VMware NTP Best Practice for VM's

Shane used Ask the Experts™
What is the best method? Should virtual machines get their time from the PDC that is pointing to pool.ntp.org or from the ESXi host that is also pointing to pool.ntp.org?
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VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017
This is best practice.

1. Sync ESXi Hosts with a Time Server, if you do not have a GPS Clock or time server, then a Internet Time Server can be used.

2. Sync your Windows PDC emulator with the same time server as 1. above.

3. Sync all Windows VMs with 2 above (they will in the domain).

4. Sync all Linux VMs with 1 above.

Do not have VMs sync with ESXi host.

Also make sure ALL VMs have VMX configured so they do not sync with host, because by default they will at power up, vMotion etc unless disabled!


Thank you. That sounds like what I have already done. I currently have my PDC and ESXi host all pointing to the same external time server of pool.ntp.org but I do not have the VMX file configured on each VM. To do this, will each VM need powered off then add the following lines to each vmx file?

tools.syncTime = "FALSE"
time.synchronize.continue = "FALSE"
time.synchronize.restore = "FALSE"
time.synchronize.resume.disk = "FALSE"
time.synchronize.shrink = "FALSE"
time.synchronize.tools.startup = "FALSE"
time.synchronize.tools.enable = "FALSE"
time.synchronize.resume.host = "FALSE"
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017
Correct, Power off is required.


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