[ntp:questions] Re: Do we need / should be have a refclock?

Brian Inglis Brian.Inglis at SystematicSW.Invalid
Sun Jul 9 17:14:01 UTC 2006

On Thu, 6 Jul 2006 09:09:55 GMT in comp.protocols.time.ntp,
robert.hulme at ahc.uk.com (Robert Hulme) wrote:

>I'm fairly new to NTP (although I have read a lot of the documentation
>on the site and in the wiki) and I'm trying to get some expert advice to
>help with an internal IT discussion occurring in the IT team at my
>We have about 20-30 linux servers collocated (on two sites - 95% of them
>on one site) and about 30 windows desktops at a different site. The new
>Linux sysadmin has noticed that the NTP client configuration on the
>servers is fairly random (they seem to use various random UK ISP's NTP
>servers (only one NTP server configured for each box)). Clearly that
>needs sorting out - but in the course of the discussion there was a
>debate about whether we ought to get a refclock.
>Could you give some advice on how we should be thinking about this, what
>we should consider, and what the pros and cons of using a refclock are.
>For reference we basically do web hosting for our clients on these
>servers - some run databases and so on but there is nothing particularly
>unusual that the servers do.
>If you think a refclock is a good idea or an important thing to have the
>one that has been suggested is this one
>If on the other hand there is a simple place I can RTFM then please
>point me to it :-)

Check the web and wiki pages, but if you're not serving time to others
and don't need high accuracy, but just want correct time and
consistency netween your own systems, you probably don't need a

If you have a lightly loaded Linux server at each of your sites, you
could set up a couple of time servers, each referenced to at least
four stratum 2 NTP servers close to them on the internet, with a
couple of UK NTP pool servers as backups in case one of more of the
stratum 2 servers go down. 

The other Linux servers at each site can then be set up as NTP clients
to your two NTP servers, with a few UK NTP pool servers as backups in
case your internal servers go down. 

The Windows machines can be set up as SNTP clients to your two NTP
servers using built in Windows internet time facilities. 

Thanks. Take care, Brian Inglis 	Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Brian.Inglis at CSi.com 	(Brian[dot]Inglis{at}SystematicSW[dot]ab[dot]ca)
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