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Time Synchronization Solution for ZCM Zone using Bundles Feature



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April 15, 2008 2:00 pm

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By Ravella Raghunadh

Administrators prefer to maintain the time synchronization between the ZCM zone primary server(s), Database server and managed devices(workstations/servers). ZENworks 10 Configuration Management-Remote Management applications with rights-based authentication expect the time synchronization between ZCM primary servers, Database server, managed devices and administrator’s console device.

This article helps the ZCM Administrator to configure the ZCM (Windows) primary server as the NTP time server and managed devices, other primary/satellite servers, database server as clients for any configured NTP time server.

Administrators can configure any device in the zone as NTP time server. For describing the use case, ZCM Primary server is chosen for the NTP time server.

This solution uses the ZCM Bundles feature to fulfill the requirement.

Making Zone primary server (Windows) as NTP time server

Steps to be performed:

1.Create registry file with following information:

####################################################################################
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\w32time\Config]
"AnnounceFlags"=dword:00000005
 
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\w32time\Parameters]
"Type"="NTP"
"WriteLog"="True"
"Log"=dword:00000064

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\w32time\TimeProviders\NtpServer]
"Enabled"=dword:00000001
####################################################################################

2.Merge the registry file created in step 1 with the primary server’s registry information

3.Restart the “w32time” using the following command:
net stop w32time & net start w32time

With the above steps, Windows server serves the NTP time service and NTP log will be enabled.

Note: If SLES10 / SLES10 SP1 server is used as ZCM primary server, install any NTP service like “xntp” through YaST/Software Management

Configuring NTP client on Managed devices

Solution 1: Using Registry Edit Action:

1.On a managed device, export the W32Time parameters registry key from HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time\Parameters to a local file. A sample registry file is shown below.

timesync_1_0.gif

Click image to enlarge.

Figure – Sample registry file for a ZCM workstation

2.Edit the registry file by modifying the following entries:

“NtpServer”=”<ZCM Zone Primary server’s IP address / Hostname>,0x1″
“Type”=”NTP”

This will make the ZCM primary server as the NTP time server for the managed device.

3.A sample updated file is shown below.

timesync_2_0.gif

Click image to enlarge.
Figure – Updated Registry file

4.Log in to ZENworks Control Center

5.Create a new Directive Bundle

Please refer to this section of the Novell ZENworks 10 Configuration Management Documentation, which helps in creating a Directive Bundle creation.

6.Add Registry Edit Action to the bundle.

timesync_3_0.gif

Click image to enlarge.
Figure – Add Actions window – Registry Edit Action selection

For more information on adding the Registry Edit Action, please refer to this section of the documentation.

7.Browse and import the updated registry file

8.Add Start/Stop service Action to the bundle

timesync_4_0.gif

Click image to enlarge.
Figure- Add Actions window – Start/Stop service Action selection

For more information on adding the Registry Edit Action, please refer to this section of the documentation.

9.Configure “W32time” service to stop

10.Add another Start/Stop service Action and configure “W32time” service to start.

11.Assign the Bundle to ZENworks Configuration Management Devices/Users

For more information on assigning the Bundle to the devices and users please refer to the following links:

12.Configure the Bundle Distribution Schedule as “Event” and select “User Login” as trigger.

13.Select “Install Immediately after Distribution” and “Launch Immediately after Installation” options in Distribution schedule.

For more details on Bundle Schedules, please refer to this section of the documentation.

14.After the bundle is distributed/launched on the managed device, it is configured with the NTP time server(Zone Primary server) and is in time synchronization with the primary server.

Note: If the registry tree structure differs for different Windows Operating Systems, then the administrator must create a separate bundle for each operating system.

Solution 2: Using Run Script Action:

1.Log in to ZENworks Control Center.

2.Create a new Directive Bundle.

Please refer to this section of the Novell ZENworks 10 Configuration Management Documentation, which helps in creating a Directive Bundle creation.

3.Add Run Script Action to the bundle.

timesync_5_0.gif

Click image to enlarge.
Figure – Add Actions window – Run Script Action selection

For more information on adding the Run Script Action, please refer to this section of the documentation.

4.Select the “Define Your Own Script” option for Script to run.

5.Type in the following commands as script content

sc config w32time start= auto
net time /setsntp:<Primary server’s IP address/Hostname>
net stop w32time & net start w32time
w32tm /resync /nowait

6.Assign the Bundle to ZENworks Configuration Management Devices/Users

For more information on assigning the Bundle to the devices and users please refer to the following links:

7.Configure the Bundle Distribution Schedule as “Event” and select “User Login” as trigger.

8.Select “Install Immediately after Distribution” and “Launch Immediately after Installation” options in Distribution schedule.

For more details on Bundle Schedules, please refer to this section of the documentation.

9.After the bundle is distributed/launched on the managed device, it is configured with the NTP time server (Zone Primary server) and is in time synchronization with the primary server.

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Disclaimer: This content is not supported by Novell. It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test it thoroughly before using it in a production environment.

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