MiFID ii, RTS 25 and time synchronisation in Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Virtualization

While there is a lot more than just the “Regulatory Technical Standard 25”, abbreviated to RTS 25 from now on, in the EU’s MiFID II regulations, the focus of this blog is all around RTS 25 and achieving compliance with the time synchronisation requirements this entails.

At a high level, the goal of MiFID ii is

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Combining PTP with NTP to Get the Best of Both Worlds

There are two supported protocols in Red Hat Enterprise Linux for synchronization of computer clocks over a network. The older and more well-known protocol is the Network Time Protocol (NTP). In its fourth version, NTP is defined by IETF in RFC 5905. The newer protocol is the Precision Time Protocol (PTP), which is defined in the IEEE 1588-2008 standard.

The reference implementation of NTP is provided in the ntp package. Starting with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.0 (and now in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.8) a more versatile NTP implementation is also provided via the chrony package, which can usually synchronize the clock with better accuracy and has other advantages over the reference implementation. PTP is implemented in the linuxptp package.

With two different protocols designed for synchronization of clocks, there is an obvious question as to which one is

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