In March VMware launched a new online facility called Labs. It seems a sort of R&D website that exposes company’s engineers pet projects before they turn into real products.
In March Labs was hosting 10 projects but over time the company added more. The last one is called Auto Deploy:
VMware Auto Deploy supports automatic PXE boot and customization of large numbers of ESXi systems. Auto Deploy allows rapid deployment and configuration of a large number of ESXi hosts. After a DHCP server has been set up, Auto Deploy PXE boots machines that are turned on with an ESXi image. Auto Deploy then customizes the ESXi systems using host profiles and other information stored on the managing vCenter Server system. You can set up the environment to use different images and different host profiles for different hosts.
Like other projects, Auto Deploy is a released as Technology Preview, without any support and without any indication about future inclusion in the VMware product portfolio, anyway an interesting comment from Duco Jaspars hints at the VMware projects about it:
Is this based on the auto deploy appliance that did not make it in to the 4.1 release?