How to Configure and Use VMware Host Profiles
In this tutorial I will guide you through how to use VMware Host Profiles to capture the settings of 1 host and duplicate those settings to another host. This method is extremely handy to ensure all hosts have exactly the same configuration. A few obvious settings cannot be the same such as IP addressing and MAC addresses, but we will talk about how to set the parameters for these below.
Creating a VMware Host Profile
1. Here we have 2 VMware ESXi 5.1 hosts. vmesxi1.vmlab.local will be used as our reference host and is the host we will be basing our host profile off. As you can see it contains one nfs datastore.
2. The host vmesxi2.vmlab.local is our freshly installed VMware
ESXi 5.1 host with 1 management ip address.
3. Back on our reference host you can see that we have 2 vswitches with individual nics and 2 networks, 1 for management and 1 for storage.
4. On our new vmware host you can see we have a very basic network setup consisting of 1 vswitch and a management network.
5. Right click on your reference host, select host profile and Create Profile from Host…
6. In the Create Profile Window, give your Host Profile a name and optional description, click Next.
7. A summary is disaplyed of your settings. Click Finish to create the Host Profile.
Assigning the Host Profile
8. Right Click VMware Host 1, select Host Profile and Manage Profile.
9. Select the Host Profile that you wish to attach and click Ok.
10. Repeat the same process for the second host.
Updating the Answer File
11. Navigate to Home – Management – Host Profiles – vmvc1.vmlab.local. Click on the Host Profile on the left hand side. On the right hand side select Update Answer File…
12. Enter the ip address you wish to use for all the Port Groups under IPv4 address and click update.
13. Right click host 1 and select check Answer File. You will see in the column Answer File Status, that it will display Complete. Right click the host again and select check profile compliance.
14. Because this was our reference host, we didn’t have to apply any changes so the host is immediately in compliance and give the green tick.
15. Right click host 2 and select Update Answer File. Enter all the IPv4 address information and click Update.
16. The answer file status for host 2 is now complete.
17. If we right click on host 2 and select check compliance, we will see that this host is non-compliant and in the window below under Compliance Failures, it lists all the settings that it is missing.
Applying a Host Profile
18. To apply a host profile and push settings to this host, we need to put the host in maintenance mode. Right click on the host and select place in maintenance mode.
19. Right click host 2 and now select Apply Profile. A window will pop-up and show you what configuration changes will be made to this host.
20. Straight after applying the settings and compliance check is run against the host, and we can now see that host 2 is Compliant, which means all settings from the host profile have been applied successfully.
21. If I go back to host and clusters view and click on host 2, I can see I have a new nfs datastore similar to host 1.
22. Lastly, we can also see that we have exactly the same network setup as host 1.
Disclaimer: All the tutorials included on this site are performed in a lab environment to simulate a real world production scenario. As everything is done to provide the most accurate steps to date, we take no responsibility if you implement any of these steps in a production environment.