Setting up the first host requires that you understand how to write Auto Deploy rules with vSphere PowerCLI. After you write the rules and add them to the ruleset, you can turn on the host to provision it.

You use the PowerCLI command-line interface to specify how Auto Deploy provisions the target hosts. You define rules and add each rule to the active ruleset. The Auto Deploy server checks the ruleset to determine which image profile to send to each ESXi host, which host profile to send to each ESXi host, and which location on the vCenter Server to place the host in.

A rule allows you to specify the following parameters.
Parameter Description
Name Name of the rule, specified with the -Name parameter.
Item One or more items, specified with the -Item parameter. An item can be an image profile to be used, a host profile to be used, or a vCenter Server inventory location (datacenter, folder, cluster) for the target host. You can specify multiple items separated by commas.
Pattern The pattern specifies the host or group of hosts to which the rule applies. Choose one of the following.
Machine vendor name.
Machine model name.
Machine serial number.
Machine hostname.
Domain name.
IPv4 address of the machine.
Boot NIC MAC address.
Machine asset tag.
OEM-specific strings in the SMBIOS.
Specify -AllHosts to apply the item or items to all hosts.

This proof of concept setup first uses -AllHosts and later uses an IP address range to identify the hosts to provision.