We as Domino Administrators may not be involved in the configuration and management of the operating system software and hardware upon which we run Domino. And as you know, the more people involved with managing a server, the more chance something is going to go awry.
To avoid a disaster waiting to happen, take a look at these settings in your server Notes.ini:
What are these settings and why are these “must haves”? As you know Domino by default relies on the operating system (and associated hardware time). Imagine that the following happens in your environment:
Your eager OS system administrator changes the date and time on a server to 7/3/2010. And because he is in a timezone that uses a dd/mm/yyyy format he merrily goes along his way. But let’s take this one step further – the servers he’s managing are in a timezone that uses mm/dd/yyyy. Domino periodically checks the OS time every 5 minutes to synch the Domino system time with the OS time. If your eager OS admin had changed the date/time, the next time it synchs — Domino would change its clock to July 3rd rather than March 7th. Are you with me so far? Hopefully you’re beginning to sense the global impact of this change.
How do you avoid this? Step one – include Reset_Time_Interval in your Notes.ini or your Server configuration document. Reset_Time_Interval setting is the maximum time difference allowed between “Domino time” and the “OS time”. The setting is in seconds with the default being 5 minutes. So let’s say you add Reset_Time_Interval=600 (or 10 minutes). And Domino time is 8:15 AM and the OS time is 8:42 AM, Domino would not reset itself to 8:42 AM. And issuing a Set System Time would not reset the Domino time to match the OS time either.
Step two – include Restart_Time_Action=1 in your Notes ini. This setting is a little more complicated. If this setting is set to 1, the server will not restart if the Domino time does not match the OS time and the server has been down longer than the Restart_Time_Interval, the server will not start. This is like an emergency brake. The server is not going to start with an OS time of 3 days in advance if this setting is in place if the time doesn’t match your Domino time. This is especially useful if you know your system administrator is doing hardware maintenance. Additionally, when Domino is shut down it adds Last_Domino_Time setting to the Notes.ini. You may not have noticed this Notes.ini parameter, but it includes the previous Domino time and uses this time value when calculating the time Domino should use – especially in conjunction with the values of Reset_Time_Interval and Restart_Time_Action.
If none of these settings exist in your Notes.ini, then the OS time will be used upon server restart.
I would recommend working with these options on your test server (which does not replicate with your production environment), until you feel comfortable in your understanding of how they work and how best to set them for your environment. Consider the impact of not including them. Do you want to have modify what could possibly be thousands of documents to adjust for time correction? Remember what this was like for the US Daylight Saving Time issue? Not something anyone of us wants to tackle any time soon!!!