[ntp:questions] Issues trying to sync to NIST public servers

Jason Rabel jasonrabel99 at gmail.com
Fri Feb 1 16:59:22 UTC 2019

> Yes, this is a common PITA. FINRA and/or SEC getting onto you?
> They are still "defining" the regulation, but the current idea is rather silly.
> Many of the NIST servers are run out of the University of Colorado and
> are single home with CenturyLink. Congestion and/or other network
> issues causes false alarms all the time.

I don't know anything about the financial regulations, but what about
having a local GNSS or cellular based S1 NTP (or PTP) server? You will
gain an order of magnitude in accuracy syncing to a LAN source vs
traversing the Internet. Or possibly using the USNO NTP servers? I
suppose if it *has* to be traceable to NIST (which operates
independently of USNO/GPS) you could get a WWVB based NTP server. NIST
& USNO are generally less than 10 ns difference from each other, which
for NTP over ethernet the best you are going to get is in the ms range
so it's technically a non-issue.

> IMHO, if FINRA is going to require something like that, then NIST should
> provide hardened NTP/PTP services at major peering/colocation facilities.

Or use existing facilities at other major universities around the
country that could also benefit from having extra local NIST-synced
atomic standards.

I've often wondered why they don't have multiple network providers at
their two existing facilities, having a single point of failure seems
awfully ironic seeing as how they have dozens of atomic clocks and
servers in the facility... lol.

Though one has to remember this is also a very tiny part of overall
NIST. IIRC last time I saw NIST's 2019 budget figures they were taking
a pretty sizable cut in funding across the board, so expanding
services is probably out of the question unless it's deemed critical
for national security or something (Which I would think would still
fall under USNO & GPS before NIST).


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