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:

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

Direct Consumption

With direct consumption, you can consume either Precision Time Protocol (PTP) or Network Time Protocol (NTP):

  • Direct consumption offers high accuracy to all end devices.
  • Direct consumption 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.

PTP Direct Consumption

In this model, you directly receive PTP from Equinix Precision Time on all the end devices.

NTP Direct Consumption

In this model, you directly receive NTP on all the end devices.

Cascaded Consumption

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.

  • There is no upper limit to the number of devices you can synchronize on a single service.
  • This model lets you add hops, which can increase accuracy.

PTP to PTP Cascaded Consumption

In this consumption model, first you receive PTP from Equinix Precision Time, then distribute PTP.

PTP to NTP Cascaded Consumption

In this consumption model, first you receive PTP from Equinix Precision Time, then distribute NTP.

NTP to NTP Cascaded Consumption

In this consumption model, first you receive NTP from Equinix Precision Time, then distribute NTP.