Deploying VMware ESXi 5.5. with vSphere Auto Deploy 5.5 – Part 1

Auto Deploy allows rapid deployment and configuration of a large number of ESXi hosts. vSphere Auto deploy can be configured with one of the three modes:

  • Stateless
  • Stateless Caching
  • Stateful Install

Stateless :-  You Deploy ESXi using Auto Deploy are not installing ESXi onto a Local disk, or a SAN boot LUN. ESXi is directly loaded into memory on a host as it boots.

Stateless Caching :- You deploy ESXi using Auto Deploy just as with Stateless, but the Image is cached on the server’s local disk or SAN boot LUN. In the event that Auto Deploy infrastructure is not available, the hosts boots from a local cache of the Image.

Stateful Install :- You can provision a host with Auto Deploy and set up the host to store the image to disk. On subsequent boots, the host boots from disk. This process is similar to performing a scripted installation. With a scripted installation, the script provisions a host and the host then boots from disk. In this case, Auto Deploy provisions a host and the host then boots from disk.

Auto Deploy Requirements:-

1.  vCenter Server 5.5 (Install/Upgrade vCenter Server 5.5)

2. Install Auto Deploy Server 5.5.

3. Install TFTP server (SolarWinds).

4. Configure TFTP Server and Boot Loader Data.

5. Configure DHCP server with 66 and 67 Options.

6. Install VMware PowerCLI 5.5.

7. Download Offline Bundle 5.5 with all other VIBs

8. Create Software Depot / Image Profile / Deploy Rule / Create Host profiles / Update Rules

How to Install Auto Deploy server

You can install vSphere Auto Deploy on the same system as vCenter Server or on a separate Windows based system. If you are installing Auto Deploy on a system separate from vCenter Server, Specify the IP Address or Name of the vCenter Server with which this Auto Deploy server should register.

1. Launch the VMware vCenter Installer media and Select vSphere Auto Deploy and then click Install to start the installer.

AD12. Select the appropriate language and Click OK.

AD23. Installer will prepare setup process.

AD34. From the vSphere Auto Deploy installer Welcome Screen, Click Next to Continue.

AD45. Select Radio button to accept End User License Agreement and Click Next.

AD56. Select the vSphere Auto Deploy Installer and Repository Directory and Size of the Repository and Click Next to continue.

AD67. Provide vCenter Server details and Credentials to register Auto Deploy with vCenter Server and click Next to continue.

AD78. Select the default Auto Deploy Server and Management Port and Click Next.                   (Do not change unless there is conflicts with port numbers)

AD89. The Next screen allows to choose how the vSphere Auto Deploy Server will be identified on the network. It Will detect host name on which we are installing Auto Deploy choose default name name Click Next.

AD910. On Ready to Install screen click Install to begin the installation.

AD1011. Ignore the Security Warning and Click Finish to Complete the Installation.

AD1112. Once Installation Completed Connect to vCenter Server –> Home –> Administration –> Auto Deploy. See below screenshot.

AD1413. Click on Auto Deploy to open.

AD15We have completed Auto Deploy Installation, Now let’s Install and Configure TFTP server.


Install and Configure TFTP Server

There are so many TFTP server available but i am going to use here Solarwinds TFTP Server.

1. Download the SolarWinds TFTP server Software and Double Click SolarWindsTFTPServer.exe to launch the TFTP installer.

TFTP62. On the Open File – Security Warning page Click Run to start the installation.

TFTP13. On Welcome to the SolarWinds TFTP Server Setup screen and click Next to continue.

TFTP24. Click tick box to Accept End-User License Agreement and Click Next to Continue.

TFTP35. On Ready to Install screen click Install to begin the installation.

TFTP46. once Installation completed click Finish to exit setup wizard.


We have Installed TFTP server now Let’s configure TFTP Server.

1. Open the TFTP Server by going Start –> All Programs –> SolarWinds TFTP Server –> TFTP Server.

TFTP102. We need to download TFTP Boot ZIP from Auto Deploy Server. Let’s connect to vCenter Server and open Auto Deploy Server.

AD153. Click On Download TFTP Boot Zip and Save Deploy-TFTP.Zip to Local Drive.

TFTP83. Choose the location and Click Save to save on the specified location.

TFTP94. Open the folder, Extract and copy all files inside this folder to TFTP Server Root location.

TFTP135. In my case TFTP Root is C:\TFTP-Root, So Paste copied files here.

PCLI246. Now we have to Configure C:\TFTP-Root as Root Directory for TFTP Server. So choose File –> Configure.

TFTP117. Under the Storage –> TFTP Server Root Directory –> Click Browse and choose C:\TFTP-Root and Click OK.

PCLI258. After Setting Up Root Directory Stop and Start the TFTP Server Service and Click OK to close the configuration window.

PCLI269. TFTP Server Configuration Completed and TFTP Server Service is Up and Running fine now.


We have installed and Configured Auto Deploy Server and TFTP Server, Now will Configure DHCP server ( Reservation and Configure Options 66 and 67 )

Configure DHCP Server

1. Open DHCP Server, Right Click on Reservation and choose New Reservation.

DHCP12. We need to specify MAC Address of the server for which reserving IP Address. And Also you can see have not assigned disk to this Virtual Machine (Stateless Host)

DHCP23. Provide Reservation Name same as Host Name, IP Address want to reserved for this host and MAC Address of the host.(Replace Colon (:) with Dash (-)) and Click Add to add reservation.

DHCP34. Now need to Configure Options for reservation with 66 (TFTP Server Name) and            67 (BootFile Name). Right Click Reservation and choose Configure Options.

DHCP45. Scroll Down to Options 66. Tick the check box 66 and Specify TFTP Server Name in Data Entry –> String value and Click Apply.

DHCP56.  Tick the check box 67 (Bootfile Name) and in the String Value enter Name of the Bootfile from TFTP Server Root Directory.




So far we have discussed Install and Configure vCenter Server, Auto Deploy Server, TFTP Server and DHCP Scope.

We’ll discuss Download Offline Bundle for ESXi 5.5 with all other VIBsInstall VMware PowerCLI 5.5, and Create Software Depot / Image Profile / Deploy Rule / Create Host profiles / Update Rules with Host Profile in the Deploying VMware ESXi 5.5. with vSphere Auto Deploy 5.5 – Part 2.

Click Here for Part 2 – Deploying VMware ESXi 5.5. with vSphere Auto Deploy 5.5

Thank You!

Roshan Jha 

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