Feeds

D-Link settles dispute with 'time geek'

Time to kiss and make up

The essential guide to IT transformation

Networking manufacturer D-Link has settled a dispute with a Danish administrator Poul-Henning Kamp over the way its kit queries internet time servers.

Critics claim the way D-link equipment polls NTP (Network Time Protocol) servers is impairing their operations, leaving operators to carry unsustainable excess bandwidth charges. NTP servers handle a variety of functions including, for example, helping create a record of the timing of eBay bids.

The dispute between D-Link and self-confessed "time geek" Poul-Henning Kamp over the issue went public in April after Kamp wrote an open letter to D-Link prompted by his frustrations in attempting to get the firm to acknowledge that a misconfigured implementation of NTP on its kit left him staring at a bill of around $8,800 a year.

D-Link products worldwide query a small NTP server located at the Danish Internet Exchange, intended to service only 2,000 or so organisations in the country, which is being maintained by Kamp. Kamp reckons that between 75 and 90 per cent of the traffic hitting his servers comes from D-Link devices. Growing costs forced Kamp to consider abandoning his time-keeping service.

The address of Kamp's NTP server - which is run on a non-profit basis and allocated only minimal bandwidth resources - was hardwired into the firmware in various D-link products. A more flexible approach would have seen the products reconfigured remotely and redirected to a more appropriate NTP server.

D-Link is freeloading onto as many as 50 NTP time servers, critics claim. The US military, NASA and government groups worldwide are reportedly running NTP servers interrogated by D-Link kit.

Cambridge University security expert Richard Clayton, the man who tracked back the source of unwanted international traffic sent to Kamp's Danish NTP server to D-Link kit, reckons D-Link would rack up $1,000 a month in bandwidth charges if it ran those time servers itself.

Instead of acknowledging that it might have made an error, D-Link first hid behind its lawyers. D-Link's attorneys demanded that disgruntled punters submit to Californian law.

A month later, reason has begun to prevail and an "amicable" settlement has been forged between D-Link and Kamp. D-Link has agreed to take steps to reduce the impact of the problem. It's unclear if D-Link also agreed to cover Kamp's excess costs, as he originally requested.

Kamp was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press but a statement on his website does go some way towards explaining the terms of the settlement: "D-Link and Poul-Henning Kamp announced today that they have amicably resolved their dispute regarding access to Kamp's GPS.Dix.dk NTP Time Server site. D-Link's existing products will have authorised access to Kamp's server, but all new D-Link products will not use the GPS.Dix.dk NTP time server.

"D-Link is dedicated to remaining a good corporate and network citizen," the statement adds. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything
Enter credit card details if you want that system you bought to actually be useful
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
VMware's high-wire balancing act: EVO might drag us ALL down
Get it right, EMC, or there'll be STORAGE CIVIL WAR. Mark my words
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.