[ntp:questions] Re: Question about synchronizing client and server clock

Atri Mandal mandala at ics.uci.edu
Tue Jan 6 00:25:13 UTC 2004

Thanks all of you for your comments and suggestions.
I understand that you suggest the use of NTP to get both the client and server programs to
follow the same time (of the server). I also looked at the functions ntp2nt() & nt2ntp() which
have no documentation in MSDN;
but I don't understand how to make the client and server programs point to the same server
time using these 2 functions because these functions have no information about the server
address; once I have synchronized them I can use ntp2nt() in both the programs seperately and
calculate the time as you said.
Can one of you please explain in more detail how to set up NTP; i.e. make the client and
server agree on a specific time first after which I can use the ntp2nt() function calls.


Danny Mayer wrote:

> Atri Mandal <mandala at ics.uci.edu> wrote in message news:<3FF8F54B.31B9AF5F at ics.uci.edu>...
> > Hi ,
> > I am writing a client server code using WINSOCK 2.0 in which I have to
> > calculate the exact time required by a piece of message to go from the
> > client to the server or vice versa.
> > i.e Suppose I have a client server model in which A is the client and B
> > is the server.
> > Let's say A has to send a message M to B by socket communication. I want
> > the exact time taken by M to go from A to B.
> > Currently I'm sending the message from A to B and then sending an
> > acknowledgement from B to A(ack having the same size as original
> > message) and then calculating the total time T taken for the round
> > trip(this is easy because I just need  2 timer function calls
> > within the client). Then I'm assuming that the time taken for A-B is
> > T/2. This is however not precise because it might take a longer time to
> > go from A-B rather than B-A.
> > So is there any way I can calculate the exact one way communication time
> > (with the precision at microsecond level or better) ?
> > I think the best way is to use a synchronized clock for the client and
> > server - Can anyone in this group please tell me how to implement this
> > or give me pointers to example source code. I am quite new to this
> > field.
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Atri.
> >
> > --
> Well this is exactly what NTP does. If you want to do timing experiments
> like this, set up ntp on both client and server, disabling Windows time
> service which would otherwise muck up the time as well. This will
> synchronize the time on both systems. If you point both to the same
> servers you will likely get both systems to agree on the time. Now you
> can write your code to send and receive messages on the sockets to
> calculate the time. If you do it right, you will include a timestamp
> of the sending system with it's current time in the message, and the
> server will return that along with its own timestamp. Now when you get
> it back you add a third timestamp and you can save and analyze the time
> taken in each direction. You will need to do this as many times as necessary
> to get a good statistical average (there is no such thing as an exact time)
> to smooth out activity on the network between the two systems.
> If you are using Windows, I might suggest looking at two functions
> SystemTimeToFileTime() and FileTimeToSystemTime(). Do your calculations
> using FileTime which provides 64-bit integers though you have to copy
> it to a ULARGE_INTEGER structure to do that. If you want to use ntp code
> itself there is are two undocumented Win32 API functions in the IPHLPAPI DLL
> called NTPTimeToNTFileTime() and NTTimeToNTPTime(). Unfortunately I don't
> know the arguments to the calls.
> Danny

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