On a previous post, I’ve write on how build custom ESXi ISO with 3rd part tools. Those tools are not mentioned by VMware so probably are not supported. But you need a custom ISO in order to install ESXi on a host where the network drivers are missing (storage could be not an issue if you install it on a USB/Flash card).

The other solutions are use a vendor related custom ISO or the embedded version that probably already include the right drivers.

But in order to build your custom ISO you could use the same framework designed for the AutoDeploy solution. The advantages if that you study and understand better this part, that could be useful for the VCAP-DCA exam (for example).

--> Please see the rest on the blog : http://vinfrastructure.it/en/2013/07/using-imagebuilder-to-make-custom-esxi-iso/