When you want to use Auto Deploy with stateless caching or stateful installs, you must set up a host profile, apply the host profile, and set the boot order.

When you apply a host profile that enables caching to a host, Auto Deploy partitions the specified disk. What happens next depends on how you set up the host profile and how you set the boot order on the host.

With the Enable stateless caching on the host host profile, Auto Deploy caches the image when you apply the host profile. No reboot is required. When you later reboot, the host continues to use the Auto Deploy infrastructure to retrieve its image. If the Auto Deploy server is not available, the host uses the cached image.

With the Enable stateful installs on the host host profile, Auto Deploy installs the image. When you reboot the host, the host boots from disk, just like a host that was provisioned with the installer. Auto Deploy no longer provisions the host.

You can apply the host profile from a vSphere Client or from a vSphere Web Client, or write an Auto Deploy PowerCLI rule that applies the host profile.

Each workflow supports stateless caching and stateful installs.

Workflows that set up hosts for stateless caching or stateful installs

Workflow

Stateless caching

Stateful install

Apply host profile from vSphere Client or vSphere Web Client

Apply the host profile either to individual hosts or to all hosts in a folder or cluster. No reboot required.

Apply the host profile either to individual hosts or to all hosts in a folder or cluster. Reboot is required.

Write and apply PowerCLI rule

Set up a reference host with a host profile that has the caching setup you want. Write a PowerCLI rule that provisions the host by using Auto Deploy and that applies a host profile that is set up for stateless caching. Reboot is required.

Set up a reference host with a host profile that has the caching setup you want. Write a PowerCLI rule that provisions the host by using Auto Deploy and applies a host profile that is set up for stateful installs. Reboot is required.

You can create a host profile on a reference host and apply that host profile to additional hosts or to a vCenter Server folder or cluster. The following workflow results.

1

You provision a host with Auto Deploy and edit that host's System Image Cache Configuration host profile.

2

You place one or more target hosts in maintenance mode, apply the host profile to each host, and instruct the host to exit maintenance mode.

3

What happens next depends on the host profile you selected.

If the host profile enabled stateless caching, the image is cached to disk. No reboot is required.

If the host profile enabled stateful installs, the image is installed. When you reboot, the host uses the installed image.

4

A reboot is required so the changes can take effect.

You can create a host profile for a reference host and write an Auto Deploy PowerCLI rule that applies that host profile to other target hosts. The following workflow results.

1

You provision a reference with Auto Deploy and create a host profile to enable a form of caching.

2

You write a rule that provisions additional hosts with Auto Deploy and that applies the host profile of the reference host to those hosts.

3

Auto Deploy provisions each host with the new image profile. The exact effect of applying the host profile depends on the host profile you selected and on whether the host was previously provisioned with Auto Deploy.

First Boot and Subsequent Boots Comparison

First Boot

Subsequent Boots

For stateful installs, Auto Deploy installs the image.

For stateful installs, the host boots from disk.

For stateless caching, Auto Deploy provisions the host and caches the image.

For stateless caching, Auto Deploy provisions the host.

If Auto Deploy provisioned the host before but stateless caching was not set up before, Auto Deploy caches the image.

If Auto Deploy provided the host before and cached the image, Auto Deploy provisions the host using the information in the rules.

If Auto Deploy is unavailable, the host boots from the cached image.