With vSphere Configuration Profiles, you can manage the configuration of all hosts in a cluster collectively. You set up a desired configuration that you can apply to all hosts in a single operation. You can also use a reference host and make its configuration the desired configuration for an entire cluster. Using vSphere Configuration Profiles ensures consistency in host configuration.

vSphere Configuration Profiles uses a declarative model to manage host configuration at a cluster level. With vSphere Configuration Profiles, you can perform the following tasks:
  • Set a desired host configuration at a cluster level. The configuration is created and managed in the form of a human-readable JSON file backed by a JSON schema.
  • Check the host compliance against the configuration for the cluster.
  • Remediate the cluster to make non-compliant hosts compliant with the configuration set at the cluster level.
To perform all these tasks, you need the proper privileges. To view the full list of privileges required for using vSphere Configuration Profiles, see Required Privileges for Using vSphere Configuration Profiles

You can have a look at the general workflow of using vSphere Configuration Profiles:

You can enable vSphere Configuration Profiles only on clusters that you manage with a single image. You can't use vSphere Configuration Profiles on clusters that you manage with baselines. For such clusters, you can only use vSphere Host Profiles.

You start using vSphere Configuration Profiles by enabling it during cluster creation or by transitioning to vSphere Configuration Profiles. You can switch from using host profiles to enabling and using vSphere Configuration Profiles at any time. The change is permanent. That is, if you switch to using vSphere Configuration Profiles, you cannot undo the transition.

For information about how to enable vSphere Configuration Profiles during cluster creation and set a desired document for the cluster, see Enable vSphere Configuration Profiles During Cluster Creation.

For information about how to switch from using legacy configuration management tools, such as host profiles, to using vSphere Configuration Profiles, see Transition to Using vSphere Configuration Profiles

What Are the Configuration Schema and the Configuration Document?

You set up and manage the desired host configuration for an entire cluster by working with the configuration document for the respective cluster. The configuration document is a JSON file that you can download to your local machine and edit with a JSON editor tool. A valid configuration document contains a profile section and, optionally, a host-specific and host-override sections.
  • The profile section contains common configuration that is applicable to all hosts in the cluster.
  • The host-specific section represents configuration that can only be specified per host.
  • The host-override section represents configuration that is overridden for a specific host in the cluster.

The configuration document is backed by a JSON schema, which is not editable. The configuration schema is JSON file that represents the complete ESXi configuration. The schema contains the default values for all host properties. The configuration schema is generated from the desired software specification defined in the image for the cluster. The configuration schema changes when you change the software specification for the cluster.

System Requirements for Using vSphere Configuration Profiles

  • vCenter Server 8.0
  • ESXi 8.0
  • Enterprise Plus license

Limitations to Using vSphere Configuration Profiles

  • You can't deactivate vSphere Configuration Profiles.
  • You can't use vSphere Configuration Profiles if you use vSphere Distributed Switch for your cluster. vSphere Configuration Profiles works only for clusters that use vSphere Standard Switch.
  • You can't enable vSphere Configuration Profiles on a cluster with DPU-backed hosts.
  • You can't enable vSphere Configuration Profiles if NSX is also enabled for the cluster.