Using Ubuntu 12.04 VM's built last year on Azure. They only seem to get proper time on boot, and drift about a second a day. Is this a normal issue for Azure VM's? I know VM time drift is normal but thought Linux VM's in Azure (Hyper-V) get regular time sync from the host via integration services.
The OS usually only reads the (emulated) hardware clock upon boot, and then the clock is maintained with an interrupt timer. This is not a perfect time source, of course, and therefore you have to use NTP software to keep it accurate.
Seems others have this issue, even in Windows VM Roles. Once a week is causing too much time drift so I guess manual setting daily or less is indeed in order:
This is expected because Hyper-V's clock sync does not necessarily continue to discipline the clock after boot up - see one of the answers on Timesync on HyperV with CentOS 6.2 for details.
Time drift is normal for all computers. You have to use ntpd to keep your time accurate.