The Auto Deploy stateless caching feature lets you cache the host's image. The Auto Deploy stateful installs feature lets you install hosts over the network. After the initial network boot, these hosts boot like other ESXi hosts.

The stateless caching solution is primarily intended for situations when several hosts boot simultaneously. The locally cached image helps prevent a bottleneck that results if several hundreds of hosts connect to the Auto Deploy server simultaneously. After the boot operation is complete, hosts connect to Auto Deploy to complete the setup.

The stateful installs feature lets you provision hosts with the image profile over the network without having to set up the PXE boot infrastructure.

You can use the System Cache Configuration host profile to provision hosts with Auto Deploy stateless caching and stateful installs.

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.

You can set up your system to provision hosts with Auto Deploy, and configure the hosts to use stateless caching. If the Auto Deploy server is not available when a host reboots, the host uses the cached image.

You can set up hosts provisioned with Auto Deploy to cache the image to disk and to use the cached image on subsequent boots. After the image is cached, the hosts act like hosts on which an image is installed.