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NTP solutions

Hello All!

I'm just curious what everyone does/uses for NTP on their network. Or a better question yet, how important is it to you?

We run our own NTP server, but it's not GPS synced. So it does drift (A little more than I'd like it to). All of our radios sync to it, our routers, our servers, etc. So essentially if it's on our grid and belongs to us, it's synced. I'm doing a lot of work lately with log centralization as well. We're trying to really keep things in a single place and have it organized.

I'm just curious how much emphasis people put on NTP on their own networks. I'm really thinking it's time to get something serious that is synced to GPS, but just wondering how necessary it really is. I wouldn't care much if all of our stuff wasn't using it, and if I wasn't trying to centralize the logs etc... But with all that in mind, I'm thinking it's something we should do now.

Any thoughts?

... of ideas
Ottawa, ON

1 edit
said by voxframe:

We run our own NTP server, but it's not GPS synced.

You can buy the inexpensive GPS/PPS kit from Sure Electronics. It is used widely to build Linux NTP servers.

We designed a single box which incorporates DNS rapid resolver, NTP server and encrypted logging to SDXC cards. Satisfies past, present and future law enforcement requirements without compromising customer privacy.

*** The gps board is only $35 and in stock. » ··· hp?id=99

London, UK
reply to voxframe
Its definitely worth having all devices sync with an NTP server.

At the very least it gives you timestamps across your network that you can reliably line up if you need to correlate some events to track something down.

On-net is always better because you can better control the security of your implementation.

You can roll your own server as lutful suggests, or you can buy an appliance. Alternatively has a reasonably substantial collection of servers and server pools you can use. Most likely your upstream provider(s) are running an NTP server or two, so its always worth asking them what the addresses are and if you can use them either directly, or sync your own server from them.

My only gripe with is that servers are typically run by 3rd parties, and they come and go from time to time, so you need to at least a couple of times a year check to make sure that all of the peers you set up are still valid.

This is easier if you have a central NTP server that all of your devices sync to, since you only need to change it in one location.

If you already have a *nix box, you can set up the built in NTP daemon pretty quickly (I can send a copy of my config if you like.)

John Galt
Forward, March
Happy Camp
reply to voxframe
Use this to update your server:

» ··· 738.html

The Glitch
Cayuga, ON
reply to voxframe
I use my core router as an NTP server (mikrotik), that syncs off of some other NTP server. or something. Then all my internal routers and what have you sync to my core router.

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