Set current system time on vCAC appliance


After so many deployments of vCAC  I’m still finding some strange issues and misconfiguration. This time I had a problem with log in to tenant portal after full power cycle of my vCAC environment. When I’ve tried to log I’ve seen submit button on left top corner of the web browser window and in address bar I’ve seen changing URL between vCloud Automation Center Appliance and vCloud Automation Center Identity Appliance.  I’ve checked NTP settings for all vCAC components, including Active Directory and IaaS server – everywhere NTP servers were set. However I’ve found that time on vCAC Identity appliance and other vCAC components (AD, IaaS server and vCAC Appliance) was ahead for about 3 minutes !!!

First, I’ve checked VMware tools configuration, if for any reason Synchronization guest time with host was marked – it wasn’t.

vCAC identity appliance - vmware tools time sync check

vCAC identity appliance – vmware tools time sync check

Second, I’ve checked current system time on vCAC identity appliance and its hardware  time (see below) – as you can see current system time was taken from hardware time – remember that NTP client was enabled to sync time with external time source. Why it didn’t sync time with external time source after reboot – I don’t know? Why it did pick up host time after reboot – this I know 🙂 – check out this VMware KB ?

via01:~ # date
Wed Jul 16 14:19:32 CEST 2014
via01:~ # hwclock
Wed Jul 16 14:19:42 2014 -1.025316 seconds

I logged into vCAC identity appliance and for time sync manually using sntp command. After, I’ve check OS time and hardware time, the difference was more than 3 minutes.

via01:~ # sntp -P no -r
via01:~ # date
Wed Jul 16 14:17:30 CEST 2014
via01:~ # date
Wed Jul 16 14:17:46 CEST 2014
via01:~ # hwclock
Wed Jul 16 14:21:19 2014 -0.599380 seconds

Easiest way to sync hardware time with OS is run command hwclock –systohc .

hwclock --systohc

You can do it other way around, sync current system time with hardware time –

hwclock --hctosys

After this operation, I’ve aligned hardware time with OS time.

via01:~ # date
Wed Jul 16 14:22:08 CEST 2014
via01:~ # hwclock --systohc
via01:~ # date
Wed Jul 16 14:22:40 CEST 2014
via01:~ # hwclock
Wed Jul 16 14:22:47 2014 -0.786269 seconds
via01:~ #

It was easy fix, after few minutes time was accurate across all vCAC components and I could log into tenant portal without any problem.

To avoid this problem in the feature add below advance settings into virtual machine configuration file. See more in this VMware KB 

tools.syncTime = “0”
time.synchronize.continue = “0”
time.synchronize.restore = “0”
time.synchronize.resume.disk = “0”
time.synchronize.shrink = “0” = “0” = “0” = “0”

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Artur Krzywdzinski

Artur is Consulting Architect at Nutanix. He has been using, designing and deploying VMware based solutions since 2005 and Microsoft since 2012. He specialize in designing and implementing private and hybrid cloud solution based on VMware and Microsoft software stacks, datacenter migrations and transformation, disaster avoidance. Artur holds VMware Certified Design Expert certification (VCDX #077).

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Do you have step-tickers (/etc/ntp/step-tickers) configured in vCAC appliance?
If not this might be reason for ntpd not to sync during boot.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

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