When you want to use Auto Deploy with stateless caching or stateful installs, you must set up a host profile, apply the host profile, and set the boot order.

When you apply a host profile that enables caching to a host, Auto Deploy partitions the specified disk. What happens next depends on how you set up the host profile and how you set the boot order on the host.

  • Auto Deploy caches the image when you apply the host profile if Enable stateless caching on the host is selected in the System Cache Configuration host profile. No reboot is required. When you later reboot, the host continues to use the Auto Deploy infrastructure to retrieve its image. If the Auto Deploy server is not available, the host uses the cached image.

  • Auto Deploy installs the image if Enable stateful installs on the host is selected in the System Cache Configuration host profile. When you reboot, the host boots from disk, just like a host that was provisioned with the installer. Auto Deploy no longer provisions the host.

You can apply the host profile from a vSphere Web Client, or write an Auto Deploy PowerCLI rule that applies the host profile.

Using the vSphere Web Client to Set Up Auto Deploy for Stateless Caching or Stateful Installs

You can create a host profile on a reference host and apply that host profile to additional hosts or to a vCenter Server folder or cluster. The following workflow results.

  1. You provision a host with Auto Deploy and edit that host's System Image Cache Configuration host profile.

  2. You place one or more target hosts in maintenance mode, apply the host profile to each host, and instruct the host to exit maintenance mode.

  3. What happens next depends on the host profile you selected.

    • If the host profile enabled stateless caching, the image is cached to disk. No reboot is required.

    • If the host profile enabled stateful installs, the image is installed. When you reboot, the host uses the installed image.

  4. A reboot is required so the changes can take effect.

Using PowerCLI to Set Up Auto Deploy for Stateless Caching or Stateful Installs

You can create a host profile for a reference host and write an Auto Deploy PowerCLI rule that applies that host profile to other target hosts. The following workflow results.

  1. You provision a reference with Auto Deploy and create a host profile to enable a form of caching.

  2. You write a rule that provisions additional hosts with Auto Deploy and that applies the host profile of the reference host to those hosts.

  3. Auto Deploy provisions each host with the new image profile. The exact effect of applying the host profile depends on the host profile you selected.

    • For stateful installs, Auto Deploy proceeds as follows:

      • During first boot, Auto Deploy installs the image on the host.

      • During subsequent boots, the host boots from disk. Auto Deploy is no longer involved.

    • For stateless caching, Auto Deploy proceeds as follows:

      • During first boot, Auto Deploy provisions the host and caches the image.

      • During subsequent boots, Auto Deploy provisions the host. If Auto Deploy is unavailable, the host boots from the cached image, however, setup can only be completed when the host can reach the Auto Deploy server.