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Time and Date Synchronization

Application Center uses time values in its synchronization and monitoring processes. Non-synchronized times within a cluster can produce inconsistent behavior in synchronization and monitoring.

Because Application Center uses time values in its synchronization and monitoring processes, the internal clocks of the cluster members must be synchronized or inconsistent behavior in synchronization and monitoring views can result. One example of this is time-shifting of performance counter data in the performance chart in the Cluster view. This makes the charted values to appear as if they happen sooner or later than they really did (or even in the future).

Time Synchronization in a Windows 2000 Domain

Windows 2000 uses a new time synchronization service to synchronize the date and time of servers running in a Windows 2000 domain. Synchronized time is critical in a Window 2000 domain because the default authentication protocol (Kerberos version 5) uses server time as part of the authentication ticket generation process. The Windows 2000 new time synchronization service will work for synchronizing the internal clocks on cluster members.

Time Synchronization in a Windows NT 4.0 Domain

In Application Center, clusters that are in a domain with a Microsoft Windows NT® 4.0 domain controller, time synchronization might not occur. This might happen when the cluster members request the synchronized time from a domain controller and the domain controller cannot be found, or time synchronization is not enabled. If the request fails, the local server will use its own time. This failure fires the following Windows event:

  • Source: W32Time

  • Type: Warning

  • Event ID: 64

  • Description: Because of repeated network problems, the time service is unable to locate a domain controller to synchronize with. To reduce network traffic, the time service will wait 960 minutes before trying again. No synchronization takes place during this interval, even if network connectivity is restored. Accumulated time errors might cause certain network operations to fail. To inform the time service that network connectivity is restored and that it should resynchronize, from the command line, type

    W32tm /s

Bb687405.note(en-us,TechNet.10).gif Note   For information about activating time synchronization on a Windows NT 4.0 domain controller, see the Knowledge Base article 258059: "How to Synchronize the Time on a Windows 2000-Based Computer in a Windows NT 4.0 Domain"

Using Application Center Time Synchronization

Cluster Services within Application Center also provides a time synchronization feature that can be used if either you are not in a Windows 2000 domain, or cannot the Windows NT 4.0 utility.

Additional Information

The following Knowledge Base articles have more information about time synchronization:

  • 224799: "Basic Operation of the Windows Time Service"

  • 216734: "How to Configure an Authoritative Time Server in Windows 2000"

  • 258059: "How to Synchronize the Time on a Windows 2000-Based Computer in a Windows NT 4.0 Domain"

Did you find this information useful? Please send your suggestions and comments about the documentation to acdocs@microsoft.com

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