[ntp:questions] Server time wandering even with ntpd

Michael Weber mweber at alliednational.com
Wed Apr 26 13:00:29 UTC 2006


I'm brand new to this list so if this isn't the correct place for this question, please flame gently.

I am running an Oracle database on two Dell 2650 servers.  I run a script that resets the clock every night because after 24 hours the clock can be as much as 45 seconds off.  I have 20 other servers, running lots of OS's with no problem.  It's just these two servers which are the only two of this model I have in house.

I am running ntpd during the day, but it doesn't seem to be able to correct for the time issue.  I run it with this command line:
         ntpd -U ntp -p /var/run/ntpd.pid -g

I realize that it is probably a hardware thing, but we got what we paid for with the Dell servers.

Here are the config's on that server:

# cd /etc/ntp
# ls -l
total 8
-rw-r--r--    1 ntp      ntp             9 Apr 26 06:01 drift
-rw-------    1 ntp      ntp           266 Feb  3  2004 keys
lrwxrwxrwx    1 root     root           11 Apr 24 09:39 ntp.conf -> ../ntp.conf
-rw-r--r--    1 ntp      ntp             0 Feb  3  2004 step-tickers

# cat drift

# cat ntp.conf

server phone2.alliednational.com

driftfile /etc/ntp/drift

authenticate no

I am running a script every hour that shuts down ntpd, runs ntpdate against the in-house time server (phone2) and restarts ntpd again.  I grab the output of that script in a log file which I copied below:

Shutting down ntpd: [  OK  ]
26 Apr 05:01:00 ntpdate[26000]: adjust time server offset 0.043594 sec
Starting ntpd: [  OK  ]
Shutting down ntpd: [  OK  ]
26 Apr 06:01:04 ntpdate[26207]: step time server offset 3.162581 sec
Starting ntpd: [  OK  ]
Shutting down ntpd: [  OK  ]
26 Apr 07:01:01 ntpdate[26383]: step time server offset 0.567207 sec
Starting ntpd: [  OK  ]

As you can see, the time sync is wandering all over the place.  Because this database is used for our employees timeclock, and it was getting as much as a minute off by the end of the day, I had to update the clock every hour or people would start to complain.  I was running the script every day, but it wasn't enough.

Any ideas how to keep ntpd more in control?  I would really like to see the clock stick with the time server like it does on all my other servers.  I run ntpdate every night on every box, and I usually get a few millisecond adjustment, except on these two servers.



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