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I am looking for a software / hardware network time synchronization solution.


  • Number of nodes ~ 40
  • The time reading will be performed from a Windows Software (Server 2008 or 2012)
  • ~ 30 time reads per second.
  • Network bandwidth and quality is not optimal
  • Accuracy must be below 10 ms (of time reads on different nodes)
  • Unfortunately, due to some limitations we cannot install a GPS on each node.

We tried NTP before, but experienced machine clock jitter above 10 ms, specifically when the network was busy.

Any suggestions will be appreciated.

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closed as off topic by SvW, RolandoMySQLDBA, mdpc, Magellan, kce May 9 '13 at 18:34

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what OS version? –  tony roth May 9 '13 at 13:42
What do you mean by bandwidth quality not optimal? What's the latency? Do you see huge packet loss? –  tristan May 9 '13 at 13:50
also what was your ntp time source, was it local to you network? –  tony roth May 9 '13 at 13:58
If <10 ms synchronization is that important to you, you need to be using real-time OSes all wired directly to an atomic clock. –  Ryan Ries May 9 '13 at 14:39
The nodes may be few KMs distant from each other, The OS in each node is Windows Server 2008 R2 or 2012, the NTP source is a GPS on a central node, and I cannot use a real time O/S or Linux because we have to reuse Windows software on this system. The network can be considered as a WAN. –  dux2 May 9 '13 at 15:39

1 Answer 1

You should investigate GPS-based time synchronization devices with outdoor antennas. The accuracy of geographically distant systems using GPS can be less than 1 ms provided you are using the right hardware.

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To get a window that short, you typically have to optimize NTP. If you can't do that due to network issues, I second the GPS-based device approach. –  lmickh May 9 '13 at 15:26
Unfortunately, due to some limitations I cannot install a GPS on each node. –  dux2 May 9 '13 at 15:33

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