image.

TFTP installer software such as WinAgents TFTP server. The TFTP server included in Windows 2008 is closely tied to Windows network deployment and is not suitable.

DHCP server. The DHCP server included with Windows 2008 is suitable.

You also need information about and administrator privileges to the environment's core servers including the ActiveDirectory server, DNS server, DHCP server, NTP server, and so on.

You must have complete control of the broadcast domain of the subnet in which you will deploy the setup. Ensure that no other DHCP, DNS, or TFTP server are on this subnet.