RG047 – Installing HyperDrive and fixing clockdrift

By Rob Aarts


This article covers the installation of RES HyperDrive in my LAB environment. Hopefully this article will serve as inspiration for others to download and take HyperDrive for a spin. Notice, there is also a separate article RG048 here about the post installation configuration.

First off, here are the specifications of my lab  environment:
Server:  Windows Server 2012, 60GB (SSD), Core I7, 16GB
Storage: QNAP TS-459 Pro II
VM's (2): DC (2008R2). RES Automation Manager, Workspace Manager, Service Orchestration, MS SQL Server 2008R2

The RES HyperDrive Virtual Appliance supports the following hypervisors

  • VMware vSphere 4.1+ and Workstation 8.0+
  • Citrix XenServer 5.6+
  • Microsoft Hyper-V 2008 R2

Installing the HyperDrive Virtual Appliance

  1. Create a host record in your public DNS zone, I used "hyperdrive.robaarts.nl"
  2. Create a certificate for your appliance, I choose to use the certificate created by the appliance. Note on this: Your clients will get browser security warnings when using the certificate that created by the appliance, as the self generated root certificate is untrusted.
  3. Download the appropriate HyperDrive Virtual Appliance that is suitable for your hypervisor (VMware ESX or Workstation, Hyper-V or Citrix XenServer) in my case I downloaded the Hyper-V appliance.
  4. Import the appliance to your hypervisor.
  5. Make sure the virtual network adapter is connected to the correct physical network. When using iSCSI, you need to add a second NIC following the installation instructions from RES. (Just for the record: I didn't add a second adapter and was still able to use the iSCSI connection ;-).

Note: When importing the appliance in Hyper-V Server 2012 the NIC seems to fail. You need to delete this NIC and create a new "Legacy network adapter".

  1. If you want to use local storage, add an additional disk to the appliance.
  2. Start the virtual appliance on your Hypervisor.

Editor's Note: Before you start your HyperDrive appliance, now is a really good time to snapshot the VM, just in case you get "creative" during setup. For the younger readers: Don't freak out. The following part of the setup is known as textmode… :-)

Select your keyboard (I choose the default "U.S")





Select your time zone (Amsterdam for me ;-)





Note: setting the right time is important because the appliance is going to talk to your active directory! (think about Kerberos authentication).

Type your virtual appliance "root" password (twice). Note that the hyperdrive installer is REALLY picky about complex passwords)




Click "Edit a device params".






Edit your IP config, I chose to make a reservation on the DHCP Server.





Click "Edit DNS configuration"






My settings:

Hostname: hyperdrive.domain.local
Primary DNS: 192.168.1.x
Search: domain.local




At the same time make sure to add this DNS entry manually in your (internal) DNS zone and don't forget the reverse DNS entry.

You can now login with the user "root" and the password you have chosen.





Note: It seems the time on my appliance wasn't set correctly, hence I experienced a lot off strange configuration error's because of this. There is different resolutions to this problem:

First reboot the appliance (type the command "reboot") and check the time on your appliance, you can do that by simply typing the command "date"

If the time is right, don't change a thing, you're good to go and can start configuring the appliance. However, if the clock is off, contact RES Support for a solution!.

I reported this to RES Support but managed to find a way to fix it in the meantime. I found this article from Ned Martin, which describes the problem (clock drifting).
(It is reasonable to expect RES Software will come up with a building block with a fix or proably a complete new appliance build). Anyway, here we go:

  • Modify the kernel boot options by editing "/boot/grub/grub.conf" and adding "notsc divider=10" after the appropriate kernel line.

Note: you can use the vi command to edit text files

  • Configure "/etc/ntp.conf". and arrange it like this:

tinker panic 0
restrict default kod nomodify notrap
server pool.ntp.org
driftfile /var/lib/ntp/drift

Note: remove the rest of the settings, referenced in the article!

  • Synchronize time with the command: "ntpd –q" In case you get an error here, first stop the ntpd service with the command "service ntpd stop"
  • Set the hardware clock with command "hwclock -–systohc"
  • Set up ntpd to automatically run and synchronize the time with the command "chkconfig ntpd on"

6. Reboot the machine with the command "reboot"

Hopefully this article will help you work arount some of the gotcha's and get you going quickly with HyperDrive. If you still have questions about the installation of this appliance, make sure you read the Admin Guide here here, or feel free to contact yours truly

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