Auto Deploy can assign a host profile to one or more hosts. The host profile might include information about storage configuration, network configuration, or other characteristics of the host. If you add a host to a cluster, that cluster's host profile is used.

The following procedure explains how to write a rule that assigns a host profile to hosts. To assign the host profiles to hosts already provisioned with Auto Deploy, you must also perform a test and repair cycle. See Test and Repair Rule Compliance.

In many cases, you assign a host to a cluster instead of specifying a host profile explicitly. The host uses the host profile of the cluster.

Install vSphere PowerCLI and all prerequisite software.

Export the host profile that you want to use.

If you encounter problems running PowerCLI cmdlets, consider changing the execution policy. See Using Auto Deploy Cmdlets.


Run the Connect-VIServer PowerCLI cmdlet to connect to the vCenter Server system that Auto Deploy is registered with.

Connect-VIServer 192.XXX.X.XX

The cmdlet might return a server certificate warning. In a production environment, make sure no server certificate warnings result. In a development environment, you can ignore the warning.


Using the vSphere Client or the vSphere Web Client, set up a host with the settings you want to use and create a host profile from that host.


Find the name of the host profile by running Get-VMhostProfile PowerCLI cmdlet, passing in the ESXi host from which you create a host profile.


At the PowerCLI prompt, define a rule in which hosts with certain attributes, for example a range of IP addresses, are assigned to the host profile.

New-DeployRule -Name "testrule2" -Item my_host_profile -Pattern "vendor=Acme,Zven", "ipv4=192.XXX.1.10-192.XXX.1.20"

The specified item is assigned to all hosts with the specified attributes. This example specifies a rule named testrule2. The rule assigns the specified host profile my_host_profile to all hosts with an IP address inside the specified range and with a manufacturer of Acme or Zven.


Add the rule to the rule set.

Add-DeployRule testrule2

By default, the working rule set becomes the active rule set, and any changes to the rule set become active when you add a rule. If you use the NoActivate parameter, the working rule set does not become the active rule set.

Upgrade existing hosts to use the new host profile by performing compliance test and repair operations on those hosts. See Test and Repair Rule Compliance.

Turn on unprovisioned hosts to provision them with the host profile.