Before you can start the tasks in this vSphere Auto Deploy scenario, make sure that your environment meets the hardware and software requirements, and that you have the necessary permissions for the components included in the setup.

This scenario is customized for vCenter Server 6.0 and later. For earlier versions of vCenter Server, go to the corresponding VMware Documentation Center.

For your setup, your system must meet specific software and hardware requirements.

Table 1. Preinstallation Checklist

Required Software and Hardware


Operating System

A Windows Server 2008 R2 system or later supported Windows system with Microsoft PowerShell preinstalled. For a full list of supported operating systems, see Supported host Operating Systems for VMware vCenter Server installation.

vCenter Server

vCenter Server version 6.0 or later to be installed on a Windows system. You can also install PowerCLI on a different Windows system. The vSphere Auto Deploy server is part of vCenter Server. You must enable and start the vSphere Auto Deploy service on the vCenter Server system. You can perform many of the setup tasks by logging in to the Windows system, either directly into the console or by using Remote Desktop (RDP). See Prepare Your System for vSphere Auto Deploy.


At least 4 GB of free space on the Windows system where vCenter Server is running. Preferably a second volume or hard drive.

Storage for ESXi datastores NFS, iSCSI, or FibreChannel, with servers and storage arrays that are configured so the servers can detect the LUNs.

  • A list of target IP addresses for NFS or iSCSI.

  • A list of target volume information for NFS or iSCSI.

Host information (for four ESXi hosts)

A list of target IP addresses for NFS or iSCSI.

A list of target volume information for NFS or iSCSI.

  • Default route, net mask, and primary and secondary DNS server IP addresses.

  • IP address and net mask for the VMkernel primary management network.

  • IP address and net mask for other VMkernel networks such as storage, vSphere FT, or VMware vMotion.

vSphere Auto Deploy does not overwrite existing partitions by default.


PowerCLI installer binaries downloaded from the Downloads page on the VMware Web site. See the vSphere PowerCLI User's Guide for detailed instructions for PowerCLI installation.

ESXi software depot

The location of the ESXi software depot on the Downloads page of the VMware Web site. You use a URL to point to the image profile stored at that location, or you download a ZIP file to work with a local depot. Do not download the ESXi image.

TFTP server

TFTP installer software such as WinAgents TFTP server. The TFTP server included in Windows Server 2008 is closely tied to Windows network deployment and is not suitable.

DHCP server

The DHCP server included with Windows Server 2008.

DNS server

A working DNS server. You must add entries in both Forward (A Record) and Reverse (PTR Record) Zones for each target host.

You also need information about and administrator privileges to the core servers of the environment, including the ActiveDirectory server, DNS server, DHCP server, NTP server, and so on.

You must have complete control of the broadcast domain of the subnet in which you will deploy the setup. Ensure that no other DHCP, DNS, or TFTP server are on this subnet.