MAAS 2.5 and above can deploy VMware ESXi as a custom image. MAAS cannot directly deploy the VMware ESXi ISO; you must create a specialised image from an official VMWare ISO. Canonical created a packer template to automate the image creation process.
The image may be customized by modifying packer-maas/vmware-esxi/http/vmware-esxi-ks.cfg see Installation and Upgrade Scripts in the VMware ESXi installation and Setup manual for more information.
Before an image is built the nbd kernel module must be loaded
sudo modprobe nbd
Once the nbd kernel module is loaded your current working directory must be in the packer-maas/vmware-esxi directory
You can now start the image building process using packer with the following command:
sudo packer build -var 'vmware_esxi_iso_path=/path/to/VMware-VMvisor-Installer-6.7.0-8169922.x86_64.iso' vmware-esxi.json
Once you have created the image, upload it to MAAS, using the CLI, with the following command:
maas $PROFILE boot-resources create name='esxi/6.7' title='VMware ESXi 6.7' architecture='amd64/generic' filetype='ddgz' content@=vmware-esxi.dd.gz
Custom storage configuration is not supported because VMware ESXi expects specific disk formats. MAAS will extend datastore1 to the full size of the deployment disk. After deployment, VMware tools may be used to access the other disks.
VMware has very specific hardware requirements. In particular, running VMware ESXi is not supported in a virtual machine or MAAS virsh Pod.