[ntp:questions] Syncing to nearby vs. faraway servers

Richard B. Gilbert rgilbert88 at comcast.net
Tue Jun 16 11:46:04 UTC 2009

Rich Wales wrote:
> Richard B. Gilbert wrote:
>> The "Delay" values for some of the servers you have configured
>> are large enough to suggest that they are poor choices!
> Agreed.  Please note, though, that I didn't explicitly choose
> these particular servers -- they came from pools.
> This does suggest that even servers randomly picked from my own
> country's pool (*.us.pool.ntp.org) might not be good choices.
> When 4.2.6 comes out, will the "pool" command with the "preempt"
> option do a better job of weeding out pool servers that are far
> away, and thus possibly of doubtful reliability?
I don't think that "reliability" is a good word choice here.  A server 
may be perfectly reliable and yet be unusable due to long transmission 
delays.  Suitability might be a better choice.

Country pools were a good start and probably adequate for small 
countries.  Countries the size of the U.S.  or the U.S.S.R. can't use a 
country wide pool and have much hope of getting a nearby server.
For the U.S. I'd want a "New England pool", a "middle Atlantic pool" 
(New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Virgina), a Southern 
Atlantic Pool, etc.  This assumes that "net space" maps well to 
geographical space which may not always be a good assumption.

If a request for a pool server could specify the requester's latitude 
and longitude perhaps that information could be used to assign a nearby 

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