[ntp:questions] General ntp architecture question

Terje Mathisen "terje.mathisen at tmsw.no" at ntp.org
Mon Aug 2 17:27:45 UTC 2010

unruh wrote:
> On 2010-08-02, konsu<konrad.azzopardi at gmail.com>  wrote:
>> Thanks for your answers. Actually I do not know what are the criteria
>> to consider in deciding time requirements. This is a bank , we will
>> deploy VOIP soon and we have some dealers connected to reuters
>> network  {I am checking whether they have their own time sync}....so
>> for the rest, I do not see any reason why synchronization to the
>> internet would be an issue.
> BEcause financial transactions are often time sensitive. It would be
> embarassing if your clocks were 7 hours off, and some crooks knew this.
> I suspect you could be thoroughly defrauded if that were the case.

Much worse:

If you have any kind of trading department, then it is almost certainly 
a requirement to have an auditable UTC clock reference.

I suggest you do as Rob and David suggest, i.e. get yourself one or more 
GPS-based Stratum 1 clocks, then define 4-6 primary servers which use 
this/these GPS clocks plus a few internet servers as backup.

All the rest of your servers can then use the same ntp.conf file, with a 
'server a.b.c minpoll 4 iburst' line for each of your primary servers.

For our corporate network this is effectively what I did, except that by 
using FreeBSD on standard 1U servers with GPS timing receivers, I got 
sufficient performance so that I could avoid the intermediate layer:

Every single unix/linux server use all 6 FreeBSD (a pair in each of our 
3 main geographic centers) systems as servers.

Before I did this, both the trading departments and the security 
operations had their own "black box" GPS/NTP servers.

- <Terje.Mathisen at tmsw.no>
"almost all programming can be viewed as an exercise in caching"

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