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High Precision Time (White Rabbit) Pilot

13 Jul 2018

High Precision Time (White Rabbit) Pilot

Deutsche Börse is going run a high precision time synchronization pilot project using the White Rabbit protocol. The aim of this project is to determine whether White Rabbit is a feasible alternative or addition to the current PTP time synchronization  protocol.

White Rabbit was initially developed at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. White Rabbit is a fully deterministic Ethernet-based network for general-purpose data transfer and time synchronization. White Rabbit provides sub-nanosecond accuracy and picoseconds precision of synchronization.

Deutsche Börse uses White Rabbit internally to synchronize all network capture and timestamping devices in the co-location 2.0 network. Timestamps taken by those devices are the basis for the "High Precision Timestamps Daily File Service (HPT file)", see Thus, the White Rabbit time service allows customers to synchronize their clocks to the same time source used by Deutsche Börse for the timestamps in the HPT file.

White Rabbit requires additional 1 GBit/s single-mode fibre cross-connects. These cross-connects are different from the cross-connects used for the regular co-location 2.0 connectivity. The White Rabbit cross-connects will therefore terminate on separate patch-panels in the customer racks. White Rabbit uses a single fibre strand for both directions (TX and RX). The SFPs use different wavelengths for each direction, see The White Rabbit switches at Deutsche Börse’s side use Axcen Photonics AXGE-3454-0531 [OLT] (violet) SFPs. We have successfully tested with matching AXGE-1254-0531 [ONU] (blue) on the customer side.

Customers can order the required cross-connects in the usual way in the member section from 16 July 2018 on. We expect to start the White Rabbit Service on 20 August 2018. The pilot project will initially run until the end of the calendar year 2018. For this period, the White Rabbit service will be free of charge. In case this service will be continued in 2019, Deutsche Börse will publish the pricing and the contractual framework in due course. The number of cross-connects is limited to one per customer in each co-location module.

Important: This is a pilot project to test the feasibility of this technology. We will support all participating customers on a best-effort basis, but cannot commit to any service availability levels.


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