While time synchronization issues do not happen often, when they do, they can cause serious havoc in reporting and dashboard perspectives. Making sure that your switches and servers are in sync will prevent this from happening and ensure that your Brightmetrics reports are accurate. In this article we will discuss the following:
• the importance of time synchronization
• the type of issues that arise from out-of-sync systems
• some typical causes, and
• known good configurations
The importance of Time Synchronization
In the ShoreTel CDR database, calls are broken out into so-called “connect” records for each party, workgroup, and system involved in any specific call. Because these records appear as independent records, they do not appear to be a direct result of one another. In order to accurately determine the goings and comings of these connect records, Brightmetrics cross-references Time-related data amongst the systems that are involved. eg. Servers, Switches, IP Phones, and other network related equipment. Naturally, when these systems are out of sync, the times, stages and the duration in the lifetime of the calls become obscured and even indeterminable.
(See examples below)
(Example: Cradle to Grave (C2G) Data)
(Example: Cradle to Grave (C2G) Data with time synchronization issues)
So how can time get out of sync?
Typical causes may include but are not limited to:
A Management Connectivity Problem:
- Communication between the server and the switches is experiencing disruption(s) to the connection. (Note: this would be indicated by big red or yellow blocks on Director’s switch connectivity status page)
Equipment configuration related issues:
- If a switch is managed by a DVS (Distributed Voice Server), it will get its time from that server, rather than the HQ server
- Voice-model switches use an SNTP (Network Time Protocol) server directly to synchronize their time, and so must also use a common time source
Each network configuration has its own set of steps and implications. However, the following configurations have been known to function with little complications:
- If all the devices are part of the same domain forest, pointing all of them to a single domain controller will synchronize the time across all of the devices using Active Directory Time Services.
- If the devices are not part of a domain, the ShoreTel HQ Server can act as the authoritative time source; all the other devices can then be pointed to it for Time Synchronization.
If your organization does not fit into one of these patterns, or for a more in-depth analysis, see the details at http://brightmetrics.com/time-synchronization-and-shoretel-reporting/
Note: Resolving any issues concerning time synchronization does not rewrite the timestamps on historical data records.
If you have any questions regarding Brightmetrics' ShoreTel Reporting and Data Analytics Services, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org