Spectracom - Essential Ingenuity

Redundant NTP Servers for Automatic Failover

Question

Right now we have two NTP time servers in our environment. Is there any failover capability (if one NTP server fails, can the clients be automatically redirected to another NTP time server)?

Answer

 This question has a two-part answer:
 
  1. Two or more NTP servers on the same network can be peered together, so if one loses GPS reception (or other primary input references), it can also get time from another NTP server on the same network.  Instead of its NTP in the time server going to Stratum 16 after a period of time without GPS reception being restored (causing the clients to ignore it as a time reference), NTP peering allows it to continue to be a usable time reference to its NTP clients.  When GPS reception or other primary input reference is present, it will be a Stratum 1 server. If it loses GPS, it becomes a Stratum 2 server synced to another Stratum 1 server, via NTP time stamps exchanged with each other.  Stratum 2 allows the clients to still use it as a time reference, until GPS reception can be restored.
                          Contact Spectracom Technical Support for additional information on NTP peering of time servers.
                    
  1. The above NTP peering configuration helps resolve a GPS reception (or loss of other primary reference) issue with one NTP time server on the network. But if something happens to the time server besides a GPS reception issue, it may no longer be available to service NTP clients.  If this happens, the NTP client software will need to be to support the ability to point to more than one NTP server on the network.   This is a factor of the NTP client software and not a factor of the NTP server.   As each time server on the network has to have its own unique IP address, there can’t be more than one NTP server on the network with the same IP address. So if the NTP client software on the NTP clients can be configured to sync to more than NTP server, this allows the client software to be able to sync to redundant NTP servers.  Just configure the Client software to sync to each NTP server on the network.  If your NTP client software can only be configured to sync to one NTP server, and its running on a Windows computer, we offer a suite of software called PresenTense that allows Windows computers to be configured to sync to one, two or three NTP servers for automatic redundant time synchronization. 
 
For more information about PresenTense software, please visit us at: http://www.spectracomcorp.com/ProductsServices/TimingSynchronization/SynchronizationSoftware/PresenTenseNTPWindowsSoftware/tabid/1426/Default.aspx.
 

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