vSphere: Host Profile

When you have multiple ESX 3.x hosts (in a cluster or not, that doesn’t really matter) you want all the same host have the same setting.
For example: NTP, VMkernel default gateway, DNS servers etc.

In ESX 3.x you must configure this per host. I was easier if you created a Kick Script for installtion but for most System Administrators this is much work and misconfigurations are easily made.
In vSphere we have the option to create a host profile and apply this to other hosts. This is a great step forwards! Of course we have to have vCenter for this option.

So let’s see how we create and apply this profile to other hosts.

  • In the Home view of vCenter under de Management Section select Host Profiles
  • Right click in a white section of host Profile (on the left) and select Create Profile. The Create Profile Wizard pops-up.

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  • Select a vSphere host where you want to create the host profile from

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  • Give it a name and if you want a description

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  • Select finish

Now the profile is created, but maybey you want to change some setting before applying the profile to other hosts. In my case I want to adjust the NTP settings.

  • Select de profile and click in the commands section on Edit Profile (Note the Export Profile option, real nice for all Consultants who install more vShpere hosts on a regular basis)

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  • Goto Date and Time Configuration | Time Settings.
  • Adjust the time source (in my case 172.16.16.254) and click on Ok.
  • This save the profile

Ok, now it’s time to apply this profile to a host.

  • In vCenter Home View goto Hosts and Clusters in the Inventory section
  • Make sure your server in in Maintenance Mode.
  • Rights click on a host | Host Profile | Manage Profile

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  • Now you can select the profile you want to apply to this host by selecting the profile and click on Ok.

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  • Note on the summary tab of the host in the General section you will see that the profile is attached (not yet applied) to the host

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  • First we’re going to check the compliance of the profile (If the setting of the profile are the same as the setting of the host. Right click the host | Host Profile | Check Compliance. If the setting of the profile are not the same as the host a red cross will appear saying the profile is Non Compliant.

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  • To apply the profile, right click on the host | Host Profile | Apply Profile.
  • The Apply Profile wizard will run. It can be that you have to provide some information (for example a ip adres) that is only for this host. If all goes well you will see a log screen saying what has changed. Click on Finish in order to close the wizard.

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  • After the host configuration is update you can check Host Compliance again. If all went wel, the host will say it’s Compliant.
  • Now you can exit maintenance mode.

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As you can see it is not hard to create, modify and apply a Host Profile. It can make our lives as a VMware System Administrator a lot easier!

About Michael
Michael Wilmsen is a VMware training/consultant (no specific order) with more than 15 years in the IT industry. Main focus is VMware vSphere, Horizon View and Site Recovery Manager with a deepdive to performance. Michael is VCDX 210, VCAP 4/5 certified, has been rewarded with the vExpert title from 2011, is a PernixPro, Nutanix Tech Champion and a Nutanix Platform Professional.

4 Comments to “vSphere: Host Profile”

  1. By gatordeal.info, December 17, 2009 @ 10:24

    i did not realise it was that easy to create, modify and apply a Host Profiles, thanks!

  2. By gatordeal.info, December 17, 2009 @ 10:24

    i did not realise it was that easy to create, modify and apply a Host Profiles, thanks!

  3. By Rajesh, August 24, 2010 @ 03:25

    Excellent information on Host Profiles. Thanks buddy.

    Cheers,
    Rajesh K

  4. By Rajesh, August 24, 2010 @ 03:25

    Excellent information on Host Profiles. Thanks buddy.

    Cheers,
    Rajesh K

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