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Best Practices for Setting Time Sync During 2K8 R2 Install

    Question

  • This is probably a dumb question, but after a couple of hours of research I decided it was time to ask.

    We're talking about a Server 2K8 R2 installation in preparation for Exchange Server 2010.

    I'm a little hazy on the Exchange piece right now (working on that in the background), but as I understand it, AD DS needs to be installed and it will join the domain as a so-called "member server." Is that correct?

    Now on this server, while I'm installing it, I come to the point where I'm setting it up after the first logon, and I'm supposed to change the time zone (I did...). The question is, whether it's important for me to go to the Internet Time tab, click on Change settings..., and then uncheck Synchronize with an Internet time server (because it's checked by default). Or will all this sort itself out and I don't need to worry about it at all at this stage?

    I'm a little bit of a newbie on this, but I decided it's better to be safe than sorry.

    I do know that later I'll want to give it the W32Time command to make it a NT5DS (?) role/node in the time sync hierarchy. But until then, what do I choose (or unchoose) during the early going? Does it even matter?

    Thanks in advance for any feed back you might be able to offer...

    Cheers,


    Noel Stanford Oveson
    jeremyNLSO
    CNE, CLSE, MCSE, MCTS, MCITP
    Berlin, Germany
    Monday, August 01, 2011 3:31 PM

Answers

  • All AD computers (with exception of the PDC emulator of the forest root domain) should be using AD-based time synchronization mechanism (in short, the NT5DS setting you are referring to). This is not, in any way, dependent on the time zone setting (although these obviously should reflect the local time zone).

    The Internet Time tab is automatically removed once the server is joined to the domain - so yes, this will "sort itself out"

    hth
    Marcin

    • Marked as answer by ArchiTech89 Monday, August 01, 2011 7:58 PM
    Monday, August 01, 2011 3:47 PM
  • Hi,

    I am considering as you have Domain and healty Domain Controllers are in place.

    PDC Emulator in your forest root domain shoud be a authorative time server and all other server and WS will sync with it.

    >> you need to modify the registry keys listed in the below KB article for whichever DC is configured as your PDC Emulator in your forest root domain.

    - How to configure an authoritative time server in Windows Server:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816042

    Now about tha Exchange:

    You just need to install win2k8 R2 in new server then join it to the existing domain, It will act as member server (Do not promote win2k8r2 as domain controller as its not recommended) then modify the registry settings (NTPSERVER entry should be set to NT5DS on this server) as mentioned in above Kb so that will sync with you auth  time server.

    Regards.


    Abhijit Waikar. MCSA|MCSA:Messaging|MCTS|MCITP:SA,EA.
    Monday, August 01, 2011 4:25 PM

All replies

  • I am little confused with your question.. Anyway, here are some suggestions:

    >>> though it will be referred to as a "member server." Is that correct?

    If you are you talking about Exchange, it has to be part of your AD domain. It will be member server in your AD domain. Make sure you can proper DNS configured. 

    Member server will synchronize time with PDC Emulator in Active Directory domain. Here is a good reference article:

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc773013(WS.10).aspx

    Select the correct time zone and time on the server during the installation. 


    Santhosh Sivarajan | MCTS, MCSE (W2K3/W2K/NT4), MCSA (W2K3/W2K/MSG), CCNA, Network+ Houston, TX

    Blogs - http://blogs.sivarajan.com/
    Articles - http://www.sivarajan.com/publications.html
    Twitter: @santhosh_sivara - http://twitter.com/santhosh_sivara
    This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties,and confers no rights.
    Monday, August 01, 2011 3:40 PM
  • All AD computers (with exception of the PDC emulator of the forest root domain) should be using AD-based time synchronization mechanism (in short, the NT5DS setting you are referring to). This is not, in any way, dependent on the time zone setting (although these obviously should reflect the local time zone).

    The Internet Time tab is automatically removed once the server is joined to the domain - so yes, this will "sort itself out"

    hth
    Marcin

    • Marked as answer by ArchiTech89 Monday, August 01, 2011 7:58 PM
    Monday, August 01, 2011 3:47 PM
  • Hello,

    "hazy on the Exchange piece right now (working on that in the background), but as I understand it, AD DS needs to be installed and it will join the domain as a so-called "member server." Is that correct?"

    If this means that you have a domain and you like to join the server where Exchange will be installed, yes as a Domain is a MUST to install it.

    Do NOT install Exchange on a DC, this is not recommended for multiple reasons.

    For the time settings in a domain see: http://msmvps.com/blogs/mweber/archive/2010/06/27/time-configuration-in-a-windows-domain.aspx


    Best regards Meinolf Weber Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees , and confers no rights.
    Monday, August 01, 2011 3:55 PM
  • Ok, it seems I understand correctly that AD DS must be installed on the new server and that it will be referred to as a "member server" because it's not a DC. So far so good.

    So the question then is...

    Right after I've logged on to a newly installed server for the first time, I'm told in the Initial Configuration Tasks that I need to set my time zone. I do that in the Date and Time dialog box. And in that box there's also a tab for Internet Time. When I click on that tab, it says the computer (server in this case) is set to automatically sync with an Internet time source.

    Do I need to change that configuration at this point?

    I recognize that later there will be some W32Time commands run against the server to change it over so that it gets its time from the PDC emulator. I'm just wondering if this is a problem at this point that I should be wary of...

    Thanks for your quick reply...

    Regards,


    Noel Stanford Oveson
    jeremyNLSO
    CNE, CLSE, MCSE, MCTS, MCITP
    Berlin, Germany

    Monday, August 01, 2011 4:01 PM
  • Simply join the computer to the domain - this should automatically result in correctly configured time settings (with exception of the time zone which you should adjust accordingly)

    hth
    Marcin

    Monday, August 01, 2011 4:05 PM
  • Hi,

    I am considering as you have Domain and healty Domain Controllers are in place.

    PDC Emulator in your forest root domain shoud be a authorative time server and all other server and WS will sync with it.

    >> you need to modify the registry keys listed in the below KB article for whichever DC is configured as your PDC Emulator in your forest root domain.

    - How to configure an authoritative time server in Windows Server:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816042

    Now about tha Exchange:

    You just need to install win2k8 R2 in new server then join it to the existing domain, It will act as member server (Do not promote win2k8r2 as domain controller as its not recommended) then modify the registry settings (NTPSERVER entry should be set to NT5DS on this server) as mentioned in above Kb so that will sync with you auth  time server.

    Regards.


    Abhijit Waikar. MCSA|MCSA:Messaging|MCTS|MCITP:SA,EA.
    Monday, August 01, 2011 4:25 PM