JonRoderick
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Virtual machine timekeeping weird after P2V with Converter

I've converted a number of physical servers (NT, W2k3) to our VI3 infrastructure over the past few months but the last one I did is having some major problems keeping accurate time.

It's a w2k3 SP0 box and loses ~40 mins over a 45 minute period and when I watch the second-hand on the clock, it stumbles round so 1 second change takes 5-6 'real' seconds sometimes.

I'm using the w32time service to keep time and not synching with the ESX host but I don't understand why the time is so far out. The only difference to the other P2Vs I've done is that the converter service/time de-scheduler service is still visible in the Services tab (but not running).

Any ideas?

Thanks

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13 Replies
AWo
Immortal
Immortal

I would recommend to use VMware Tools and NTP on the ESX server to keep it accurate as the standard.

Check these:

- KB Article 1318, 1227 (and there are several more outside)

- Attached "Timekeeping in VMware" PDF

AWo

vExpert 2009/10/11 [:o]===[o:] [: ]o=o[ :] = Save forests! rent firewood! =
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JonRoderick
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Hi

thanks for the suggestion but I don't see how this explains why I am seeing this anomalous behaviour on a single VM when all my other new and converted VMs are running perfectly happy on the same infrastructure. There are many ways to sync time in the virtual environment and ESX/NTP/VMtools is not a cure-all as far as I can tell.

The only difference between this and other conversions is that it may have had the Converter agent installed when I P2Vd it (from a previous conversion attempt).

Would this have had an impact - I've had to clear off a lot of the converter files post-conversion - they didn't seem to get removed automatically.

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devzero
Expert
Expert

don`t ask Smiley Wink

read the paper - best method for timesync is using the vmware tools.

please try using the tools and come back if it doesn`t work with the tools.

forget about ntp or other methods

Smiley Wink

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JonRoderick
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Sorry, not sure I understand...you're saying don't bother with NTP but how else do we keep the ESX hosts in line? Without syncing the hosts themselves, the vmware tools time syncing will be different between hosts..that sounds like a recipe for disaster - in a Windows domain environment anyway.

I think we're getting off track here - forget the timekeeping choices - I just want to explain why this 1 VM is having so much trouble syncing time when all our other windows VMs are all hunky dory...just can't figure it.

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devzero
Expert
Expert

this must be a misunderstanding

use ntp for syncing the ESX host

use vmware-tools for syncing the guests

carl_henderson
Contributor
Contributor

i am having the same issue with a machine that was p2v'd all other vm's on the host work fine except this one which loses a 'lot' of time. it would be nice to know why this is happenening so ill keep looking into it

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JonRoderick
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Carl

I didn't resolve this and went for the nuclear option - complete rebuild of the VM. After this, no more problems so something went screwy in the conversion process somewhere....

Good luck....

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JonRoderick
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Hmm...another instance of the same problem.

Another conversion a few weeks ago and now it's leaking time like nobody's business. It's lost nearly two hours in the two hours it has been running...

Any ideas?

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theanykey
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Have you tried reinstalling vmware tools?

Under the VM's settings, does it list the correct build of your OS under the name drop down list?

Please have a look at the following documentation:

www.vmware.com/pdf/vmware_timekeeping.pdf

JonRoderick
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Thanks - reinstalled the 'Tools and things are looking a lot better - not going to say it's ok until it's been running for a few days/weeks though!

Any ideas why the reinstall was needed?

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theanykey
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Vmware converter has it's own repository for vmware tools for ESX. This makes things much easier and automated, however it also can be an issue.

For example, suppose you were converting to ESX 3.5 with converter 3.0.2. ESX is newer then converter and therefore the version of tools may not be the correct build required for that VM. If ever you have an issue with mouse/keyboard/video/network/time, reinstall tools manually. If you are able to, simply choose not to install tools via converter and do so yourself afterwards.

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JonRoderick
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Thanks - but I never use the Converter to install VMware Tools - I always do it manually from the VI Client later.

Anyway, news is that the Tools reinstall didn't solve the problem - have tracked it down to the application itself. When the app kicks in, it completely shafts the VM and it grinds to a halt time-wise (ticks by 1 OS second every 30 'real' seconds or so). I can turn it on and off like a tap by starting and stopping the application.

It doesn't appear to be under extreme load in terms of CPU/RAM so i'm a bit puzzled as to why it's having such an effect on the VM....

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theanykey
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

What is the application?

Does your host have power management features that vary the processor speed? If so,

http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1227

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