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NTP and DHCP protocols

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To synchronize the clocks of computers over a network,NTP protocol is designed. NTP version 3 is an internet draft standard, formalized in RFC 1305 and NTP version 4 is a significant revision of the NTP standard, and is the current development version, but has not been formalized in an RFC. Simple NTP (SNTP) version 4 is described in RFC 2030.


Network Time Protocol (NTP) keeps corporate networks functioning

As the global marketplace has grown more reliant on the network computing and the Internet, the importance of Network Time Protocol, or NTP, has grown as well. Simply put, NTP is the protocol used to synchronize the clocks of computers across multiple networks or on a network, like the Internet. Without adequate NTP synchronization, organizations cannot expect their applications and network to function properly. And in this digital age of sales transactions and instantaneous communication, a failed corporate network can quickly lead to loss of credibility with customers and to loss of profitability as well. That's why so many companies the world over have selected NTP systems from Symmetricom to manage and protect their corporate networks

Symmetricom delivers NTP systems for organizations worldwide

Symmetricom markets and builds NTP synchronization solutions for clients in more than 90 countries. Symmetricom's NTP products are found in telecom networks; defense,avionics, and space systems; and IT networks in enterprises and other organizations. Customers of Symmetricom's NTP products include government and research facilities, network service providers, telecom equipment manufacturers, military and aerospace contractors, and major enterprises around the globe.

Symmetricom NTP product offerings and time servers offer superior reliability and comprehensive solutions for network time synchronization. Symmetricom's NTP devices include the software necessary to synchronize, manage and monitor time and dedicated network time servers on all the components of a network.

The dangers of poor NTP timekeeping

When NTP is poorly handled on a corporate network, organizations can face a number of severe consequences and data may be lost when NTP is not properly synchronized and an old version of a file is inadvertently saved as the latest version. Critical operations like data backup or order processing may breakdown when tasks that need to happen in a specific sequence on different computers at exact times happen out of order.Network security can be compromised when network administrators can't track the activities of hackers because time stamps on log files are not accurate and because time stamping is such an important part of legal contracts handled electronically, poor NTP synchronization can also expose organizations to increased legal liability.

DHCP(Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol)

This protocol is used to assign IP addresses to workstations or hosts on the network. Usually a DHCP server on the network performs this function and it "leases" out address for specific times to the various hosts. If a host does not use a given address for some period of time, that IP address can then be assigned to another machine by the DHCP server. When assignments are changed or made, the DHCP server must update the information in the DNS server.

As with BOOTP, DHCP uses the machine's or hardware address or NIC ethernet (MAC) to determine IP address assignments. The DHCP protocol is built on BOOTP and replaces BOOTP and DHCP extends the vendor specific area in BOOTP to 312 bytes from 64. RFC 1541 defines DHCP.

DHCP Lease Stages

  1. Lease Request - The client send a broadcast requesting an IP address

  2. Lease Offer - The server send the above information and marks the offered address as unavailable and the message sent is a DHCPOFFER broadcast message.

  3. Lease Acceptance - The first offer received by the client is accepted and the acceptance is sent from the client as a broadcast (DHCPREQUEST message) including the IP address of the DNS server that sent the accepted offer and other DHCP servers retract their offers and mark the offered address as available and the accepted address as unavailable.

  4. Server lease acknowledgement - The server sends a a DHCPNACK or DHCPACK if an unavailable address was requested.

Benefits of DHCP

All servers and clients need an IP address on a TCP/IP network.  How will you configure those dotty dot numbers on your TCP/IP property tabs?  automatically, or Manually via DHCP?  Let us investigate what advantages an automatic DHCP service has over the manual alternative.

  • DHCP needs much less effort - manual configuration is labour intensive and boring.  Above all, DHCP options give a sense of the central control.
  • Easy to update a default gateway or DNS server's IP address. and manual changes would be a nightmare, you would have to visit every machine.
  • No IP duplicate addresses provided you configure the DHCP scopes intelligently and there will never be another 'Duplicate IP address' problem to eat into your valuable time.

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Keywords: NTP and DHCP protocols, ntp windows 2000, ntp time servers, windows 2003 ntp, windows 2000 dhcp, red hat dhcp, dhcp dns server, red hat ntp, windows 2003 dhcp, dhcp ip address, dhcp rfc, ntp port, cisco protocols, ntp ports, router protocols, ntp server, network protocols, ntp linux, ntp servers, ethernet protocols, networking protocols

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