VMware

How to automate host configuration

Hi all, I work in an environment that has x10 hosts in each datacenter. Occasionally we have to add more hosts but the configuration has to all be done manually. So I have to add vswitches, port groups etc by hand. What is the best way to automate this so that all I have to do is drop a host into a cluster and give it an IP? Or is this not possible?



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6 Comments

  1. I’d read up on host profiles and Auto Deploy. You CAN manually kickstart an ESXi host too. You can also use Auto Deploy in concert with Kickstarting.

    See here: [https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-vSphere/6.0/com.vmware.vsphere.install.doc/GUID-9A827220-177E-40DE-99A0-E1EB62A49408.html](https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-vSphere/6.0/com.vmware.vsphere.install.doc/GUID-9A827220-177E-40DE-99A0-E1EB62A49408.html)

    VMware super-guru William Lam covers a lot of ESXi kickstarting: [https://www.virtuallyghetto.com/vmware-kickstart](https://www.virtuallyghetto.com/vmware-kickstart)

  2. Make a kickstart script. Basically you make the script then when you go to image it you give it a command to use that script too. So it images it and configures it all in one go.

  3. It’s a bit of work up front but we run a stateless auto deploy environment. We are working on adding FC SAN automation to do true end to end host provisioning.

  4. At most customers I use a PowerCLI script I wrote which configures the ESXi host based on a CSV file. Some of the things it does include:

    * Adding it to vCenter and the cluster
    * Host networking including configuring the vMotion VMkernel Interface
    * NTP configuration
    * Active Directory join
    * Patching using a VUM baseline

    Took some time to work it out, but saves a lot of time once it’s done.

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