Auto Deploy can assign a host profile to one or more hosts. The host profile might include information about storage configuration, network configuration, or other characteristics of the host. If you add a host to a cluster, that cluster's host profile is used.

About this task

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

In many cases, you assign a host to a cluster instead of specifying a host profile explicitly. The host uses the host profile of the cluster.


  • Install vSphere PowerCLI and all prerequisite software.

  • Export the host profile that you want to use.

  • If you encounter problems running PowerCLI cmdlets, consider changing the execution policy. See the information about using Auto Deploy Cmdlets in the vSphere Installation and Setup documentation.


  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. Using the vSphere Web Client, set up a host with the settings you want to use and create a host profile from that host.
  3. Find the name of the host profile by running Get-VMhostProfile PowerCLI cmdlet, passing in the ESXi host from which you create a host profile.
  4. At the PowerCLI prompt, define a rule in which hosts with certain attributes, for example a range of IP addresses, are assigned to the host profile.

    New-DeployRule -Name "testrule2" -Item my_host_profile -Pattern "vendor=Acme,Zven", "ipv4=192.XXX.1.10-192.XXX.1.20"

    The specified item is assigned to all hosts with the specified attributes. This example specifies a rule named testrule2. The rule assigns the specified host profile my_host_profile to all hosts with an IP address inside the specified range and with a manufacturer of Acme or Zven.

  5. Add the rule to the rule set.

    Add-DeployRule testrule2

    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 use the new host profile by performing compliance test and repair operations on those hosts. See Test and Repair Rule Compliance.

  • Turn on unprovisioned hosts to provision them with the host profile.