Auto Deploy provisions hosts with images described by image profiles. Image profiles are stored in software depots. You must make sure the correct image profile is available before you start provisioning hosts.

The ESXi software depot contains the image profiles and software packages (VIBs) that are used to run ESXi. An image profile is a list of VIBs. This proof of concept setup uses a depot and image profile provided by VMware and does not create custom image profiles.

This proof of concept setup downloads the ZIP file that contains the image profile. You can instead point the Auto Deploy server to the HTTP URL of an image profile.

If you require custom VIBs such as custom drivers in your image profile, you can create a custom image profile by using the Image Builder PowerCLI.

The steps in this task instruct you to run PowerCLI cmdlets. For additional information on each cmdlet, type Help cmdlet at the PowerCLI prompt or search the vSphere Documentation Center.

Make sure your system meets the requirements in the preinstallation checklist. See Proof of Concept Preinstallation Checklist.

Perform all preceding proof of concept setup tasks. See Auto Deploy Proof of Concept Setup for the complete list.


Log in to the console of the Windows system on which vCenter Server is installed with administrator privileges, either directly or by using RDP.


Download the ESXi Depot ZIP file from the VMware Web site to a location the PowerCLI Windows system can access.

The file has a name that follows this pattern:


Save the ZIP file to your local D:\ drive or any volume with enough space and note the location of the file.


Start a PowerCLI session and run the following cmdlets at the prompt.

Connect-VIServer -Server your_vc_hostname -User username -Password password <Enter>
Add-EsxSoftwareDepot path:\ <Enter>

Include the complete path and file name of the ZIP file you downloaded.


Validate that you successfully added the ZIP file to the depot by checking the contents of the depot with the Get-EsxImageProfile cmdlet.

Get-EsxImageProfile <Enter>

The cmdlet returns information about all image profiles in the depot.

Set up Auto Deploy to provision the first host and provision that host with the image profile in the depot. See Set Up the First Host and Provision with Auto Deploy.