To ensure that the time of an ESXi host is synchronized with the time of other components of the vSphere network, you can synchronize the time and date of the host to PTP.

The Precision Time Protocol allows both software- and hardware-based timestamping on an ESXi hosts and provides a highly accurate time synchronization. Starting with vSphere 7.0 Update 3, PTP provisions hardware-based timestamping for the virtual machines and the hosts within a network.

The PTP and the NTP services cannot run simultaneously. Stop the NTP service and then enable the PTP service. Additionally, when you enable the PTP service, the manual time configuration becomes inactive.


  • Verify that the NTP service is not running. For information about how to change its status, see Manage the NTP and PTP Service Status on the Host.

  • For a hardware-based timestamping, verify that you enabled PCI passthrough for a network device on the host. See the vSphere Networking documentation.


  1. In the vSphere Client home page, navigate to Home > Hosts and Clusters.
  2. Select a host.
  3. On the Configure tab, select System > Time Configuration.
  4. Click Add Service and select Precision Time Protocol from the drop-down menu.
  5. In the Precision Time Protocol dialog box, edit the PTP settings.
    1. Select the PTP-enabled network device for time synchronization from the Network adapter type drop-down menu.
      Option Description

      PCI passthrough

      For configuring a hardware timestamping with a PCI passthrough network device, follow these steps:

      1. From the Device name drop-down menu, select the PCI passthrough network device. For vSphere 7.0 U3, the supported network adapters are IntelX710 and E810.

      2. Enter the IP configuration settings for the network device.

        • To use DHCP to obtain the IP address configuration of the network device, select Obtain IPv4 settings automatically.

        • To set a static IP configuration, select the Use static IPv4 settings option and enter the IPv4 configuration settings.

        • To use the IEEE 802.3 network transport, select No IP configuration (use IEEE 802.3 transport).

      VMkernel Adapter

      For configuring software timestamping PTP, from the Device name drop-down menu, select the VMkernel adapter configured to use PTP.

  6. (Optional) Create a fallback mechanism in case the PTP synchronization fails.
    1. To monitor the events in vSphere, select the Enable monitoring events check box.
    2. To enable a fallback mechanism in case PTP become inaccessible, click Enable fallback.

      You can create a fallback mechanism only if you enabled tracking the events in vSphere.

    3. In the NTP Servers text box, enter the IP addresses or host names of the NTP servers that you want to use. A best practice is to use at least three NTP servers for the time synchronization of the host.
  7. Click OK.

    Finishing the configuration immediately triggers the PTP synchronization.

  8. (Optional) To test whether the service used for time synchronization of the host is running correctly, click Test Services.

    The Time Synchronization Services test dialog box appears. You can see information about how the activated time configuration works by collecting information from various systems.