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IETF: Draft Enterprise Profile for PTP Overview

By Erdem posted 03-15-2017 10:49


IEEE 1588v2 (also known as Precision Time Protocol, PTP) is an industry-standard protocol that enables the precise transfer of frequency and time to synchronize clocks over packet-based Ethernet networks between a system Grandmaster clock and slave clock within same clock domain. Please click the below link for more info regarding the PTP overview from Juniper.


The need for providing time accuracy and synchronization in the enterprise, data center, and financial networks is growing. Also, the Market in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) enforced by the European Securities and Market Authority (ESMA) will require all trades to be time-stamped to UTC at a high-level of precision, effective in January 2018.


So, the IETF has developed new PTP profile for Enterprise IT Networks. Please find the below link for more detailed info from the latest draft, which is version 06.


The IETF draft document describes the Enterprise Profile for PTP with mixed Multicast and Unicast messages. Some key Enterprise Profile characteristics are:


  • UDP over IPv4
  • End-to-End Delay Measurement Method
    • Supports non-1588 aware switches or routers to pass PTP messages across networks between PTP master and slave
  • IPv4 Multicast transport
    • The IPv4 Multicast address used for PTP is 224.0.129
    • Dynamic detection of slave streams instead of explicit configuration
  • Mixed Multicast and Unicast PTP messages
    • Multicast PTP Sync and Announce messages
      • Reduce the overhead/duplication at the Maste
    • Unicast PTP Delay_Requests and Delay_Responses messages 
      • Reduce traffic in network since the slave port won’t receive these messages from other slave ports
  • Unicast negotiation should be disabled while the system is running enterprise profile

Stay tuned for more on this topic.