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Linux Journal: Understanding NTP Reachability Statistics

Jan 07, 2004, 08:30 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Todd Jacobs)

"You're a typical system administrator, with a million and two urgent things to do before you get to go home for the day. Next on your list is bringing up a new NTP server for your department so your systems can use the Network Time Protocol to synchronize their clocks with a reference time source... You've already compiled and installed ntpd for your platform and are ready to take the next step.

"Keeping accurate time is an important aspect of both system administration and network security. If you've ever had the dubious pleasure of trying to match up log events on multiple systems, you know how critical accurate timestamps can be in tracking an event as it flows through your network.

"On a busy server, you may have dozens of similar log entries every second. If your system clocks are even a few seconds apart, you may have tremendous difficulty determining which event on Server A matches up with the same event on Server B. NTP addresses these issues by keeping system clocks synchronized with a reference time source, often to within a few milliseconds even over the open Internet..."

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