Verify that all components on the vSphere network have their clocks synchronized. If the clocks on the physical machines in your vSphere network are not synchronized, SSL certificates and SAML Tokens, which are time-sensitive, might not be recognized as valid in communications between network machines.

Unsynchronized clocks can result in authentication problems, which can cause the installation to fail or prevent the vCenter Server Appliance vmware-vpxd service from starting.

Time inconsistencies in vSphere can cause firstboot to fail at different services depending on where in the environment time is not accurate and when the time is synchronized. Problems most commonly occur when the target ESXi host for the destination vCenter Server Appliance is not synchronized with NTP. Similarly, issues can arise if the destination vCenter Server Appliance migrates to an ESXi host set to a different time due to fully automated DRS.

To avoid time synchronization issues, ensure that the following is correct before installing, migrating, or upgrading a vCenter Server Appliance.
  • The target ESXi host where the destination vCenter Server Appliance is to be deployed is synchronized to NTP.
  • The ESXi host running the source vCenter Server Appliance is synchronized to NTP.
  • When upgrading or migrating, if the vCenter Server Appliance is connected to an external Platform Services Controller, ensure the ESXi host running the external Platform Services Controller is synchronized to NTP.
  • If you are upgrading or migrating, verify that the source vCenter Server or vCenter Server Appliance and external Platform Services Controller have the correct time.

Verify that any Windows host machine on which vCenter Server runs is synchronized with the Network Time Server (NTP) server. See Knowledge Base article KB 1318.

To synchronize ESXi clocks with an NTP server, you can use the VMware Host Client. For information about editing the time configuration of an ESXi host, see vSphere Single Host Management.

To learn how to change time synchronization settings for vCenter Server Appliance, see "Configuring Time Synchronization Settings in the vCenter Server Appliance" in vCenter Server Appliance Configuration.

To learn how to edit time configuration for a host, see "Edit Time Configuration for a Host" in vCenter Server and Host Management.