Clock synchronization in high-end computing environments: a strategy for minimizing clock variance at runtime


Correspondence to: Terry Jones, Computer Science and Mathematics Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA.



We present a new software-based clock synchronization scheme that provides high precision time agreement among distributed memory nodes. The technique is designed to minimize variance from a reference chimer during runtime and with minimal time-request latency. Our scheme permits initial unbounded variations in time and corrects both slow and fast chimers (clock skew). An implementation developed within the context of the message passing interface is described, and time coordination measurements are presented. Among our results, the mean time variance for a set of nodes improved from 20.0 ms under standard Network Time Protocol down to 2.29 μs under our scheme. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.