[ntp:questions] Isolated Network Drift Problem

Maarten Wiltink maarten at kittensandcats.net
Wed Nov 26 14:52:28 UTC 2008

"Cal Webster" <cwebster at ec.rr.com> wrote in message
news:1227642754.16996.232.camel at inet3...
> On Tue, 2008-11-25 at 14:10 -0500, Richard B. Gilbert wrote:
>> Your NTP server need not live in a computer room; it can be anywhere
>> that you have a LAN connection!  A PC that has been retired from
>> desktop service can be recycled as an NTP server.  A "486/33" has more
>> enough computing power to be an NTP server.  You'll probably have
>> to settle for a Pentium because I think the museums have cornered the
>> market in 486s! ;-)

'Museum' would be a very benevolent term to apply to my junk pile.

> Yeah, I do a lot of recycling here, what with our tiny budget. It would
> have to be something reliable, though, if it's going to be our primary
> time server. I'd probably reserve a couple of our old Dell Dimension XPS
> PIII machines installed with Fedora 9/10.

Like DNS setup, NTP setups benefit greatly from layering. You could very
well have your master time server under the roof, five feet from the GPS
antenna. That places it at the far end of a length of Ethernet cabling,
which copes with distance very well.

The next layer is formed by three stratum-2 servers, preferably peered
and with backup sources and whatnot, so that when the master server goes
off-line, at best they'll shift to backup sources and at worst they will
at least drift as a group.

The clients talk to the stratum-2's, never to the stratum-1.

Maarten Wiltink

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