Network Time Protocol monitoring

Network Time Protocol is used to synchronize time across a network of computers. Time synchronization is vital to many distributed systems, including Kubernetes. You can use Dynatrace to monitor the time offset of your hosts and chart it on your dashboards.

Because Dynatrace detects host time drift, you're also able to observe NTP synchronization failures. If your host isn't synced to any NTP server, you can manually add an NTP server of your choice. Dynatrace won't synchronize time on your host, but will measure the offset.

Prerequisites

  • Dynatrace version 207+
  • OneAgent version 1.185+

Activation

Dynatrace monitors the NTP time offset by default.

Additional NTP requests

Because the extension makes its own NTP requests, you can expect an increased load on your NTP servers of one request per host per minute. However, the absolute network overhead will likely be insignificant.

DDU consumption

See DDU consumption for built-in extensions.

Automatic configuration

The reference servers, if available, are automatically obtained from the following sources:

  • Linux: /etc/ntp.conf
  • Windows: registry key System\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time\Parameters under value NtpServer

Manual configuration

If your host isn't synced with an NTP server, you can pass a comma-separated list of servers to check the time against. A server is selected at random for each request, similar to actual NTP sync operation.

You can specify the NTP servers at the environment level or for a single host.

Set the NTP servers at the environment level

  1. From the navigation menu, select Settings > Monitoring > Monitored technologies.
  2. In the list of supported technologies, find the NTP entry and select the pencil icon to edit it.
  3. Add an NTP server address or a comma-separated list of NTP server addresses in the NTP server address field.
  4. Select Save global configuration.

Set the NTP servers for a single host

  1. From the navigation menu, select Hosts and find your host.
  2. Open the host page.
  3. On the host page, open the host menu ("...") and select Settings to display the Host settings page.
  4. In the Monitored technologies table, search for the NTP entry.
  5. Expand the NTP entry and make the following settings.
    • Turn on Use host configuration.
    • Turn on Monitor NTP on this host.
    • In NTP server address, enter an NTP server address or a comma-separated list of NTP server addresses.
  6. Select Save.

View data

The extension collects just one metric, NTP time offset, which is the time drift from the configured time server. Drift can be positive or negative, indicating that the host is ahead of or behind the time received from the NTP server. You can access collected measurements by creating a simple chart showing the NTP time offset over time.

  1. In the Dynatrace navigation menu, select Create custom chart.
    This opens the standard functionality for creating a custom chart.
  2. Select Try it out in the upper-right of the page.
    This opens the Data explorer.
  3. In the Filter metrics by... field, search for NTP.
  4. The only available dimension for the NTP time offset metric is the host.
  5. Set Visualization to Graph and set Chart mode to Line.
  6. Select Run query to display the preview chart.

You can pin the chart to a dashboard of your choice. For details, see Data explorer.

NTP time offset