Frequently Asked Questions About Timeservers

Not many businesses think about network timeservers and time synchronization. In fact, for the average network administrator at a small business, timekeeping is typically not a priority at all. Most are content to rely on internal clocks or public timeservers, but neither of these solutions delivers what a business really needs in order to resolve network issues, keep accurate time behind firewalls, and even to keep up with time regulations. If you don’t have an optimal timeserver solution already in place, read on for everything you need to know about timeservers and what to look for in a GPS digital clock.

Why Do I Need Good Timeservers?

The Network Time Protocol, or NTP, has been a protocol of the Internet since before 198. It’s one of the oldest protocols that the Internet still uses. Since then, Precision Time Protocol, or PTP, has been developed and is used throughout any given computer network in order to synchronize all the clocks. These days, a GPS NTP server is crucial to filling out accurate and legally-traceable timestamping.

Timestamping is important, but it’s not even the most important issue in having pinpoint time accuracy. Whenever you perform root-cause analysis on any code, finding out precisely when the problems occurred is key to find the correlations and fixing the problem. A network clock that is even a few milliseconds off true can make it exponentially more difficult for administrators and IT to find out what happened, and in what order.

Accurate timeservers are key to intrusion analysis, as well. If you’re at all concerned with network security then you need to be concerned about having a perfectly accurate time clock server. Finally, perfectly accurate timekeeping is mandated by federal law for some institutions, particularly financial ones. The law says that time clocks on the network must be accurate to within one second, and this may be tightened to 50 milliseconds in the near future.

Why Can’t I Use My Own Clocks or Public Internet Clocks?

There are several reasons that these choices are not ideal. For one, there are a large number of network conditions that could prevent the transfer of accurate time, and the distance from the server can cause latencies that are impossible to calculate for. There’s also no way to trace time to the ultimate source, and firewalls can prevent your network from accurately accessing public timeservers.

What Is the Solution for Accurate Timekeeping?

Having your one internal, high-quality timeserver is the best way to ensure pinpoint accuracy when it comes to timekeeping. These are powered by connection to the Global Positioning System, or GPS, of satellites with very accurate, built-in atomic clocks. Having your own timeservers also means there’s no need to reconfigure a router or a firewall, which increases security.

Traceable timekeeping is essential to every business in the digital age. If you don’t have your own timeservers, it’s time to find the right POE clock to keep your business accurate, compliant, and competitive.