NTP settings

I just got a copy of a vsphere risk assessment, they mention "NTP settings" are not configured properly and this can cause issues if they get to far from the time of vcenter or other hosts?

What are NTP settings, where can you check if they are configured properly, and what is the realistic risk if they arent set properly and the time with other hosts/vcenter/domain doesnt match? Is there any risk?
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pma111Asked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If not set correctly on the Host, time could be wrong. If you have VMs that get their time from the Host, that would also be wrong.

This is a Risk, if using Active Directory, Email Servers etc if the time is incorrect, and out of sync.

see this document
http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/techpaper/Timekeeping-In-VirtualMachines.pdf

VMware KB: Timekeeping best practices for Windows, including NTP
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1318

VMware KB: Timekeeping best practices for Linux guests
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1006427

To check, NTP has been set correctly

Select the Host > Configuration > Time Configuration
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pma111Author Commented:
I am still not really getting the risk here, could you perhaps elaborate slightly.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Active Directory will not synchronize with incorrect time between hosts.

ALL the timestamps on your email will be incorrect.
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chris-burnsCommented:
Have you ever tried logging onto a PC where the time is so far out it won't let you authenticate?

Now imagine that problem with an Exchange or SQL server. (No email/No Data available)
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
see here how to check NTP setting on Hosts

NTP Settings
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chris-burnsCommented:
NTP = Network time protocol.

If this is all you have been pulled up on then it is quite an easy fix if you have a central NTP server somewhere.
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pma111Author Commented:
So if it says 'running' it is fine, if it says not running its an issue?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Correct, running it's working fine and configured.

it could say stopped! (often does)
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