Deploy an ESXi host using Auto Deploy

Assuming there is an installed and working vCenter, install the Auto Deploy server located on vCenter ISO media (vctools\VMware-autodeploy.exe). Auto Deploy can be installed with the vCenter or as stand alone server: in this post vCenter and Auto Deploy are installed together. After Auto Deploy installation, a new option will be available using Web Client: auto_deploy_tab

Download TFTP Boot Zip file ( and upload to a TFTP server. In the following example a Cisco switch is used as both DHCP and TFTP server:

ip dhcp pool LAN
   bootfile undionly.kpxe.vmw-hardwired
tftp-server flash:undionly.kpxe.vmw-hardwired
tftp-server flash:tramp

Also unpack the the file and copy the undionly.kpxe.vmw-hardwired file to the switch:

Switch#copy tftp:// flash:vmware.pxe
Switch#copy tftp:// flash:

The undionly.kpxe.vmw-hardwired file is useful for standard BIOS servers; the file contains files for EFI architecture also. The tramp file is a simple config file pointing to the vCenter:

set filename

Download ESXi Offline Bundle Install PowerCLI

PowerCLI> Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned
PowerCLI> Set-PowerCLIConfiguration -invalidCertificateAction "Ignore" -confirm:$false
PowerCLI> Connect-ViServer -Server -Protocol https -User Administrator -Pass Password
PowerCLI> Add-EsxSoftwareDepot C:\Depot\
PowerCLI> Get-EsxImageProfile

Name                           Vendor          Last Modified   Acceptance Level
----                           ------          -------------   ----------------
ESXi-5.5.0-1331820-standard    VMware, Inc.    9/19/2013 6:... PartnerSupported
ESXi-5.5.0-1331820-no-tools    VMware, Inc.    9/19/2013 6:... PartnerSupported

PowerCLI> New-DeployRule -Name "5.5.0-Stateless" -Item "ESXi-5.5.0-1331820-standard" -Pattern "mac=00:1A:4B:BE:F6:C2,00:1A:4B:BE:F6:C4"
PowerCLI> Add-DeployRule -DeployRule 5.5.0-Stateless

Now the server can be powered on and it will boot ESXi 5.5.0 via PXE. By deafult host will added to the vCenter server (root password is blank).



Posted on 18 Jun 2014 by Andrea.
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