Network Models and Time Synchronization

This topic gives a high-level description of the network models that Equinix Precision Time (Precision Time) supports, and how client devices consume time distributed by the service. Match your system to the models shown below to determine the best Precision Time configuration for your topology needs. Note that the Precision Time distribution network model does not vary between models. Instead, only the network consumption model varies between network scenarios.

The following consumption models are available, for both non-redundant and redundant configurations:

  • Direct Consumption – Ideal for a small number of devices to synchronize.  
    • Available for either Precision Time Protocol (PTP) or Network Time Protocol (NTP).

    • Offers high accuracy to all end devices.

    • Has an inherent upper limit to the number of devices you can connect to Precision Time on a single service. The upper limit is determined by the service tier you employ. For details on service tiers, see Ordering Equinix Precision Time.

  • Cascaded Consumption – Ideal for thousands of devices to synchronize to a single reference time. This model is applicable for a private internal network, or for multiple private networks connected to end devices.

    • You can connect one or two devices directly to the service, after which you can synchronize devices in your internal or private network to those connected devices.

    • You can synchronize an unlimited number of devices on a single service.

    • You can add as many hops as you want, but keep in mind every additional hop might impact the accuracy levels.

Within either model:

  • Precision Time supports Equinix Fabric port redundancy or non-redundancy topology.

  • Precision Time supports Network Edge redundancy or non-redundancy topology.

    Important: Network Edge (with or without redundancy) is supported only for NTP-Enterprise Service.