On 28.11.2016 20:57, Rob Crittenden wrote:
David Kupka wrote:
On 22/11/16 23:15, Gabe Alford wrote:
I would say that it is worth keeping in FreeIPA. I know myself and some
customers use its functionality by having the clients sync to the IPA
servers and have the servers sync to the NTP source. This way if the NTP
source ever gets disrupted for long periods of time (which has
happened in
my environment) the client time drifts with the authentication source.
This
is the way that AD often works and is configured.


Hello Gabe,
I agree that it's common practice to synchronize all nodes in network
with single source in order to have the same time and save bandwidth.
Also I understand that it's comfortable to let FreeIPA installer take
care of it.
But I don't think FreeIPA should do it IMO this is job for Ansible or
similar tool. Also the problem is that in some situations FreeIPA
installer makes it worse.

Example:

1. Install FreeIPA server (ipa1.example.org)
2. Install FreeIPA client on all nodes in network
3. Install replica (ipa2.example.org) of FreeIPA server to increase
redundancy

Now all the clients have ipa1.example.org as the only server in
/etc/ntp.conf. If the first FreeIPA server becomes unreachable all
clients will be able to contact KDC on the other server thanks to DNS
autodiscovery in libkrb5 but will be unable to synchronize time.

Remember that the goal of IPA was to herd together a bunch of software
to make hard things easier. This included dealing with the 5-minute
Kerberos window so ntp was configured on the client and server (which is
less of any issue now).

When making changes you have to ask yourself who are you making this
easier for: you or the user.

Yes, getting NTP right is hard, but does it meet the 80/20 rule in terms
of success? I'd think so. I

If someone wants to configure it using Ansible they can use the
--no-ntp. If they want to use different time servers they can pass in
--ntp-server. But by default IMHO it should do something sane to give a
good experience.

I think to do something sane is exactly the point of this, and the sanest thing we can do is to not touch NTP configuration at all:

* if the NTP configuration obtained via DHCP works, we can't make it any better by touching it, only worse, * if the default NTP configuration shipped with the distribution works, we again can't make it any better by touching it, * if we are running inside container, time is synchronized by other means and we should not touch NTP configuration at all, * if neither the default NTP configuration nor the NTP configuration obtained via DHCP works and we are not running inside container, we may attempt to fix the configuration, but it will not be permanent and will work only for this specific host.

I think the first 3 points cover 99% of real-life deployments, and yet we are optimized towards the remaining 1%, with the potential of breaking the configuration for the 99%. This is far from sane IMHO.


There don't seem to be a ton of NTP tickets and I don't recall a lot of
user's pressing for it to go away (the reverse, many times their
problems revolve around time not being synced). I wonder if a survey on
freeipa-users would be in order to see how hot an issue this really is.

rob



--
Jan Cholasta

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