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Changing the date/time on Windows 2003 member server!

Posted on 2004-09-06
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Last Modified: 2010-04-19
Hello,

I am currently designing a 2003 Active Directory infrastructure and I have the following potential issue.

I will have some member servers in the Domain that will run SQL and other apps that Testers\Developers will want me to change the time and date on, to test triggered date and time events.

As far as I understand the time on a member server is synchronised with a DC and each DC is sync'd with the PDC emulator.

I believe that the Windows Time Service (W32Time) can be stopped on a server to prevent a it synchronising its time.  However I am worried this will cause problems as kerberos works on a time being correct.

My question is:-

If I change the date and time on member (with SQL), without changing the rest of the domain will it still be able to service requests from clients with the correct time?

Thanks
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Question by:gnfreeman
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Expert Comment

by:rhandels
ID: 11989137
Hi,

My two cents.. If this is a production server, don't change the time. I do know that syncing the AD will go wrong and a lot of other stuff also goes wrong. I do beleive there must be a time differnce of a maximum of 10 minutes, else sync doesn't work. So my guess is that it won't work, servicing request.

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Author Comment

by:gnfreeman
ID: 11989153
If that is the case I would need a seperate forest/domain for a Test/Dev environment?
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by:Sembee
ID: 11989244
I always isolate test/development environments from the main network - usually as far as firewalling it off from production. I don't trust developers and will not allow them to change anything as key as the time on a production domain.

You are looking at two solutions.

1. Physical seperate test/development domain.
2. Virtual test/development domain - using something like VMWARE.

Remember that these two domains cannot have a trust either - as the time difference will also break that.

Simon.
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by:rhandels
ID: 11989266
I Agree with SImon about the test domain... Always try to have one, it's very important. specially if something fails..
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Author Comment

by:gnfreeman
ID: 11989270
Your comments are much appreciated.
Is the date/time issue definately a problem with the trusts as well?
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by:rhandels
ID: 11989288
I'm not quite sure, maybe Simon is aware of this problem. Only thing i know is not to do this within a working environment...
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by:Sembee
Sembee earned 200 total points
ID: 11989428
I believe trusts use Keberos authentication, which means if the time is out by more than five minutes the trusts break.
I have been there and seen it with my own eyes. Get the clocks in sync and everything is fine.

Simon.
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Accepted Solution

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rhandels earned 300 total points
ID: 11989478
>>I believe trusts use Keberos authentication<<

If you use 2003 with forest trust or two way trusts, i'm 100% sure it uses Kerberos authentication.
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