I just fiddled somewhat with the new fling from the VMware site: the VMware PXE Manager for vSphere. And if you ask me, it’s not just a ‘fling’, but it is really, really useful. It’s easy to install and easy to use.

PXE Manager for vCenter enables ESXi host state (firmware) management and provisioning.

PXE Manager features:

  • Automated provisioning of new ESXi hosts stateless and statefull (no ESX);
  • ESXi host state (firmware) backup, restore, and archiving with retention;
  • ESXi builds repository management (stateless and statefull);
  • ESXi Patch management;
  • Multi-vCenter support;
  • Multi-network support with agents (Linux CentOS virtual appliance will be available later);
  • Wake on LAN;
  • Hosts memtest;
  • vCenter plugin;
  • Deploy directly to VMware Cloud Director;
  • Deploy to Cisco UCS blades.

I was amazed by the ease of the whole process. The setup took care of all the items that needed to be installed. After creating a build in the repository and creating a host under Stateless Hosts I deployed my first ESX host from PXE Manager.

 

 

 

 

 

Visit http://labs.vmware.com/flings/pxe-manager for the download, installation instructions and a demo on installing a stateless ESXi server.