Knowledgebase:
Setting up redundancy
Posted by Uzair A., Last modified by Uzair A. on 29 July 2019 11:49

This article provides useful information for our customers who wish to setup their devices in redundancy mode. Please note that the information in this article applies to the NTS-6001 and 6002 units only, running Firmware 11 or higher.

If your time server is running a software version older than version 11, you will need to upgrade your device to the latest firmware. The latest firmware brings with it the latest in security, stability and bug fixes. Upgrade instructions can be found here:

NTS-6002 Upgrade Instructions

NTS-6001 Upgrade Instructions

Below are a few redundancy features that our NTP servers offer:

(A)
Teaming
- This method enables both network cards in your NTS-6002 or 6001 to work together as one single card. This provides more bandwidth for the network and redundancy for your NTP server. There are 2 redundant modes for Teaming: Load Balancing and Failover. Load balancing will step in if one network card is under more stress than the other network card. In this case, load balancing will send data to the other network card and effectively balance the load between both network cards. Failover kicks in if one network suddenly becomes offline for whatever reason. Failover will use the second network until the first network is back online. Also, if in rare circumstances the network card becomes faulty, the second network card will take over. Load balancing and failover are both on by default when Teaming is enabled on your NTP server.

(B) Peering – Peering your NTP server to one or more time servers means that if your server loses connection with its antenna, it would synchronise to the peered time server via the Network Time Protocol. In theory, this should prevent disruption to client(s) that your NTP server is serving. What’s good about this option is that you don’t need to purchase another Network Time Protocol server, you could configure peering to a public time server (such as; pool.ntp.org). Providing your server has access to the Internet, this should work fine.

(C) Using Two Time Sources with your NTP server – This method requires two antennas. Here at Galleon Systems, we offer dual time-source NTP servers. Specifically, the NTP server will have both a GPS and Radio antenna connected to it. The NTP server will always favour GPS as a time-source as it is more reliable and accurate than the radio time-source. However, if for whatever reason, the server was to lose connection with its GPS antenna, the unit should switch to the radio time source. MSF is the radio signal for the UK (the signal originates from Cumbria), DCF for Frankfurt, Germany and WWVB for North America.


(A) How to enable Teaming

  1. Navigate to the web interface and login with your credentials. Ensure your device is running software version 11 or above by navigating to the Software Versions page, which is under the Administration tab in the web interface (if you have an NTS-6002, your device will be on version 11).
  2. Ensure you have connected both Ethernet cables which should lead to different switches or routers. Navigate to the Teaming page which is under the Network tab. Enter your network information. For fault tolerance and load balancing, ensure the bond mode is set to 'balance-rr'. Once you have finished configuring the unit, click 'Enable Teaming'.

For changes to take effect, you will need to restart the unit. To confirm if the changes have been taken effect, log into the web interface and view the 'Dashboard'. You should see 'Bonded Network' and all the relevant network information. This can be seen in the print screen below.


(B) How to configure Peering

To peer your NTP server to one or more NTP servers, you need to ensure that the NTP servers can reach each other. If you are peering to an Internet time server, ensure your NTP server has Internet access. You can verify reachability by using the Ping tool which is under the Network Tools tab. If your NTP server is going through a firewall, ensure port 123 over UDP is allowed on your Firewall.

  1. Navigate to the web interface and login with your credentials. From the navigation menu on the left click 'NTP' and then 'NTP Customisation'.
  2. You will now need to type in the IP address of the other NTP Server. Type the following command without quotes 'server 192.168.0.2' and replace the IP in this statement with the IP or hostname of the second NTP Server. If you are peering your NTP server to a pool (for example: pool.ntp.org), the statement would be ‘pool pool.ntp.org’. Replace the hostname in this statement with the hostname or IP of the pool. Once you have completed this step, you can verify if the peer was successful by following the steps below.

Verifying if your NTP server is being assisted

You can confirm if the peering was successful by logging into the web interface and clicking 'NTP' and 'NTP Status'. If there is a '*' next to the IP, it means that this is the current time source. The '+' refers to an NTP Server that is assisting you. If there is a ‘+’ next to the IP address or hostname of the NTP server that you configured peering with, it means you have peered the NTP servers together successfully. You can refer to the screenshot below for more information.

An 'X' is used to indicate a discarded source.

The source could be discarded due to a few issues. There could be network issues that might prevent the time server from reaching the peered source. Or, the time server may determine that the source is not accurate, using NTP algorithms.


(C) Using Two Time Sources with your NTP server

Contact Galleon Systems if you wish to purchase another antenna for your NTP server. Please note that we can only guarantee compatibility with a Galleon NTP server. For more information, fill in our contact form: http://www.galsys.co.uk/contact/


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