Pendulum long-term goals: usability and security (video)

David
Security software engineer
Pendulum long-term goals: usability and security (video)
I was invited by OCP-TAP to join them in their 87th Project Call to talk about Pendulum, our Rust implementations of NTP and PTP. The recording of this call on 8 Nov 2023 is now available.

Video

In this talk, I introduce the NTPD-rs and Statime implementations of NTP and PTP respectively. I discuss the origins of the projects, their current state, and our long-term goals for both projects with respect to usability and security. I also go into detail on where our implementations deviate from the respective standards, why we deviate and why we believe our choices don't impact interoperability.

Slides

A PDF of the slides is available here.

OCP-TAP

OCP-TAP is short (very short) for the Time Appliances Project, by the Open Compute Project. In their own words, "the Open Compute Project (OCP) is a collaborative community focused on redesigning hardware technology to efficiently support the growing demands on compute infrastructure."

"Time Appliances Project (TAP) aims [...] to bring together the community of datacenter operators, application developers, and equipment and semiconductor companies [...] to enable datacenter time-sensitive applications such as consistency in distributed systems, edge computing, AR/VR and IoT. These applications will greatly benefit from high accuracy, reliable, and scalable distribution and synchronization of time."

Pendulum

The Pendulum project, containing both NTPD-rs and Statime, is an open-source time synchronisation project. You can check out the repositories on GitHub or read more about time synchornisation in our various blogs.

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The Pendulum project is building modern, full-featured implementations of the Network Time Protocol and the Precision Time Protocol. Pendulum focuses on security and robustness, and uses the Rust programming language to guarantee memory safety.

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Sovereign Tech Fund will support our effort to build modern and memory-safe implementations of the Network Time Protocol (NTP) and the Precision Time Protocol (PTP).
At Tweede golf, we are working on modern implementations of time synchronization protocols in Project Pendulum. The ntpd-rs project is part of it, and we've recently implementend the draft specification of NTPv5, for which we built a test server at IETF 118. This blogs covers the what, why and how (including a 'how to run').
About one year ago, Tweede Golf announced "Statime", a Rust implementation of the Precision Time Protocol (PTP). The result of that first phase was a working proof of concept. Quite a bit has changed since then.