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Status Not under consideration
Workspace IBM i
Categories Networking
Created by Guest
Created on Jul 2, 2018

Cannot set security for NTP protocol on IBM i

IBM i is connected to the network core switch as a client getting the time using NTP protocol. It is also a server for the rest of the application servers providing the time for them.
An audit finding was found that NTP on the IBM i is not using any security such as authentication, VPN or SSL.
A PMR was opened (10069,762,762) asking to provide a way to secure this connection, but we were told that at this time IBM i does not support any kind of security on NTP and were advised to submit a request for enhancement on this site.
This is the first time that we submit this request so we do not know how this will work, shall we receive a reply from you or what?

Appreciate your efforts

Use Case:

System: NTP security

Actor: Internal Audit team

Scenario: IBM i connects to the core switch as an NTP client getting the time from there using Authentication.
IBM i also acts as NTP server for other application servers. Clients to the IBM i must authenticate to get time.

Idea priority High
  • Guest
    Dec 21, 2021

    While we agree with the request, we do not currently plan to implement it due to a list of higher priority requirements. This request will not be implemented any time soon, so it is being declined at this time.

  • Guest
    Aug 13, 2019

    The CAAC has reviewed this requirement and recommends that IBM view this as a medium priority requirement that should be addressed. Security adherence should be an expectation.

    Background: The COMMON Americas Advisory Council (CAAC) members have a broad range of experience in working with small and medium-sized IBM i customers. CAAC has a key role in working with IBM i development to help assess the value and impact of individual RFEs on the broader IBM i community, and has therefore reviewed your RFE.

    For more information about CAAC, see

    For more details about CAAC's role with RFEs, see

    Nancy Uthke-Schmucki - CAAC Program Manager

  • Guest
    Dec 25, 2018

    This is a valid requirement. A basic NTP feature set is considered for future release.

  • Guest
    Jul 13, 2018

    It looks like IBM i server plays certain stratum level in the network time protocol. It connects to higher stratum to get the accurate time and update to IBM i OS and provide time services to machines in local network.
    IBM i does not fully support NTP stratum. It shipped SNTP implementation, following RFC 2030, which does not define any security features. NTP, especially the latest verson, NTP 4.0, which is defined in RFC 5905, recommends to use network security architecture AUTOKEY. This AUTOKEY is defined in RFC 5906. To secure the network time protocol, currently autokey is the choice.

    To understand your requirement accurately, I'd like to know:
    1. What's the network server topology used in your network? broadcast? client/server? symmetric? Is the client/server enough for your network? Which type of network time server does the IBM i connect to? A NTP server or SNTP server? What type of security is supported by the time server?
    2. How about the network time client of IBM i server? NTP client or SNTP client? which type of security is supported on the client side?