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Time Sync Issue - Microsoft Exchange 2010 and Windows 2008 r2

Posted on 2015-02-05
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Last Modified: 2015-02-13
Hi,

We are getting a issue with a Exchange server where if restarted it wont start the information store due to a time sync issue, When i check the time on the PDC and the Exchange it appears to be the same. Has anyone else had this issue ?

Regards
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Question by:ComexIT
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10 Comments
 
LVL 120
ID: 40590696
Check VMware Tools, is not changing the time!
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:Dawid Fusek
ID: 40590706
give us some more information mate.

It's all done within VI infrastructure?? All servers are VM???
Do Exchange start on other ESXi host than a PDC? or they are on the same ESXi host...?
Do it happens only when you restart Exchange server?

If they are on separate ESXi host, in my opinion most probably case is a time on ESXi host itself, some difference than other host (where PDC resist), and time corrections is done when VM tools start, but something of exchange services may start before VM tools get sync, check then the correct time and date in the ESXi host BIOS and ESXi host settings in vSphere Client. You should use NTP in most cases on both ESXi hosts.

regards
NTShad0w
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Author Comment

by:ComexIT
ID: 40590732
Hi the Primary Domain Controller is a physical box ( 2008 r2 ), Exchange is a VM.

How do i get access to the ESI host Bios ?
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LVL 120
ID: 40590744
Is the Exchange VM syncing time with Host ?
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Author Comment

by:ComexIT
ID: 40590750
Yes, it is Syncing with host via tools
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Accepted Solution

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frankhelk earned 500 total points
ID: 40590932
Hmmm ... you might try to sync abroad of VMWare. But I wouldn't try W32time, the timekeeping service in Windows. I experienced enough trouble with that piece of crap when in NTP mode to avoid using it whenever I can.

My recommendation:

Disable VMWare's time sync feature. Install a Windows port of the classic *ix NTP service on the Exchange machine.

Sync the Exchange machine to the DC. The DC should already support NTP clients by means of W32time ... I would first try that and if that fails, use NTP on the DC, too.  If you use NTP on theDC, too, sync it with with an external source (i.e. from pool.ntp.org). and sync the to the DC. The NTP service software is free. Easy to install and configure, works like a charm and is stable as a rock. And it is nicer when it comes to one of the rare cases of troubleshooting.

See this article for the "How To".

The NTP service has a low ressource footprint, therefore the NTP functionality could be hooked onto existing machines or VM's like webservers, ftp servers, mailservers or database hosts - even in a DMZ - without visible performance impact.

If securtity is an issue, you might as well place radio controlled clock appliances into your LAN who serve time very reliable and precise.
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:Dawid Fusek
ID: 40590957
1. try to boot any other (less important) vm with sync disabled (in VM properties) or not installed VM tools for this machine and check the time
2. check that your exchange have some other NTP sync settings than from VMware (as frankhelk suggest)
3. boot the exchange without vm sync (in VM properties) and check that it working ok


regards
NTShad0w
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Expert Comment

by:matt160
ID: 40591907
I had this problem in ESXi. None of the ESXi host servers had their time setting configured properly even though the Windows servers were. After setting them all to the correct time Exchange was operating without a problem.
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Author Comment

by:ComexIT
ID: 40595938
Hi Matt160,

Is that the PDC and SDC ?

Thanks
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LVL 120
ID: 40595956
Make sure VMs are not syncing time to the ESXi Host!

Make sure they sync time with the AD Domain Controllers.
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