思博伦环形标志
云和虚拟化

Assuring Datacenter Synchronization in the Live 5G Network

作者:

Timing synchronization within and across datacenters is the lynchpin of 5G data integrity. Operators need to ensure the time difference between any two datacenter servers is accurate within 100 microseconds. Read about ways of avoiding inaccurate timestamps and meet regulatory requirements.

We previously explored why this has been so difficult for datacenter operators, especially in comparison to previous generation architectures. But our latest work with customers has demonstrated a path forward. Importantly, at the core of any successful accuracy and performance timing strategy will be the ability to verify synchronization in the live network.

This calls for a dedicated tool for measuring datacenter timing and synchronization with microsecond accuracy.

Measurement techniques for datacenter synchronization

The endless glut of traffic generated by video streaming and other applications has driven rapid growth in datacenters, even before the arrival of anticipated 5G services. Datacenter servers are often physically separated across remote locations in less-than-ideal conditions, threatening performance.

Sure, manual methods can be used to determine timing offsets but there are several downsides to this approach, especially in light of 100-microsecond accuracy requirements:

  • Manual methods don’t scale to the level needed for burgeoning 5G traffic

  • Testing at remote locations is time-consuming and expensive

  • Satellite GNSS/GPS atomic clocks are difficult to access and distribute across the datacenter

  • Cabling of various lengths can insert variable timing errors

  • Specialized hardware is often needed to get a device timestamp

The need for a more efficient approach to timing and synchronization assurance is clear. But how can datacenter operators evaluate test tools that will verify datacenter timing in live, working networks?

Requirements for a 5G-ready datacenter timing test solution

What capabilities should operators look for when evaluating a datacenter synchronization test solution? Based on Spirent’s ongoing work, we recommend prioritizing selection based on the ability to:

  • Take accurate measurements on a live network

  • Support unattended operation

  • Provide results to a centralized location, such as a network management center

  • Leverage a built-in atomic clock, such as a Rubidium clock, so measurements can be taken throughout the datacenter without needing to access a GNSS/GPS signal

  • Identify issues before they impact QoS

  • Deploy at scale

Of course, there are also technical requirements to balance, such as the need to continuously acquire measurement data, enable simultaneous measurement of multiple synchronization signals, and support Network Timer Protocol (NTP), Precision Time Protocol (PTP) and 1 pulse per second (1 pps) measurements. Importantly, the time/phase measurement must also have microsecond precision and measurements need to be graphed in real-time.

Maintaining accurate time within the datacenter

Learn about our work with a global vendor that needed to achieve sub-nanosecond timing performance for PTP and SyncE. A recent case study featuring Spirent Sentinel explores the challenges encountered and the range of goals that were met in this next-gen, 5G-centric environment.

Guest contributor: Bryan Hovey, Product Manager, Calnex Solutions

Image source: By Clément Bucco-Lechat - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47366512

喜欢我们的内容吗?

在这里订阅我们的博客

博客订阅

Malathi Malla
Malathi Malla

Malathi Malla主管思博伦的云、数据中心和虚拟化分部。她负责的是产品营销、技术营销和产品管理业务,推进各类云和IP解决方案的入市战略。她在多家硅谷创业企业和大型企业拥有超过14年的高技术从业经验,包括Citrix、IBM、Sterling Commerce(AT&T的软件分部)和Comergent Technologies。Malathi还在开放联网基金会和OpenDayLight等多个开源社区担任思博伦的首席营销代表。欢迎通过LinkedIn或关注Twitter上的@malathimalla,与Malathi交流并建立联系。