With vSphere 6.0 Vmware has enhanced so many features and host profile is one of them. Let’s refresh what host profile do. A plain simple definition of host profile is:
“Host Profiles allow you to configure standard configurations for your ESXi hosts and to automate compliance to these configurations, simplifying operational management of large-scale environments and reducing errors caused by misconfigurations”
Two main features that are enhanced in vSphere v6.0 are:
Maintenance Mode Removal
Till release of vSphere 5.5 host profile required hosts to be put in maintenance mode before you can apply the profile. This can be a very inconvenient task when you are trying to change some configuration during normal business hours specially when the Host:VM consolidation ratio is high.
With vSphere 6.0 Vmware has made host profiles a bit intelligent. Now a host profile will require a host to be put into maintenance mode only if the configuration settings defined in host profile requires it.
Eeehhh sounds confusing !! ha. You might be thinking if the configuration settings still require host to be put into maintenance mode then what has been changed. The answer is simple.
Suppose you have included or added simple settings like defining NTP servers, Syslog server or SNMP configuration in your host profile then when you are trying to apply this profile to a host it will not ask you to put the host into maintenance mode because these settings don’t require any host reboot.
On the other hand if your host profile has some configuration settings defined that can be applied to a host only on rebooting the host then definitely you will need to put host into maintenance mode.
No Dependency on Reference Host
Host Profiles relies on a ‘Reference Host’, a host that is properly configured’, from which profiles can be created and used against other like hosts. Till vSphere v5.5 if you are trying to apply a host profile to a host then it was a mandatory condition that the reference host should be online.
In vSphere 6.0 the dependency on reference host has been decreased and it will not stop you while applying host profile to a host even if the reference host is not available. The only disadvantage is that you will not be able to do a compliance check and hence can’t verify the configuration settings have been applied or not.
I guess above 2 are small changes only but can be very helpful in certain conditions.
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