Decentralized Datacenters: Achieving Microsend Time Sync Accuracy
People all over the world are using the internet more and more to do things like watch videos, use social media, play games, and trade stocks. This means that we're creating more data every second of every day. To make sure the internet works better, companies are spreading out their data centers so they're closer to us, otherwise called decentralization of data centers. But this creates a new problem because now data is being made in lots of different places at once, which can make it outdated quickly. This is especially important for things like stock trading where accurate time stamps are needed to follow rules and regulations.
In order for companies to address the issue of data becoming stale due to decentralization of data centers, they need to ensure that all their data centers are kept in sync with each other. This is so that the data remains up-to-date and relevant. To achieve this, companies need to have a very accurate time-keeping system in place. The requirement for accuracy has become even more stringent, with some companies needing accuracy down to a few microseconds.
To achieve this level of accuracy, companies are using two different systems for time synchronization: NTP and PTP. NTP is designed to work well on the internet, while PTP works even better on local networks. These systems are designed to keep all the data centers in sync with each other, but the accuracy of the systems is limited by the conditions under which they operate. For example, the accuracy of these systems can be affected by factors such as network latency, packet loss, and jitter.
In order to make sure that these systems are working as they should, companies need to test them in real-world conditions. This is known as "field testing." Field testing is important because it provides companies with the assurance that their time-keeping systems are delivering the level of accuracy that they require, and that the data generated by their decentralized data centers remains up-to-date and relevant. By doing this, companies can ensure that they are able to reap the benefits of decentralization, such as lower latency and improved user experience.
How do I perform field testing?
With the help of Calnex's Sentinel. The Sentinel's most unique feature - you can test NTP/PTP 2way TE without needing access to GNSS. If you need to move the Sentinel around your data center, simply get a reference from a GM/Stratum 1 Server to improve the time-keeping of the Sentinel's built-in clock, and then test it in a "holdover mode."
The Sentinel can either run tests for a set amount of time or keep running indefinitely. Plus, its API lets you control it from a distance - you can change its settings, start and stop live testing, and check how it's doing and get the results. The Sentinel has a big screen and easy-to-use interface, and also has security features like a password and screen lock.