vSphere Auto Deploy – Quick start guide

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.

  1. Download ESXi offline bundle.
  2. Download and install PowerCLI.
  3. Set the PowerShell execution policy to RemoteSigned after installing PowerCLI with the Set-ExecutionPolicy command.
  4. Download and install a TFTP server (I used TFTPD). Make sure you allow TFTPD through the Windows Firewall.AD_S_01
  5. Open vSphere Client, go to Home page and click Auto Deploy under Administration.
  6. Download the TFTP Boot Zip and unzip it in the TFTP root directory.
  7. Go to the DHCP server and set option 066 in the scope options.
  8. Next, set option 067 with the file name displayed under Configuration in the Auto Deploy window.AD_S_03
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. Make the new deploy rule active. PowerCLI C:> Add-DeployRule -DeployRule DefaultBoot
  12. Boot ESXi host.
  13. Configure the host.
  14. 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


– Marek.Z

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