The Host Profiles workflow starts with the concept of a reference host. The configuration of the reference host, which is extracted as a host profile, serves as a configuration template for configuring other hosts. The reference host does not have to be related or associated with the host profile extracted from it.
Before you begin, ensure that you have an existing vSphere environment installation with at least one properly and completely configured ESXi host.
The sequence required to create a host profile from a reference host, apply the host profile to a host or cluster and check compliance against the host profile is as follows:
Set up and configure the reference host.
Create a host profile from the reference host.
Attach hosts or clusters to the host profile.
Check the compliance to the host profile. If all hosts are compliant with the reference host, they are correctly configured.
As a licensed feature of vSphere, Host Profiles are only available when the appropriate licensing is in place. If you see errors, ensure that you have the appropriate vSphere licensing for your hosts.
If you want the Host Profile to use directory services for authentication, the reference host needs to be configured to use a directory service. See the vSphere Security documentation.
vSphere Auto Deploy
For hosts provisioned with vSphere Auto Deploy, vSphere Web Client owns the entire host configuration, which is captured in a Host Profile. Usually, the Host Profile information is sufficient to store all configuration information. Sometimes the user is prompted for input when the host provisioned with Auto Deploy boots. See the vSphere Installation and Setup documentation for more information on Auto Deploy.