Anonymous_User Absent Member.
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Time Sync Bug?


I have a single 6.5 server patched up to today. It's a SINGLE and has
been reliably polling 3 external sources for time; one source is an IP
address, the other two are URL's.

I just installed the TCP stack for a VPN connection and have set up
Client-To-Site VPN. It works just fine.

Time Sync no longer works. (filtering is not an issue here) Here's
what happens.

I look in Monitor's time configuration and see the last semi-colon
missing from my external time source list
<address:123>;<address:123>;<address:123>

I put the semi-colon back in. The server goes through one successful
polling of all three external sources. All subsequent polling is
Polling Start
Server in sync

Polling Start
Server in sync
..
..
..
for ever

I look back in monitor and see the last semi-colon is again missing. I
put it back in and the server goes through one successful polling of all
three external time servers. After that it goes back into the two-line
mode again.

Anybody ever see this behavior?

Bob
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12 Replies
Anonymous_User Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: Time Sync Bug?

Can we see the exact timesync.cfg pls?
--
Andrew C Taubman
Novell Support Forums Volunteer SysOp
http://support.novell.com/forums
(Sorry, support is not provided via e-mail)

Opinions expressed above are not
necessarily those of Novell Inc.
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Anonymous_User Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Time Sync Serious Bug?

While I have apparently fixed my timesync problem, the journey took me
into areas that I consider dangerous anomalies.

My NW6.5 SINGLE would sync with external sources for one polling loop.
On all subsequent polling loops it would sync with the motherboard
clock. SECONDARY servers would discard packets when attempting to sync
with the SINGLE.

If I turned off the configured time sources on the PRIMARY, let the
server go through on polling loop, then turn back on the configured time
sources, the SINGLE would again go through one successful sync with the
external time sources then start sync'ing with the on board clock.

Here is the dangerous part.

I turned off the configured time sources for a couple of minutes then
turned it back on. The SINGLE started reliably sync'ing with the
external sources for about 3 or 4 minutes. THEN it started discarding
packets and applied the LAST CORRECTION!. All subsequent polling was
the same, discarding the packets and applying the last correction. I
watched this take my SINGLE sever several minutes out of time sync
before I decided to stop it.

During the time when it was reliably sync'ing, if I had left assuming
that it was working, I would have ended up with a disaster on my hands.

Please understand that up to this point I had restarted my SINGLE
several times, configured it as a SECONDARY (changing another to a
PRIMARY of course, and reconfiguring the addresses), restarted as well
as reset through Monitor, etc. You get the idea.

Here is what worked:

My SINGLE is configured properly, SECONDARYs are also. Not working as
stated above. I unload then reload Timesync.NLM and everything works
properly. I restart my server, Timesync fails again. Unload, then
reload Timesync.NLM and everything works.

I've put a 4 minute delay at the end of my autoexec.ncf, unload the NLM,
delay 10 seconds, load the NLM. Everything works fine.

Just wanted to pass this information along.

Bob

Robert@SchweinA.com wrote:
>
> I have a single 6.5 server patched up to today. It's a SINGLE and has
> been reliably polling 3 external sources for time; one source is an IP
> address, the other two are URL's.
>
> I just installed the TCP stack for a VPN connection and have set up
> Client-To-Site VPN. It works just fine.
>
> Time Sync no longer works. (filtering is not an issue here) Here's
> what happens.
>
> I look in Monitor's time configuration and see the last semi-colon
> missing from my external time source list
> <address:123>;<address:123>;<address:123>
>
> I put the semi-colon back in. The server goes through one successful
> polling of all three external sources. All subsequent polling is
> Polling Start
> Server in sync
>
> Polling Start
> Server in sync
> .
> .
> .
> for ever
>
> I look back in monitor and see the last semi-colon is again missing. I
> put it back in and the server goes through one successful polling of all
> three external time servers. After that it goes back into the two-line
> mode again.
>
> Anybody ever see this behavior?
>
> Bob

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Anonymous_User Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: Time Sync Bug?

Certainly


# TimeSync.Cfg is now updated automatically,
# when changes are made on the System Console

# TIMESYNC Configuration Parameters

Configured Sources = ON
DEBUG = 7
Polling Count = 3
Polling Interval = 600
Service Advertising = ON
Synchronization Radius = 2000
Type = SINGLE
NTP Client Port = 0

# TIMESYNC Configured time source list

TIME SOURCE = 208.184.49.9:123
TIME SOURCE = TIME-A.TIMEFREQ.BLDRDOC.GOV:123



Andrew C Taubman wrote:
> Can we see the exact timesync.cfg pls?

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Anonymous_User Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: Time Sync Serious Bug?

Please change all references of "PRIMARY" to read "SINGLE". Long
weekend. All I have is one SINGLE and one SECONDARY. Nothing else.

Sorry about that.

Robert@SchweinA.com wrote:
> While I have apparently fixed my timesync problem, the journey took me
> into areas that I consider dangerous anomalies.
>
> My NW6.5 SINGLE would sync with external sources for one polling loop.
> On all subsequent polling loops it would sync with the motherboard
> clock. SECONDARY servers would discard packets when attempting to sync
> with the SINGLE.
>
> If I turned off the configured time sources on the PRIMARY, let the
> server go through on polling loop, then turn back on the configured time
> sources, the SINGLE would again go through one successful sync with the
> external time sources then start sync'ing with the on board clock.
>
> Here is the dangerous part.
>
> I turned off the configured time sources for a couple of minutes then
> turned it back on. The SINGLE started reliably sync'ing with the
> external sources for about 3 or 4 minutes. THEN it started discarding
> packets and applied the LAST CORRECTION!. All subsequent polling was
> the same, discarding the packets and applying the last correction. I
> watched this take my SINGLE sever several minutes out of time sync
> before I decided to stop it.
>
> During the time when it was reliably sync'ing, if I had left assuming
> that it was working, I would have ended up with a disaster on my hands.
>
> Please understand that up to this point I had restarted my SINGLE
> several times, configured it as a SECONDARY (changing another to a
> PRIMARY of course, and reconfiguring the addresses), restarted as well
> as reset through Monitor, etc. You get the idea.
>
> Here is what worked:
>
> My SINGLE is configured properly, SECONDARYs are also. Not working as
> stated above. I unload then reload Timesync.NLM and everything works
> properly. I restart my server, Timesync fails again. Unload, then
> reload Timesync.NLM and everything works.
>
> I've put a 4 minute delay at the end of my autoexec.ncf, unload the NLM,
> delay 10 seconds, load the NLM. Everything works fine.
>
> Just wanted to pass this information along.
>
> Bob
>
> Robert@SchweinA.com wrote:
>
>>
>> I have a single 6.5 server patched up to today. It's a SINGLE and has
>> been reliably polling 3 external sources for time; one source is an IP
>> address, the other two are URL's.
>>
>> I just installed the TCP stack for a VPN connection and have set up
>> Client-To-Site VPN. It works just fine.
>>
>> Time Sync no longer works. (filtering is not an issue here) Here's
>> what happens.
>>
>> I look in Monitor's time configuration and see the last semi-colon
>> missing from my external time source list
>> <address:123>;<address:123>;<address:123>
>>
>> I put the semi-colon back in. The server goes through one successful
>> polling of all three external sources. All subsequent polling is
>> Polling Start
>> Server in sync
>>
>> Polling Start
>> Server in sync
>> .
>> .
>> .
>> for ever
>>
>> I look back in monitor and see the last semi-colon is again missing.
>> I put it back in and the server goes through one successful polling of
>> all three external time servers. After that it goes back into the
>> two-line mode again.
>>
>> Anybody ever see this behavior?
>>
>> Bob

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Anonymous_User Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: Time Sync Bug?

I see two sources in here, but you mentioned three in your OP ... in any
case I'd recommend you just choose one, the most reliable, and stick
with it. Also it's best to use IP addresses not DNS names, timesync is
not good at name resolution.
--
Andrew C Taubman
Novell Support Forums Volunteer SysOp
http://support.novell.com/forums
(Sorry, support is not provided via e-mail)

Opinions expressed above are not
necessarily those of Novell Inc.
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Anonymous_User Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: Time Sync Bug?

Appreciate your thoughts. The last doesn't show up because something
causes the last semi-colon to disappear. The timesync debug screen
doesn't show it either even though it's in the string when viewed in
Monitor. Timesync happily sync's on the two.

In my opinion we have to keep the pressure on ensuring reliable DNS name
resolution. I am guilty of sometimes accepting "its good enough" so I
can start using my time on another important issue. But, something as
fundamental as DNS name resolution, that's pretty far up there on the
important list. Thankfully, I don't think I've ever had any problems
with that, that were not of my own doing (bad routing tables, etc.)
However, as you see, I have both a URL and an IP address <grin>.
Nothing like hedging my bets. As for multiple sources, of course we
know why we do this. We, at least I have them on my secondarys as well,
certainly they are handled differently then the multiple sources in the
single, just as they are in the reference, and the primarys.

I wish the problems I had were related to some of these points (since I
don't know exactly what caused the problem, I can't say for certain
there is no relation), but on this single, when I installed the TCP
stack and VPN and this problem surfaced, instinct tells me the issue
lies in other places then the timesync.cfg file. Especially so when all
I have to do to get things working right is unload then reload
timesync.nlm about 5 minutes after my server has come up.

What can I say? This is just one of those things that when I have some
time (Right!) I'd like to get to the bottom of.

Bob

Andrew C Taubman wrote:
> I see two sources in here, but you mentioned three in your OP ... in any
> case I'd recommend you just choose one, the most reliable, and stick
> with it. Also it's best to use IP addresses not DNS names, timesync is
> not good at name resolution.

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Anonymous_User Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: Time Sync Bug?

Well, I still suggest you configure it as I said, as a test if nothing
else. Try

Set timesync debug =0
Set timesync debug =7

and see if you get a screen them.
--
Andrew C Taubman
Novell Support Forums Volunteer SysOp
http://support.novell.com/forums
(Sorry, support is not provided via e-mail)

Opinions expressed above are not
necessarily those of Novell Inc.
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Anonymous_User Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: Time Sync Bug?

Using a single IP address for the external reference? Yikes, I hope
that isn't a problem. But, I'll make a note to configure the Single
that way when I get back to trouble shooting it some more.

As for turning off then on the debug screen; I've never had any problem
with the debug screen. As a matter of fact it is what tipped me off to
the disappearing semicolon. However, you bring up an interesting
possibility; I had turned it off and on through Monitor, never the Set
command at the console. Be interesting to see if Timesync's behavior
changes if I do this.

Thanks

Bob

Andrew C Taubman wrote:
> Well, I still suggest you configure it as I said, as a test if nothing
> else. Try
>
> Set timesync debug =0
> Set timesync debug =7
>
> and see if you get a screen them.

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Anonymous_User Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: Time Sync Serious Bug?

The more I look at this, it seems that during server boot something is
not quite right at the time Timesync.nlm loads and initializes.
Consistently, a few minutes after the server has completely come up and
stabilized, I unload then load Timesync.nlm and it works perfectly.

Since Timesync is not an explicit entry in the Autoexec.ncf I'm thinking
the next step is to figure out just where in the boot sequence the NLM
is loaded.

Bob


Robert@SchweinA.com wrote:
> Please change all references of "PRIMARY" to read "SINGLE". Long
> weekend. All I have is one SINGLE and one SECONDARY. Nothing else.
>
> Sorry about that.
>
> Robert@SchweinA.com wrote:
>
>> While I have apparently fixed my timesync problem, the journey took me
>> into areas that I consider dangerous anomalies.
>>
>> My NW6.5 SINGLE would sync with external sources for one polling loop.
>> On all subsequent polling loops it would sync with the motherboard
>> clock. SECONDARY servers would discard packets when attempting to
>> sync with the SINGLE.
>>
>> If I turned off the configured time sources on the PRIMARY, let the
>> server go through on polling loop, then turn back on the configured
>> time sources, the SINGLE would again go through one successful sync
>> with the external time sources then start sync'ing with the on board
>> clock.
>>
>> Here is the dangerous part.
>>
>> I turned off the configured time sources for a couple of minutes then
>> turned it back on. The SINGLE started reliably sync'ing with the
>> external sources for about 3 or 4 minutes. THEN it started discarding
>> packets and applied the LAST CORRECTION!. All subsequent polling was
>> the same, discarding the packets and applying the last correction. I
>> watched this take my SINGLE sever several minutes out of time sync
>> before I decided to stop it.
>>
>> During the time when it was reliably sync'ing, if I had left assuming
>> that it was working, I would have ended up with a disaster on my hands.
>>
>> Please understand that up to this point I had restarted my SINGLE
>> several times, configured it as a SECONDARY (changing another to a
>> PRIMARY of course, and reconfiguring the addresses), restarted as well
>> as reset through Monitor, etc. You get the idea.
>>
>> Here is what worked:
>>
>> My SINGLE is configured properly, SECONDARYs are also. Not working as
>> stated above. I unload then reload Timesync.NLM and everything works
>> properly. I restart my server, Timesync fails again. Unload, then
>> reload Timesync.NLM and everything works.
>>
>> I've put a 4 minute delay at the end of my autoexec.ncf, unload the
>> NLM, delay 10 seconds, load the NLM. Everything works fine.
>>
>> Just wanted to pass this information along.
>>
>> Bob
>>
>> Robert@SchweinA.com wrote:
>>
>>>
>>> I have a single 6.5 server patched up to today. It's a SINGLE and
>>> has been reliably polling 3 external sources for time; one source is
>>> an IP address, the other two are URL's.
>>>
>>> I just installed the TCP stack for a VPN connection and have set up
>>> Client-To-Site VPN. It works just fine.
>>>
>>> Time Sync no longer works. (filtering is not an issue here) Here's
>>> what happens.
>>>
>>> I look in Monitor's time configuration and see the last semi-colon
>>> missing from my external time source list
>>> <address:123>;<address:123>;<address:123>
>>>
>>> I put the semi-colon back in. The server goes through one successful
>>> polling of all three external sources. All subsequent polling is
>>> Polling Start
>>> Server in sync
>>>
>>> Polling Start
>>> Server in sync
>>> .
>>> .
>>> .
>>> for ever
>>>
>>> I look back in monitor and see the last semi-colon is again missing.
>>> I put it back in and the server goes through one successful polling
>>> of all three external time servers. After that it goes back into the
>>> two-line mode again.
>>>
>>> Anybody ever see this behavior?
>>>
>>> Bob

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Anonymous_User Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: Time Sync Bug?

>Using a single IP address for the external reference? Yikes, I hope
that isn't a problem.

No, in fact 99% of sites would use it that way, in my experience. Loss
of external timesync for a few seconds or minutes shouldn't affect your
tree, and if you site disappears for longer than that it's the wrong
site to use 🙂 The US Naval Observatory site is a good one, I hear.


>As for turning off then on the debug screen; I've never had any

problem with the debug screen.

Sorry, I thought you were saying the debug screen didn't show, but I see
now you were saying it didn't show the last time source.
--
Andrew C Taubman
Novell Support Forums Volunteer SysOp
http://support.novell.com/forums
(Sorry, support is not provided via e-mail)

Opinions expressed above are not
necessarily those of Novell Inc.
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Anonymous_User Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: Time Sync Serious Bug?

If timesync loads before IP is fully initialised you can get some funny
results. Maybe you just need to explictly unload and reload it at the
end of autoexec.
--
Andrew C Taubman
Novell Support Forums Volunteer SysOp
http://support.novell.com/forums
(Sorry, support is not provided via e-mail)

Opinions expressed above are not
necessarily those of Novell Inc.
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Anonymous_User Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: Time Sync Serious Bug?

Oh yea, I've already put it in there. I've got a delay 240 then the
unload, delay 5, then the load. Works well.

Certainly a possibility about the IP stack you mentioned. This all
started when I loaded the IP stack for my VPN.

Bob

Andrew C Taubman wrote:
> If timesync loads before IP is fully initialised you can get some funny
> results. Maybe you just need to explictly unload and reload it at the
> end of autoexec.

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