At the time of this writing, I am preparing for my VCAP5-DCA exam. I saw the “Objective 9.2 – Install ESXi Hosts Using Auto Deploy” in the exam blueprint and decided to write a quick steps guide for future reference. In my lab, I have a vCenter Server installed with all components including a TFTP server running on Windows Server 2012. My domain controller with DNS and DHCP enabled is also running on Windows Server 2012.
I assume you have a vCenter Server up and running and the vSphere Auto Deploy is already installed. Also, you have a host profile configured for your auto deploy hosts.
- Download ESXi offline bundle.
- Download and install PowerCLI.
- Set the PowerShell execution policy to RemoteSigned after installing PowerCLI with the Set-ExecutionPolicy command.
- Download and install a TFTP server (I used TFTPD). Make sure you allow TFTPD through the Windows Firewall.
- Open vSphere Client, go to Home page and click Auto Deploy under Administration.
- Download the TFTP Boot Zip and unzip it in the TFTP root directory.
- Go to the DHCP server and set option 066 in the scope options.
- Next, set option 067 with the file name displayed under Configuration in the Auto Deploy window.
- Open vSphere PowerCLI, connect to the vCenter Server and add the offline ESXi bundle to the depot. PowerCLI C:> Add-EsxSoftwareDepot <Path>VMware-ESXi-5.1.0-799733-depot.zip
- Create a new deploy rule and associate it with the cluster and the host profile. PowerCLI C:> New-DeployRule -Name DefaultBoot -Item ESXi-5.1.0-799733-standard,Cluster-1,Default -AllHosts
- Make the new deploy rule active. PowerCLI C:> Add-DeployRule -DeployRule DefaultBoot
- Boot ESXi host.
- Configure the host.
- Update answer file.
Optionally, export the new software depot so you can make changes later if needed.
PowerCLI C:> Export-EsxImageProfile -ImageProfile ESXi-5.1.0-799733-standard -ExportToBundle -FilePath D:SoftwareAutoDeloy.zip