This is the second of two part articles on Max Daneri’s PXE Manager. The first article can be found by clicking here. In this article I will explain how to configure PXE Manager to boot stateless ESXi hosts. This is a very simple process, but saves lots of time and effort when deploying hosts that have no local storage.
Step1: Login to vCenter and open the PXE Manager plug-in
Step2: Accept the certificate warning if prompted
Step3: Select Repository and Stateless build
Step4: Right click and select Add Build
Step5: Select the build zip file containing the ESXi build
Note: This is not an .ISO. This is the depot.zip file that contains all the latest build and patches. This can be downloaded from VMware.com
Step6: Once the file is located click Next
The files are extracted from the Zip file
Step7: Confirm the details are correct and click next
Step8: Name the build and click Next
Step9: Add a OEM.TGZ to customise the ESXi build if required.
Step10: Verify the files and click Finish. The build has now been uploaded.
Step11: Select Stateless hosts from the tab
Step12: Right click and select Add Host
Step13: Enter a hostname and root password for the new host and click Next
Step15: Select the VMtools version if any have been uploaded and click Next
Step16: Select the PXE Agent and click Next
Step17: Enter the MAC address of the first and second NICs and enter an IP Address for the host and click Next
Step18: Select the vCenter folder to join
Step19: Select a host profile to use if any are configured and click Next
Step21: Confirm the NFS settings and click Next
Step22: Enter the DNS and Syslog details and click Finish
You will now see a new host listed under Stateless builds
Power on the host, and you will see a menu option with a timeout prompting to boot the Stateless host
Timo Sugliani has produced a nice video which demonstrates how to create and boot a stateless host. Watch the video by clicking here.