The Host Profile workflow starts with the concept of a reference host; the reference host serves as the template from which the Host Profile is extracted. The designation reference host, and the Host Profile association to that host, persists even after creating the Host Profile. The reference host must be both healthy and available for subsequent usage of the Host Profile.

Before you begin, ensure that you have an existing vSphere enviroment installation with at least one properly and completely configured host.

The sequence required to create a Host Profile from a reference host, apply the Host Profile to a host or cluster and check compliance against the Host Profile is as follows:

  1. Set up and configure the reference host.

  2. Create a Host Profile from the reference host.

  3. Attach other hosts or clusters to the Host Profile.

  4. Check the compliance to the Host Profile. If all hosts are compliant with the reference host, they are correctly configured.

  5. Apply (remediate).

Host Profiles is supported only for hosts running VMware vSphere 4.0 or later. This feature is not supported for VMware Infrastructure 3.5 or earlier hosts. If you have hosts running VMware Infrastructure 3.5 or earlier, you may attach a Host Profile to these hosts, but remediateion and compliance check will always fail. Additionally, a host that is running VMware Infrastructure 3.5 or earlier cannot be used as a reference host.

As a licensed feature of vSphere, Host Profiles are only available when the appropriate licensing is in place. If you see errors, ensure that you have the appropriate vSphere licensing for your hosts.

If you want the Host Profile to use directory services for authentication, the reference host needs to be configured to use a directory service. See the vSphere Security documentation.

vSphere Auto Deploy

For hosts provisioned with vSphere Auto Deploy, vSphere Web Client owns the entire host configuration, which is captured in a Host Profile. In most cases, the Host Profile information is sufficient to store all configuration information. Sometimes the user is prompted for input when the host provisioned with Auto Deploy boots. See the vSphere Installation and Setup documentation for more information on Auto Deploy.