Measuring Accuracy of Time Synchronization

May 28th 2013 · 1 min read

A short tour of how to measure time synchronization clients and what performance to expect

One of the most common errors in financial trading systems IT is taking the self-reported numbers of time synchronization clients at face value. Every time synchronization client reports a number that is supposed to reflect how well it is doing - how closely it is tracking the reference time source. Often that number is wildly off. TimeKeeper’s accuracy reporting software was developed by instrumenting servers to be able to check internal time against an external reference. For example, we can run TimeKeeper as a PTP or NTP client on a network port and, at the same time, poll an external pulse-per-second driven by a GPS clock. More sophisticated tests are also used - in fact, TimeKeeper’s unique ability to track multiple time sources is a great foundation for testing. This paper covers some measurements and some methods.

White Paper: here