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Whether you are a vSphere administrator or designing the architecture for the next major SDDC deployment, there are many exciting new enhancements to Host Profiles in the latest release of VMware vSphere that you should be aware of!

Host Profiles is a configuration management and compliance feature of vSphere that makes it possible to enforce consistent settings across hosts and clusters.

I’m pleased let you know that we have just released three new Product Walkthroughs (PWTs) showcasing new Host Profiles capabilities. PWTs are visual tours of select workflows in action, which you can click through at your own pace. Here is an overview of what you will find:

Host Profiles – Granular Compliance Results

One of the main uses of Host Profiles is to see how a host’s configuration compares to the attached profile. Prior to vSphere 6.5, user interfaces would indicate when a setting was not compliant, but it would then be up to an administrator to investigate the actual values on a host, and in the profile, to determine the differences. Now in the current version of vSphere, host and profile values are shown side-by-side, making it trivial to understand what is causing the host to be out of compliance and how to proceed.hp-sidebar

Host Profiles – Batch Host Customization

Clusters that are managed using Host Profiles have many consistent settings, but there are always items that must be unique for each host. These unique settings are known as host customizations or, previously, answer files. In vSphere 6.5, administrators have the option of exporting a CSV file for offline editing of these attributes. This PWT demonstrates how to change a host interface from DHCP to static IP addressing.

Host Profiles – Create, Edit & Copy Settings

See the process of creating a Host Profile from a configured host, using the new enhanced GUI editor to make changes, and understand the value of the new ability to copy settings from one profile to another. This capability can serve as a building block for you to create a hierarchy of profiles for even better consistency across clusters. In this example, you can see how to store VMware ESXi root credentials in a centralized profile so that these can be copied to subordinate profiles, as needed, to accommodate your corporate security standards.

This demonstration is also available as a full-featured demo video, check it out:

Thanks to these Product Walkthroughs, you can easily learn about the key new Host Profiles enhancements in vSphere 6.5 and how these improvements could be a welcome addition to your VMware SDDC!

About the Author

Eric Gray

Eric Gray is a Principal Architect in Cloud Platform Technical Marketing, currently focused on vSphere host lifecycle management. He has been with VMware since 2005, and was a noncommissioned officer in the U.S. Army before migrating to Silicon Valley in 1996. Find him on Twitter: @eric_gray.