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what is the best practice to configure ntp service on vmware 4.0 and windows 2003 domain

Posted on 2011-10-26
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What is the best way to configure ntp and time service for vsphere and windows 2003 domain
does all member servers point to the pdc for correct time?
does esx hosts point to pdc for time or do they need to be an external source?
does all pcs point to pdc for correct time?
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Question by:dougdog
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LVL 124
ID: 37030974
We have a GPS Clock, we sync Domain Controllers and ESX servers to the GPS Clock on the LAN.

All VMs (excluding DC's ) are then synced to Host ESX servers.

Checkout the whitepaper
www.vmware.com/files/pdf/Timekeeping-In-VirtualMachines.pdf
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LVL 124
ID: 37030978
All VMs (excluding DC's ) are then synced to Host ESX servers using VMware Tools - Sync to Host Option.
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LVL 57

Expert Comment

by:Mike Kline
ID: 37030990
The PDC emulator in the forest root points to the external or good time source and then let the windows hierarchy take over from there.  Matt has a great blog entry on it here

http://tigermatt.wordpress.com/2009/08/01/windows-time-for-active-directory/

Don't have any DCs sync time with the host.

Thanks

Mike
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Author Comment

by:dougdog
ID: 37031029
i have got a dc which is virtual and running on an esx host
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Expert Comment

by:Mike Kline
ID: 37031050
Is that the PDCe?  You really don't need to do anything different other than make sure to not sync the DC time with the host.  From there just treat it as if it running on its own hardware.

Thanks

Mike
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LVL 124
ID: 37031062
Un-tick the Sync to Host in VMware Tools.
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Author Comment

by:dougdog
ID: 37031070
if i dont want to buy a gps clock can i configure the pdc to point to an external time source
which will keep the pdc correct and then all pcs servers etc point to the pdc
can i also configure the est hosts to point to the same external time source
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LVL 124
ID: 37031087
Yes, you can point to a reliable Internet Based NTP Source.

see here

http://www.pool.ntp.org/en/
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Author Comment

by:dougdog
ID: 37031130
what happens if the pdc goes down
so am i right in saying on the esx ntp server settings i just add in say the following
europe.pool.ntp.org
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LVL 124
ID: 37031204
If the PC Emualtor does down, they'll not sync.

Just add the correct NTP server to ESX.
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LVL 57

Expert Comment

by:Mike Kline
ID: 37031226
If the PDC goes down permanently then you configure the new PDCe to point to an external source.

They key here is that the clocks stay within 5 minutes (Kerberos requirement).  The PDC being down for maintenance or a temporary outage should not cause a huge impact for time.

Thanks

Mike
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Author Comment

by:dougdog
ID: 37031352
okay whats the best ntp server to use for the uk?
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LVL 124

Accepted Solution

by:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 2000 total points
ID: 37031369
uk.pool.ntp.org
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Author Closing Comment

by:dougdog
ID: 37031380
perfect
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