Network Time Protocol
charter-ietf-ntp-03-01

The information below is for a proposed recharter. The current approved charter is version 03
Document Proposed charter Network Time Protocol WG (ntp)
Title Network Time Protocol
Last updated 2021-11-02
State External Review (Message to Community, Selected by Secretariat) Rechartering
WG State Active
IESG Responsible AD Erik Kline
Charter Edit AD Erik Kline
Telechat date On agenda of 2021-12-02 IESG telechat
Send notices to (None)

Charter
charter-ietf-ntp-03-01

Network Time Protocols working group

Accurate, precise, and reliable time is a key component of all modern
systems, devices, and applications. This requires reliable and accurate
network time synchronization over modern IP-based networks. Additionally,
accurate time is fundamental to implementing many important security
properties, and therefore often must be (cryptographically, or otherwise)
secured. The Network Time Protocols working group is focused on enhancing
existing network time synchronization protocols, such as the Network Time
Protocol (NTP), and specifying new network-time-related protocols or
extensions for purposes that the existing protocols are not well suited to
address.

NTP was first defined in the IETF in RFC 958 in 1985. It has been through
several iterations in the IETF. The latest, NTPv4 (RFC 5905) was published
in 2010. Today, it is a widely used time synchronization protocol
for the synchronization of clocks of various digital systems including
computers, networks, and a myriad of devices. Despite NTP's wide-spread
success, it has become apparent that it needs further development in order
to adequately meet the modern requirements of time synchronization
protocols and to meet the increasing security threats on the Internet.

The working group will continue to address the maintenance of NTPv4,
including extensions and corrections. This includes the introduction of an
interleave mode in order to enhance the accuracy of the network time
synchronization and the introduction of alternative clock selection
algorithms in order to enhance robustness against delay attacks.

NTP remains vulnerable to many types of attacks. Therefore, in 2020, the
working group published Network Time Security (NTS) as RFC 8915. NTS extends
NTP with an authentication approach to ensure authenticity of NTP time
servers and protects the integrity of exchanged NTP packets. The working
group will work on extending NTS to cover the remaining modes of service for
NTP not covered by the initial specification. The working group will also
work on extending NTS for PTP [1] in collaboration with the IEEE 1588
working group.

The working group will also develop an updated version of NTP
(preliminarily known as NTPv5), addressing a number of identified
weaknesses. The new specification will consist of a set of documents,
separating the on-wire protocol engine and the timing engine of NTP
clients and servers. The updated version of NTP will address the security
requirements specified in RFC 7384 and leverage the work completed in
RFC 8915.

Finally, the working group will address other network-time-related
protocols in the IETF (e.g., roughtime) as well as work on items brought to
the group from other standards bodies (e.g. IEEE 1588), with the
acknowledged request to do so from that body.

Working group items:

  * YANG model for NTPv4
  * interleaved mode for NTPv4
  * alternative clock selection algorithms
  * NTS for PTP
  * NTPv5 requirements
  * NTPv5 specification(s)
  * roughtime specification

[1] "IEEE Standard for a Precision Clock Synchronization Protocol for
    Networked Measurement and Control Systems," in IEEE Std 1588-2019
    (Revision of IEEE Std 1588-2008) , pp.1-499, 16 June 2020,
    doi: 10.1109/IEEESTD.2020.9120376.

Proposed milestones

No milestones for charter found.