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VMware Auto Deploy supports automatic PXE boot and customization of large numbers of ESXi systems. Auto Deploy allows rapid deployment and configuration of a large number of ESXi hosts. After a DHCP server has been set up, Auto Deploy PXE boots machines that are turned on with an ESXi image. Auto Deploy then customizes the ESXi systems using host profiles and other information stored on the managing vCenter Server system. You can set up the environment to use different images and different host profiles for different hosts.
VMware Autodeploy requires the following:
- ESX/ESXi system to install the virtual appliance on. This system must be able to connect to the vCenter Server system on which you want to create and store the host profiles.
- Static IP address to assign to the VMware Auto Deploy appliance during startup.
- vCenter Server system to manage the auto‐deployed ESX/ESXi systems and to store the host profiles.
- MAC address or asset tag of each ESXi system you want to PXE boot.
- DNS Server that maps IP addresses to host names. (Optional)
- Deploy the OVA file on an ESX/ESXi server. The autodeploy VM should have a NIC connected to the management network.
- Boot the new VM.
- Go to the VM's console and answer any questions.
- If the management network has no DHCP server, login as vi-admin and run 'sudo deploy-cmd dhcpconfig'. Otherwise, consult the manual for setting up the DHCP server.
- Network boot the machine to be used as an ESXi server. It should contact autodeploy and start booting ESXi.
Please refer to VMware Auto Deploy Administrator's Guide for more details.
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