[pool.ntp.org] 87 servers so far / web server configuration / some other small things

[pool.ntp.org] 87 servers so far / web server configuration / some other small things

Post by Adrian 'Da » Thu, 18 Sep 2003 02:41:23

o all!

It has been a while since the last newsletter. Mainly, this is because not
much has been happening. The project still grows by roughly 1 server every

Topics today:
- zone count
- entering pool.ntp.org in your web browser
- problems with some resolver libraries
- nameserver changes
- future: monitoring

current zone count

There are a few zones with only 1 or 2 servers - I don't recommend using
these, as a server failure effectively kills your ntp configuration. The
zones with 3 and more servers are:

3 fr.p.n.o
3 pl.p.n.o
5 nz.p.n.o
6 oceania.p.n.o
7 de.p.n.o
10 ch.p.n.o
10 nl.p.n.o
33 us.p.n.o
34 north-america.p.n.o
46 europe.p.n.o
87 pool.ntp.org

Thanks to all contributors!

pool.ntp.org in your web browser

If you type pool.ntp.org (or nl.pool.ntp.org or north-america.pool.ntp.org)
in your web browser, it shows a random web site which has probably nothing
to do with the pool.ntp.org project. This is only natural, since the idea
of the project was to distribute the pool.n.o addresses over as many hosts
as possible.

But as the project is targetted as not-so-tech-savvy users who might be
confused by this, I suggest that you add a virtual host to your web server
configuration - if this is possible (I do *not* consider this a
requirement. It's just one of these nice-to-have things that would not be
much work if you happen to run a webserver on your ntp server anyway). On
apache, the configuration would be:
| <VirtualHost *:80>
| ServerName pool.ntp.org
| ServerAlias <continent>.pool.ntp.org
| ServerAlias <country>.pool.ntp.org
| Redirect permanent / http://www.pool.ntp.org/
| </VirtualHost>
Where <country> and <continent> of course are replaced to match your
timeserver's location.

resolver libraries

The 'Round-Robin' thing...

It was reported that the nameserver caching daemon (nscd) of Sun's
operating system does not rotate cache entries - so, the sample config file
of the web site does not work, since the same server is added three times.

If you're affected by this, three strategiese offer itself:
- if you can, install a caching nameserver in your local network (one that
does rotate entries) and disable the nscd on all systems (or at least for
DNS resolution on the timeservers).
- use different names in your timeserver config (like
server ch.pool.ntp.org
server ch.time.fortytwo.ch
server nl.pool.ntp.org
server nl.time.fortytwo.ch
(yes, the old time.fortytwo.ch names do still work)
- manually pick a number of satisfying timeservers from the list returned
by the 'host' or 'nslookup' program.

Another solution would be to re-introduce sub-zones like
{1,2,3}.pool.ntp.org. Personally, I think that would be a step backwards,
and also I don't really like the many zones that would create (for
country-level and continent-level zones, too). If this issue comes up more
often I could be persuaded otherwise, but right now I don't think it's
worth the bother.

nameserver things

Since f.ns.madduck.net seems to be down (and the administrator indicated
that it likely will be unreliable in the future) I have to request a change
in the nameserver configuration. I have tak

[pool.ntp.org] 87 servers so far / web server configuration / some other small things

Post by Dale Worle » Sat, 20 Sep 2003 09:55:11

Adrian 'Dagurashibanipal' von Bidder < XXXX@XXXXX.COM > writes:

I'm curious how many *clients* are using the pool service. One way to
count would be to log DNS queries for 'pool.ntp.org'. Another would
be to do periodic 'ntpdc -c monlist -n' on each member of the pool and
see what clients use more than one member of the pool (which should
eliminate clients of the server within the server's organization).