After you configure the vSphere Auto Deploy infrastructure, you must add an ESXi software depot, specify an image profile, write a rule, and add it to the active rule set.

vSphere Auto Deploy provisions hosts with image profiles that define the set of VIBs that an ESXi installation process uses. Image profiles are stored in software depots. You must make sure the correct image profile is available before you start provisioning hosts. When you add a software depot to a PowerCLI session, it is available only during the current session. It does not persist across sessions.

The steps in this task instruct you to run PowerCLI cmdlets. For additional information about the vSphere Auto Deploy cmdlets that you can run in a PowerCLI session, see vSphere Auto Deploy PowerCLI Cmdlet Overview.


Verify that you can access the ESXi hosts that you want to provision from the system on which you run PowerCLI.


  1. Log in as an administrator to the console of the Windows system on which vCenter Server is installed, either directly or by using RDP.
    This task assumes that you installed PowerCLI on the system on which the vCenter Server system is running.
  2. In a PowerCLI session, run the Connect-VIServer cmdlet to connect to the vCenter Server system that vSphere Auto Deploy is registered with.
    Connect-VIServer ipv4_address
    The cmdlet might return a server certificate warning. In a production environment, make sure no server certificate issues occur. In a development environment, you can ignore the warning.
  3. Enter the vCenter Server credentials.
  4. Run Add-EsxSoftwareDepot to add the online depot to the PowerCLI session.

    Adding the software depot is required each time you start a new PowerCLI session.

  5. Validate that you successfully added the software depot by checking the contents of the depot with the Get-EsxImageProfile cmdlet.
    The cmdlet returns information about all image profiles in the depot.
  6. Create a new rule by running the New-DeployRule cmdlet.
    New-DeployRule -Name "InitialBootRule" -Item ESXi-6.0.0-2494585-standard -AllHosts
    The cmdlet creates a rule that assigns the specified image profile to all hosts in the inventory.
  7. Add the new rule to the active rule set to make the rule available to the vSphere Auto Deploy server.
    Add-DeployRule	-DeployRule "InitialBootRule"

What to do next

Provision your first host with vSphere Auto Deploy and verify its image provisioning.