[ntp:questions] Re: Mother Of All Clocks

Heiko Gerstung hg at heiko-gerstung.de
Sat Mar 26 22:47:12 UTC 2005

Hi Folks!

> Sheesh!  What kind of client needs that sort of time security?  How much damage
> would result if the time were wrong?  How was upper management convinced to
> shell out the big bucks for this solution?  The typical response from most
> techies and managers I've approached has been "why do we need that?" and "ok,
> I'll humour you and install NTP, but our time will come from the Internet,
> because it's free."

Yes, that's the typical reaction from someone who did not hit the wall
because of wrong time. Remember the big North American Blackout,
afterwards a lot of people were _very_ unhappy because the protocols
and error logs they had were simply unusable because no one was able
to find out which entry came first.

Regarding the argument that internet time is free, we created a FAQ
entry trying to explain why one should like to have his own time
server: http://www.meinberg.de/english/faq/faq_25.htm
If you have any comments on that, I would appreciate hearing  (er,
reading) them!

> Meinberg would be doing the world a favour by publishing a detailed explanation
> about WHY we might need need a behemoth like this.  It's not obvious to the
> average beancounter.

We'd like to do the world a favour, really :-) Of course no deep
details of the application of this can be published, just this: The
customer is a big player in the financial sector and deals with
several millions of transactions per day. It is simply necessary for
them to ensure that all their networks (which are physically separated
due to security reasons) including all database servers, workstations
and routers are running with the same time coming from the same clock.
That's why they need this thing.

It's true, the financial damage a time problem would cause is
relatively nothing compared to the price of such a thing.

And ... of course it wasn't too boring to design and build it, really

Kind regards,

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