[time] {0,1,2}.<zone>.pool.ntp.org; new monitoring system

Adrian 'Dagurashibanipal' von Bidder clockmaster
Tue Sep 7 20:34:53 UTC 2004


Currently, the project consists of 220 servers, and counting steadily.  
Thanks to all the volounteers donating their servers, pointing others to 
the project (especially in the default configurations of various operating 
system distributions!) and posting articles on web pages.

 - openntp
 - monitoring system
 - new 0, 1, 2 subzones
 - legacy time.fortytwo.ch zone


It came to my attention that OpenNTP has a serious flaw: it seems to always 
report itself as a 'stratum 2' server, regardless of its true stratum.  So 
I ask you: please do *NOT* use this server as a server in the pool.ntp.org 
project.  The stratum of a timeserver is used to prevent loops, and killing 
this loop detection may cause a group of time servers to slowly run away 
without anyone noticing for a long time.

Monitoring system

As announced (but, of course, a few days late), I finally retired the 
monitoring system as it is now and replaced it by a much simpler one.  Now, 
every server is just queried once per hour by a simple perl script (using 
Net::NTP), and scores are assigned according to the offset measured to my 
 +1             if offset < 0.5s
 -2*$offset + 2 if 0.5s < offset < 1.5s
 -2             if offset > 1.5s
 -5             if server is unreachable (timeout 2s)
As with the old system, the scores are multiplied by 0.95 every hour, too, 
so a opimally running server will still have a score of 20, and a server 
which is offline will go to -100.

0, 1, 2, ...

For every pool.ntp.org zone, there is now also a 0, 1 and 2.<zone> subzone. 
If enough servers are available, the zones won't overlap (europe and the 
global zone, I believe), for the other zones, some servers may be present 
in more than one zone. But still, if you happen to have a nameserver which 
does not rotate the entries, this should mostly solve your problem.

As before, all zones are changed every hour, so that the order of the 
servers will not be the same for long.


The project started as time.fortytwo.ch, and now I'm thinking about retiring 
that zone within the next few months.  So, if anybody still has an old 
configuration in use, now is the time to change it from time.fortytwo.ch to 

Ok, that's it for now.  Web page changes to reflect this newsletter, and 
some more web site translations, are next in the pipeline, but with me 
starting a new Job, time is a bit crowded.

-- vbi

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