June 2012 Archives

The client base for the NTP Pool continues to grow, so we also need to increase the number of servers. Being a "public utility" of sorts (you likely use it for some computer or device in your house, office or both even if you don't know it), we need help from, well, the public. At least the particular kind of public who is running a server or two with static IP addresses and know how to configure a new daemon on it.

There are several thousand and new ones are added regularly, however from natural attrition the total number of servers have been stagnating or even going down lately, even in Europe. Some countries still have very good coverage (Germany for example), but many others really could use more.

In Asia virtually all countries could use more servers, even or maybe in particular Japan, China and India. In South America there are virtually no servers outside Brazil.

Iceland recently joined the pool as a "full zone"; so far just with two servers.

More servers in any country are very welcome, but in particular in the countries with sparse coverage it'll be great to get more.

Today I am experimenting with hosting www.pool.ntp.org through Fastly. If you don’t know about them, they make an excellent CDN based on Varnish serving billions of requests a day.

The downside is that it is IPv4 only (currently), but then all the “static assets” (CSS files, images, etc) were already served by them, so using the site with only IPv6 was not a good experience.

Fastly is also hosting Perldoc.perl.org and have been doing so for a while.

Anyway, while the experiment is ongoing, accessing the pool site should be even faster than before, in particular for those of you who are in Europe or in the eastern US.

Some months ago our friends at Phyber setup a few more servers for the NTP Pool project. Over the last months I've been moving services to them to make the NTP Pool infrastructure run faster and with more redundancy.

The old RRD based graphs (deprecated a few months ago) are still being used a bit, but really don't play well with having multiple servers. Over the last week I changed the site to generate the offset and score graphs via the same D3.js based system and PhantomJS.

Offset graph

As you can see the score and the offset log are in one graph now, where the old graphs unhelpfully had separate charts for that. If you are using both on an internal dashboard, please update to just use the offset.png version.

Downloading the .rrd files don't work anymore, but instead you can fetch the recent monitoring data in JSON format (in addition to the old CSV format), for example http://www.pool.ntp.org/scores/207.171.7.152/json. If you really want the data in RRD format, you can easily take either of these to generate it yourself. Both log formats support a "since" parameter (taking a unix timestamp, for example since= 1339132534) to only show data points after that time.

I'll also add a javascript widget version that you can embed on your own pages.