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Author Topic: Can ERS and VSP be NTP servers?  (Read 3180 times)

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Offline tfboy

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Can ERS and VSP be NTP servers?
« on: December 04, 2014, 01:16:03 PM »
Simple question really :)
I have some 5600 and VSP9000 switches which are currently getting time from external NTP servers fine. However, I'd like them to be NTP servers so lower-down clients can sync to them.
It's easy to set up as a client, but I can't find any information as a server. Is this something they can provide?
Thanks


Offline Telair

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Re: Can ERS and VSP be NTP servers?
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2014, 03:16:51 PM »
I am pretty sure they can't serve as an NTP time source.  If you have an AD domain your DC's can be domain time sources.

Offline tfboy

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Re: Can ERS and VSP be NTP servers?
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2014, 04:38:28 PM »
Thanks Telair.
We already have DCs but Microsoft's implementation of NTP leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to accuracy so I was looking for something a little more precise (accurate to a sub-second level and not around 5 minutes!)

Offline telecom116

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Re: Can ERS and VSP be NTP servers?
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2014, 06:22:47 PM »
Set up a couple of PCs running Linux (primary and secondary for redundancy and to check each other for accuracy) and use them as your network NTP sources inside your firewall.  Allow them access a higher stratum NTP source, such at your ISP and use them as to home everything within your network for NTP services.  Point everything else (AD, routers, servers) at these.

Don't put any more load on your switches or routers or your file & print; let them do what they're supposed to do, which is route, switch or serve up services.  Safer distributing NTP via something that actually follows accepted IETF standards.  Will also increase your security since you only have two devices that need NTP outside your network and let them distribute with the network.

Offline Telair

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Re: Can ERS and VSP be NTP servers?
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2014, 07:21:34 PM »
You can always look in to a GPS time server appliance that get it's time from orbiting GPS satellites.  Very, very accurate.  On some servers that need ms accuracy we have them down to within 20ms of GPS time on their clocks.

http://www.microsemi.com/products/timing-synchronization-systems/timing-synchronization-systems

Offline tfboy

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Re: Can ERS and VSP be NTP servers?
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2014, 03:15:22 AM »
We actually have a couple of GPS clocks - this is for a Broadcast facility where 20ms accuracy is required.
The clocks are out stratum 1 devices, but they are heavily firewalled and currently, only the AD DCs can reach them and then distribute as stratum 2 devices to all the clients on the "office" network. The issue is that it's using the MS implementation which isn't that precise.

We did look at using third party services like Net Time which is a good utility and gives a lot more precision, but the problem is that it doesn't seem to report / support stratum levels correctly so the DCs then are at stratum 14...

We could have a Linux box, but it would have to by physical (we have a lot of virtualised machines), and that's not something so easy to put in.

Thanks for the suggestions - I was really looking at getting the networking gear to do it (I've used Cisco switches before as NTP servers with great success). A shame that it doesn't seem to be supported by Avaya. We have a few Juniper security devices which also support NTP distribution, so maybe look at those, although the switches would have been preferred as their load is lower and less critical.