I run an NTP server. This page is dedicated to that. If you want more info on NTP, you should go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_Time_Protocol. If you’re wondering whether ntpdate is good enough to keep your clock synchronized, don’t. It isn’t. Just go install ntp (or ntpd) and let it run.
ntp.shanebishop.net (Stratum 3 NTP)
System: VIA C3 800MHz, 256 MB RAM, Debian Linux 6.0
Graphs from www.pool.ntp.org
This server is known as my ‘computer on a stick’. When I say ‘stick’, I mean an actual piece of wood, not a memory stick. It was originally an old Gateway computer that I acquired as a castaway in 2001. It still ran fine, but was horribly slow (and bulky). It had an Intel Pentium 200 MHz processor, and I upgraded it to 184 MB of RAM. I stripped out all the parts from the original case, and attached them to a board. I started my first website around that time, and ran apache on that machine, but it was quite slow, and not very responsive. Nevertheless, I kept it running until I left college.
It laid dormant for several years while I got married, and started a real website, and a real job. Finally, in the Fall of 2008, I decided I should see if it still ran. Having gone through several moves, it didn’t. Fortunately, I had some newer hardware laying around, and so the c.o.s. was reborn with an Intel Pentium 3 1.0GHz processor, and 384 MB RAM.
I wanted to do something useful with it, but at the same time, I didn’t want to have it burning cpu cycles constantly with something like distributed.net. My mind came back to one of my previous jobs where I had set up an ntp server within the ntp pool. So the c.o.s. now had a purpose as well. I also had been using my own jabber server hosted by Dreamhost, but the plugins they were using for transports kept getting out of date (and not fixed), so I installed Openfire on the c.o.s. also.
On June 4, 2009, I came into possession of some newer hardware that I didn’t want to go to waste. The c.o.s. was upgraded to DDR finally with 512 MB of RAM and an Athlon XP 1800(1.533 GHz). It also needed a new power supply for the first time, which amazes me just slightly.
On June 8, 2009, I found some more RAM, althought it required a downgrade back to regular SDRAM. Now, the c.o.s. has 1.5 GB of RAM. Wahoo!
October 28, 2009: The c.o.s. experiences a major downgrade. I discovered an old box with a VIA C3 800 MHz processor in a pile of junk computers. The motherboard won’t accept my 512MB or 1GB RAM sticks, so it’s stuck with the 256MB it had on the board. Why did I do it? 2 reasons, maybe 3: Because I could, because it should be more power efficient, because the motherboard is much smaller, and may enable me to revisit my original plans for this computer. The original plan for this computer, back when I first received the original Pentium 200 MHz box was to stick all the parts in a trash basket. However, most of the motherboards I’ve had were just a bit too large for a reasonable sized wastebasket. This one is just under 7″ in both dimensions, and has a smaller power supply to match. I’ll be monitoring the reliability of the ntp service as I don’t want to degrade that, and I’ll be checking power consumption too.
November 16, 2009: The c.o.s. was moved to a better Internet connection, along with all the other servers at the college. As an update to the last update, the reliability of the ntp service while running on the VIA C3 has been very good. The frequency (which is a measurement of how accurate the hardware clock is), has been very low (which is good) and stable. The power consumption has seen a fantastic drop, around 60% (rough estimate).
March 12, 2012: The c.o.s. is moved to a different Internet connection, so I’ll be re-evaluating my upstream servers. May be able to hit the stratum 2 servers at U.M. since we are direct connected to them now, but they haven’t proven to be as reliable as others I’ve tested.No comments