Auto Deploy can assign a host to a folder or cluster. When the host boots, Auto Deploy adds it to the specified location on the vCenter Server. Hosts assigned to a cluster inherit the cluster's host profile.

About this task

The following procedure explains how to write a rule that assigns a host to a folder or cluster. To assign a host already provisioned with Auto Deploy to a new folder or cluster, you must also perform a test and repair cycle. See Test and Repair Rule Compliance.


The folder you select must be in a datacenter or in a cluster. You cannot assign the host to a standalone top-level folder.


  • Install VMware PowerCLI and all prerequisite software.

  • If you encounter problems running PowerCLI cmdlets, consider changing the execution policy. See Using Auto Deploy Cmdlets.


  1. Run the Connect-VIServer PowerCLI cmdlet to connect to the vCenter Server system that Auto Deploy is registered with.

    Connect-VIServer 192.XXX.X.XX

    The cmdlet might return a server certificate warning. In a production environment, make sure no server certificate warnings result. In a development environment, you can ignore the warning.

  2. Define a rule in which hosts with certain attributes, for example a range of IP addresses, are assigned to a folder or a cluster.

    New-DeployRule -Name "testrule3" -Item "my folder" -Pattern "vendor=Acme,Zven", "ipv4=192.XXX.1.10-192.XXX.1.20"

    This example passes in the folder by name. You can instead pass in a folder, cluster, or datacenter object that you retrieve with the Get-Folder, Get-Cluster, or Get-Datacenter cmdlet.

  3. Add the rule to the rule set.

    Add-DeployRule testrule3

    By default, the working rule set becomes the active rule set, and any changes to the rule set become active when you add a rule. If you use the NoActivate parameter, the working rule set does not become the active rule set.

What to do next

  • Upgrade existing hosts to be added to the specified vCenter Server location by performing test and repair compliance operations on those hosts. See Test and Repair Rule Compliance.

  • Turn on unprovisioned hosts to add them to the specified vCenter Server location.