Reasons To Consider Installing a NTP Time Server

The synchronization of time of computers and servers on a network is often an issue which is given very little thought. However, with modern computer systems becoming more distributed, it is an important aspect of system design. Many computer applications, such as data-logging, transaction processing, control and monitoring all rely on individual computers having an accurate, synchronized time. This article describes some of the most important reasons an organization should seriously think about installing a NTP time server:

  • Synchronizing computer applications and Network Infrastructure
  • Guaranteed Provision of Service
  • Reliable and Secure Source of Time
  • Accuracy and Traceability
  • Law

Synchronizing computer applications and Network Infrastructure

Many applications require the logging or control of events in a known, well-ordered, manner. In particular, distributed systems, rely on having an accurate, synchronized time on computers. If the time on computers begin to drift away from each other, events can no-longer be guaranteed to occur at the correct moment.

Guaranteed Provision of Service

Many organizations utilize internet time references to keep network time accurate. These can have associated security problems. Firstly, firewalls need to be left open to allow communication between network time clients and internet time server. Many internet time servers are available free of charge, but generally, there is no guarantee of provision of service. Additionally, some time servers have been known to provide incorrect time. A local NTP server provides guaranteed availability, control and accessibility.

Reliable and Secure Source of Time

A local NTP server provides a computer network with secure, traceable source of time. It is generally located inside your organizations fire-wall and poses much less of a security risk when compared to internet time sources.

Accuracy and Traceability

By utilizing radio or GPS time broadcasts, a stratum one NTP server provides a time resource from a traceable source. Additionally, because there are no internet timing latencies, it also provides a much more stable time with less jitter.

 

About the Author.
Andy Shinton has spent his entire career within the IT industry, mainly in the Time and Frequency sector. Since 2002, he has headed TimeTools Research and Development Division. Andy regularly writes white-papers and articles about NTP and Network Timing Solutions.
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