To customize hosts with shared attributes, you can create a host profile in a reference host. To customize individual hosts, you can set up some fields in the host profile to prompt the user for input for each host. After the user has specified the information, the system generates a host-specific answer file and stores it with the Auto Deploy cache and the vCenter Server host object.

Host profiles allow you to prespecify information, for example, the storage setup or Syslog setup in a reference host and apply the host profile to a set of target hosts that share the same settings. You can also use host profiles to specify that certain settings are host-dependent. If you do so, the host comes up in maintenance mode when you provision it with Auto Deploy. Apply the host profile or update the answer file to be prompted for input. The system stores your input and uses it the next time the host boots.

Note

The answer file is not stored in a location or format that administrators can access. Use the Host Profiles UI in the vSphere Client to manage answer files.

When the host profile is set to prompt for user input, you must specify a value in the dialog that appears. An error results if you do not specify a value.

Host Profile Options for iSCSI

Information to Request User Input For

Setting the Host Profile Option

When you apply a host profile on a system that includes a profile for iSCSI, you are prompted for several properties. For many of the properties, a system default is available. For some properties, you must specify a value or an error results.

IQN name

If the iSCSI setup uses an IQN name, you are prompted when you apply the host profile. You cannot continue until you provide the name.

CHAP information

If you set up iSCSI to require CHAP authentication, you are prompted for CHAP information including the user name and the secret when you apply the host profile. You cannot continue until you provide the name.

1

Select Storage configuration and click iSCSI Initiator Configuration

2

If the HBA you want to configure is not in the list, Right-click the folder that corresponds to the initiator you want to configure and select Add Profile.

You have to add a profile, for example, if software iSCSI was not enabled during host profile creation and you want to configure the software iSCSI initiator.

3

Set up the initiator. For many fields, the user is prompted when you apply the profile.

Host Profile Options that Prompt for Storage User Input

Information to Request User Input For

Setting the Host Profile Option

You are setting up the Fixed PSP configuration and want to prompt for the adapter and target IDs for the storage arrays that should use the Fixed PSP.

1

Create a subprofile.

a

Click Storage configuration.

b

Click Native Multipathing (NMP).

c

Click Path Selection Policy (PSP) configuration.

d

Right-click Fixed PSP Configuration and select Add Profile.

2

In the profile's Preferred Path window, select Prompt the user for adapter and target IDs on the host.

Configure FCoE adapter activation based on a user-specified MAC address.

1

Open Storage configuration.

2

Open Software FCoE configuration.

3

Open Adapter Configuration.

4

If no activation profile exists, right-click Activation Profile and select New Profile.

5

Open the profile and click Policy Profile.

6

Select Activation policy based on adapter MAC address from the drop-down menu.

Host Profile Options that Prompt for Security User Input

Information to Request User Input For

Setting the Host Profile Option

Administrator password for ESXi host when the host boots for the first time.

1

Open Security configuration.

2

Click Administrator password.

3

Select User Input Password to be Used to Configure Administrator Password.

Preconfigures a user for the ESXi host but prompts for the password for that user on each host when the host boots for the first time.

1

Create a user profile by right-clicking User Configuration and selecting Add Profile.

2

Configure the user by selecting one of the options.

Assigned fixed user configurations is available for compatibility with ESX/ESXi 4.1 system, this option displays the password in the clear.

Assign advanced fixed user configurations is for users of ESXi 5.0 systems.

Specify the user configuration in the profile but prompt for password during host configuration allows you to specify the information about the user but prompt for a password on each host.

Prompt the user for credentials when the host joins the Active Directory domain.

1

Set the Authentication configuration profile to use a fixed domain.

a

Open Authentication configuration.

b

Open Active Directory configuration.

c

Click Domain Name.

d

Select Configure a fixed domain name.

2

Set the method for joining the domain to prompt the user.

a

Open Authentication configuration.

b

Open Active Directory configuration.

c

Click JoinDomain Method.

d

Select Use user specified AD credentials to join the host to domain.

Host Profile Options that Prompt for Networking User Input

Information to Request User Input For

Setting the Host Profile Option

Prompt the user for the MAC address for a port group. You can have the system prompt the user in all cases (User specified MAC address...) or prompt the user only if no default is available.

1

Open Networking configuration.

2

Open Host port group.

3

Open Management Network.

4

Click Determine how MAC address for vmknic should be decided.

5

Select how the system manages the MAC address.

User specified MAC Address to be used while applying the configuration

Prompt the user for the MAC Address if no default is available

Prompt the user for the IPv4 address for each ESXi host to which the profile is applied. You can have the system prompt the user in all cases (User specified IPv4 address...) or prompt the user only if no default is available.

1

Open Networking configuration.

2

Open Host port group.

3

Open Management Network.

4

Open IP address settings.

5

Click IPv4 address.

6

Select how the system manages the IPv4 address.

User specified IPv4 address to be used while applying the configuration

Prompt the user for the IPv4 address if no default is available

Prompt the user for the IPv6 address for each ESXi host to which the profile is applied. You can have the system prompt the user in all cases (User specified IPv6 address...) or prompt the user only if no default is available.

1

Open Networking configuration.

2

Open Host port group.

3

Open Management Network.

4

Open IP address settings.

5

Click Static IPv6 address.

6

Select how the system manages the IPv6 address.

User specified IPv6 address to be used while applying the configuration

Prompt the user for the IPv6 address if no default is available

Prompt the user for the DNS name of the host. You can have the system prompt the user in all cases (User specified host name...) or prompt the user only if no default is available.

1

Open Networking configuration.

2

Open DNS configuration.

3

In the right panel, click Edit next to What is the name of this host.

4

Select how the system manages the DNS configuration.

Prompt the user for host name if default is not available

User specified host name to be used while applying the configuration

Prompt the user for the MAC address for a distributed switch, its port group, or one of its services. Right-click the Host virtual NIC folder icon and click Add profile to determine the component to which the setting is applied. You can decide to prompt the user only if no default is available or in all cases.

1

Open Networking configuration.

2

Open Host virtual NIC.

3

Open dvSwitch:dvPortGroup

The available port group depends on your environment.

4

Click Determine how MAC address for vmknic should be decided.

5

Select how the system manages the MAC address for the distributed switch.

User specified MAC address to be used while applying the configuration

Prompt the user for the MAC address if no default is available

Prompt the user for the IPv4 address for a distributed switch, its port group, or one of its services. Right-click the Host virtual NIC folder icon and click Add profile to determine the component to which the setting is applied. You can decide to prompt the user only if no default is available or in all cases.

1

Open Networking configuration.

2

Open Host virtual NIC.

3

Open dvSwitch:dvPortGroup

The available port group depends on your environment.

4

Open IP address settings.

5

Click IPv4 address.

6

Select how the system handles the IPv4 address for the distributed switch.

User specified IPv4 address to be used while applying the configuration

Prompt the user for IPv4 address if no default is available

Prompt the user for the IPv6 address for a distributed switch, its port group, or one of its services. Right-click the Host virtual NIC folder icon and click Add profile to determine the component to which the setting is applied. You can decide to prompt the user only if no default is available or in all cases.

1

Open Networking configuration.

2

Open Host virtual NIC.

3

Open dvSwitch:dvPortGroup

The available port group depends on your environment.

4

Open IP address settings.

5

Click Static IPv6 address.

6

Select how the system manages the IPv6 address for the distributed switch.

User specified IPv6 address to be used while applying the configuration

Prompt the user for IPv6 address if no default is available