[ntp:questions] w32time

Ryan Malayter malayter at gmail.com
Fri Jun 18 16:31:54 UTC 2010

On Fri, Jun 18, 2010 at 10:47 AM, David J Taylor
<david-taylor at blueyonder.co.uk.invalid> wrote:
> In practice, in a mixed environment, where other implementations of NTP do
> conform to an accepted management standard,
> having the Microsoft Windows
> W32time not conform to the same standard is, at the very least, an
> operational inconvenience,

The fact that niether the reference implementation nor w32time have
direct support for SNMP, a *far* more widely used and documented
managment standard, would seem to be another way to look at "who has a
problem." Windows Group Policy and WMI comprise a far more widley
"accepted management standard" than NTP mode 6/7 packets in any case.

Deploying and managing the confoguration of the reference
implementation on Windows machines is complicated (requires scripting)
compared to using Group Policy to manage w32time. Almost all of our
windows boxes run w32time for this reason, unless they need the better
timekeeping of ntpd.

> and its inability to support reference clocks
> forces you into extra hardware, which the reference implementation on
> Windows does not.  It also makes debugging and fault finding more difficult,
> because you don't have a pool of expertise on which to fall back.  For those
> reasons, I would still recommend the reference NTP over the Microsoft
> version.

I agree, when you *need* ntpd features for specific applications. I
recommend w32time when you don't, as that is the simlpest from an
operational perspective. Keep it simple.

> RFC1305 refers to NTP v3, by the way, but I think most are now on NTP v4.

There is still no published RFC for NTPv4. Alternative implementers
cannot be expected to read the source code of the reference
implementation and track it for compatibiltiy and work-alike behavior.

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