Clock Synchronization in Distributed Systems Using NTP and PTP

Authored by: Reinhard Exel , Thilo Sauter , Paolo Ferrari , Stefano Rinaldi

Industrial Communication Technology Handbook

Print publication date:  August  2014
Online publication date:  August  2014

Print ISBN: 9781482207323
eBook ISBN: 9781482207330
Adobe ISBN:


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The measurement of time and time intervals has been subject to investigation since the dawn of mankind. With the rise of spatially distributed computers connected by a data network, the need to establish a network-wide timebase has sparked the interest in clock synchronization. One of the first works covering the ordering of events in a distributed network was published by Lamport in 1978 [1]. In the following, a plethora of algorithms and protocols have been designed, not only to enable the ordering of events but also to provide a common notion of time. This degree of synchronization additionally enables to coordinate and schedule actions between multiple computers connected to a common network. Nowadays, clock synchronization is often considered as a basic service of a network technology.

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