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NTP time synchronization -  Domain Controllers Server 2012

Posted on 2013-06-17
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Last Modified: 2013-06-18
Can anyone recommend a cloud based timing solution, to keep our Domain Controllers Server 2012 synchronized.
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Question by:techgenious
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frankhelk earned 235 total points
ID: 39253208
I don't know what you mean by "cloud based", but I would recommend "the real thing" - a Windows port of the standard NTP implementation. See here for a list. I usually use the Meinberg port (3rd in the list) from here. If properly configured, NTP works like a charm - silent, precise, stable. Usually keeps your systems in sync with the master by about some 10 milliseconds.

Furthermore I would recommend to use the service at pool.ntp.org for a selection of time servers. Try these time server entries in your ntp.conf:
server 0.pool.ntp.org iburst
server 1.pool.ntp.org iburst
server 2.pool.ntp.org iburst
server 3.pool.ntp.org iburst

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Besides of this "worldwide" set of servers there are regional ( "continental", or even more fine grained: "per country") sets of servers, too, i.e. for Europe
server 0.europe.pool.ntp.org iburst
server 1.europe.pool.ntp.org iburst
server 2.europe.pool.ntp.org iburst
server 3.europe.pool.ntp.org iburst

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or i.e. for France
server 0.fr.pool.ntp.org iburst
server 1.fr.pool.ntp.org iburst
server 2.fr.pool.ntp.org iburst
server 3.fr.pool.ntp.org iburst

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Please read the documentation on http://www.pool.ntp.org for details.
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by:techgenious
ID: 39253737
can you recommend any HW based NTP devices.
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by:frankhelk
ID: 39255481
The only thing I've used as dedicated NTP server is the Meinberg LANTIME M300. It gets its time from a external source, i.e. DCF77, GPS etc. (you have to choose in advance ... time source is model dependent) and supplies it via NTP (and other protocols) to the clients. It could use internet time servers as additonal time sources, too, and it allows to group several devices as high availability cluster. This hardware solution is convenient if no connection to the internet is available. Unfortunately it costs twice as much as a cheap desktop PC.  If you prefer this one, get the V6 firmware. I have not tested others, but I find that one OK.

If Internet access is available, I would recommend to put the (small) burden onto one of your machines an get the time from the NTP server pool I've mentioned. Full service for nearly no expenses.

If you prefer a dedicated time server, just buy a cheap PC for this (or use a still working one out of the scrap container - there's no need for a supercomputer to accomlish that task ... anything capable of running at least W2k or Linux would do) and install a NTP service. To save expenses you might use Linux - i.e. openSUSE - which has a complete NTP service installed by default.

BTW: A nice tool for monitoring the time sync state for a buch of of NTP clients is NTPMonitor, which could be found here.
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