SMB IT – A Time Check Please

October 21, 2008

I have deliberately avoided “tech” issues on this blog, leaning more towards higher level IT related topics for small business managers and owners. This is simply because good pure technology ‘geek’ blogs are a dime a dozen out on the web.

Saying that, this one is partially a tech oriented one, and I am doing it simply because I have now seen this issue three times in the last 2 years or so. And in all three cases the organizations involved were tearing out their hair. (figuratively speaking)

Many SMB / SME business utilize server software from Microsoft set up in a MS Windows Active Directory Domain.

Microsoft Active Directory absolutely needs that accurate time be kept on all MS Windows machines within your Active Directory Domain.

If the clocks on your machines are different by more than 5 minutes, the erratic errors that can occur are enormous. You may find people cannot log into their computers, email issues can be hit or miss, some people can access a resource that others cannot etc.

The reason that this issue was so frustrating to the organizations that suffered it, is that it is so erratic, ‘on again off again’, one minute working, the next minute not working.

If you are experiencing similar behaviour, have your tech staffer or provider check the event logs for certain time stamp replication errors.

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