[ntp:questions] NTP Newbie, can anyone help out ?

apexi.200sx at hotmail.co.uk apexi.200sx at hotmail.co.uk
Thu Nov 30 10:38:32 UTC 2006

Hi All,

I am currently at a site where we have workstations running an
application program that requires accurate time.  The application
writes a date time stamp to a database, the dts is generated locally on
the machine.  Another applcation periodically copies data from the
original database, to another database querying by the dts since it
last ran.  This is why the time needs to be accurate on all clients,
please note though, that the dts resolution is only down to the second.

All the client workstations currently use xntpd for time keeping, and
we have a time server etc. all already configured, thing is we seem to
still be getting issues where clients aren't having their time adjusted
correctly, or maybe quickly enough ?

I think NTP is just overkill for this site, I haven't done a full
in-depth investigation into the NTP RFC's but it seems it is a very
sophisticated time keeping protocol, and it has an algorithm that
doesn't just slam the time back in line upon finding clock drift, also
I have read that there maybe a maximum drift for which the protocol
will adjust.

We have hundreds of workstations and sometimes they may have been
switched off for a peroid of time, or the CMOS battery may have died -
does this affect NTP on the whole ?

Basically, could someone give me a brief primer on NTP from a
protocol/algorithm/operational point of view (if possible)

I think we could be better with just a very basic SNTP ?, or just
UDP/TIME implementation

All we need is for the machine's time to be brought in line
peroidically accurate to the second from a reference machine.

Unfortunately we can't do this simply with login scripts because a) we
don't have desktop permissions to change time, and b) users could be
left logged in for days at a time, so we still need some sort of active
time management.

Sorry for the long post


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