Configuration that is shared by a group of hosts is stored in a host profile. You can create the host profile from your reference host. Configuration that differs for different hosts, such as a static IP address, can be managed through the answer file mechanism.

Auto Deploy provisions each host with a common host profile. In certain cases, Auto Deploy also uses a host-specific answer file that allows you to specify information that differs for different hosts. For example, if you set up a VMkernel port for vMotion or for storage, you can specify a static IP address for the port by using the answer file mechanism.

In this example, you create a host profile from the reference host, attach that host profile to the same host, and create an answer file for the reference host.

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.


With the vSphere Client, log in to the vCenter Server system with administrator privileges.


Click Home and select Host Profiles.


Click Create a Host Profile in the Getting Started tab on the right.


In the wizard, make the following selections.



Creation Method

Create Profile from existing host.

Specify Reference Host

Select the host you just configured.

Profile Details

Name the profile ESXiGold and add a description.

Ready to Complete

Review the information and click Finish.


Right-click the ESXiGold host profile, select Attach Host/Cluster, select the ESXi host from which you created the profile, and click OK.

If any information is marked as user input in the host profile, you are prompted. In this example, no host profile items are set up to prompt you.


Put the host into maintenance mode and apply the host profile.


Go to the Hosts and Clusters view, right-click the ESXi host, and put the host into maintenance mode.


With the host in maintenance mode, right-click again, and select Apply Profile.

vCenter Server checks the host for compliance and returns Compliant after the rescan is complete.

Create a rule that assigns the image profile and the newly-created host profile to all hosts you want to provision with Auto Deploy. See Create a Rule for Other Target Hosts.