The Host Profiles feature creates a profile that encapsulates the host configuration and helps to manage the host configuration, especially in environments where an administrator manages multiple hosts or clusters in vCenter Server.
Host Profiles provide an automated and centrally-managed mechanism for host configuration and configuration compliance. Host Profiles can improve efficiency by reducing reliance upon repetitive, manual tasks. Host Profiles capture the configuration of a pre-configured and validated reference host, store the configuration as a managed object and use the catalog of parameters contained within to configure networking, storage, security and other host-level parameters. Host Profiles can be applied to either individual hosts or to a cluster; applying a Host Profile to a cluster will affect all hosts in the cluster and result in a consistent configuration across all hosts in that cluster.
Host Profiles can be used to validate the configuration of a host by checking compliance of a host or cluster against the Host Profile that is associated with that host or cluster.
After upgrading to vSphere 6.0, host profiles previously extracted from ESXi 5.5 hosts should function. However, host profiles extracted from ESXi 6.0 hosts are not compatible with ESXi 5.5 or earlier hosts.