[ntp:questions] Re: Questions and ruminations regarding NTPD 4 config and XP's bad behavior.

elickd at one.net elickd at one.net
Fri Jan 14 18:35:31 UTC 2005

I should have added that I'm so concerned about the XP machines showing
up as stratum 4 servers is because our entire NTP server "chain"
appears to have enough instability that our stratum 3 servers may have
the chance to drop to stratum 4 and start peering with them.

The ntp1-4 boxes are constantly changing which of the stratum 2 servers
they're syncing with.  The two stratum 2 servers appear to be doing the
same with the stratum 2 servers.  I have seen the stratum 3's drop to
4, sync with rogue machines in the network, .etc.

Normally I wouldn't be bothered with the s3 servers peering with
eachother, except that none of them ever seem to sync with the s2
servers on the same network; their offset forever hunts back and forth
as they dance around in a sync loop of sorts.  Also, from time to time,
I'll see both of our stratum 2 and a couple stratum 3 servers
simulataneously drop to 16 from time to time; with their clocks fudged
to 10, all hell breaks loose.

The best I can tell is that because we only have 2 stratum 2 servers,
the s3 servers can never "decide" which is accurate and therefore waver
about.  I suspect the stratum 2 servers are behaving the same way if
they truely only have 2 stratum 1 sources as well.

The SCO machines I have to maintain (which use ntpdate for time
updates, unfortunately) get bad information at random and wind up with
massive time errors.

The bottom line is that our ntp servers are keeping a very large list
of XP boxes as machines to peer with; this is unacceptable.

Mind you, I do not have the authority to make changes, so I must
persuade others to change things; in this context, simple fixes are
best.  Telling them that our entire NTP system is a turd and we need to
implement full authentication won't garner much assistance.


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