AutoInstall is the Cisco IOS XE software feature that enables the configuration of a remote networking device from a central location. The configuration files must be stored on a TFTP server that is accessible by the devices that you are using AutoInstall to setup.
AutoInstall is supported over Ethernet, Token Ring, and FDDI interfaces for LANs, serial interfaces using High-Level Data Link Control (HDLC) encapsulation, and serial interfaces using Frame Relay encapsulation for WANs.
AutoInstall is designed to facilitate central management of installations at remote sites. The AutoInstall process begins when a Cisco IOS XE software-based device is turned on and a valid configuration file is not found in NVRAM. AutoInstall may not start if the networking device has Cisco Router and Security Device Manager (SDM) or Cisco Network Assistant already installed. In this case, to enable AutoInstall you need to disable SDM.
Using AutoInstall to Remotely Configure Cisco Networking Devices describes how AutoInstall functions, how to disable SDM, and how to configure devices to use AutoInstall.