Over Christmas, I expanded my home lab with another ESXi host. It seemed like the perfect time to set up Auto Deploy so my new host could be brought online with a minimum of effort. The process requires some assembly and I ran into a few minor issues along the way, so I thought I would detail those issues for others. The process is also quite lengthy, and this will be a multi-part series. Stay tuned, and check back at Auto Deploy Deep Dive Series for the rest of the articles. Credit goes to Vladan Seget’s Auto Deploy post and VMware’s own documentation for getting me started.
Auto Deploy requires multiple components – Image Builder, PowerCLI, Host Profiles, TFTP, DHCP, and vSphere Enterprise Plus licensing for your vCenter server. You have your choice of the TFTP and DHCP providers, the rest are provided by vCenter and VMware. For TFTP, I used SolarWinds’s TFTP server (you do not have to provide a valid email address to access the download) for Windows and ISC tftp for CentOS. I had an existing CentOS server running ISC DHCP; Windows DHCP server on Server 2003+ is fine but I skipped over it because it’s familiar to most and easy to pick up by the rest.