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Synthetic Time on Non-NetWare Platforms

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Peter Kuo

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Posted: 25 May 2005

The previous article mentioned that NetWare servers will display a warning message on the console when synthetic time is being used. But how about other platforms that eDirectory runs on, such as Windows and Linux? Since eDirectory runs as a service on these platforms there is no console for it to use. There are two ways in which you can determine if synthetic time is being used: health check option in iMonitor or via SNMP reporting.

In iMonitor, use Agent Health > Partition/Replication, and click on the Ring link for the partition of interest (see Figure 1).

Figure 1

Look under the Health Check: Replica section for "Local Replica Issued Future Time" (see Figure 2).

Figure 2

If the reported time is negative, that means synthetic time is not being used; if the value is positive, then synthetic timestamps are currently being issued (see Figure 3).

Figure 3

The amount of time the synthetic time is in the future can be easily determined from the "Local Replica Issued Future Time" value. Figure 3 showed that the most recent timestamp is almost 2879 hours in the future, which translates to almost 120 days or about four months. As discussed in the previous article, when the synthetic time is far off into the future (as is in this example), it would be worth considering declaring a new time epoch. If its only a few hours or days into the future, you can simply let the real time catch up to the future timestamp's value.

If you have an SNMP management console, you can use it to receive more than 100 eDirectory event-related traps, including synthetic timestamping (type 47). However, the trap does not include the amount of time that the timestamp is in the future, so you need to use iMonitor to look that up and then decide on a course of action. Also note that the entry that is future timestamp may not always be indicated, depending on how the synthetic time event is generated. Once a trap is received on this event, use iMonitor to identify the entry that is affected and how far in the future the offending timestamp is.

In a future article, we will present a simple application that will query the server for the synthetic time status.

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