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The Significance of an exact Time Server

This article demonstrates the implication of poor network time synchronisation and how significant it is to have network time in your Companies. Every Computer has a clock that sustains the internal system time. PC clocks have low- cost crystal oscillators that are notoriously prone to drift. Each Computer can drift at different rates. The time difference can become bigger and bigger over a period of time. This can lead to huge problems within the Company.

This article conveys the value of network time synchronization and having an accurate network time server source in an organization. Computer Time: Computer system time is maintained by low cost real time clock and crystal oscillator components. Crystal oscillators are built with very low tolerance; each oscillates at a slightly different rate. The temperature variation make the crystal change its frequency. This is one of the reason why computers are weak in keeping up an accurate time. it is necessry to synchronise the Computers otherwise they will drift at a slightly different quantity.

Each computer need a network time that is correctly synchronized otherwise it can cause huge problems, especially in transaction- processing surroundings. Unsynchronized PCs can lead to fraud and other problems that can be caused in an environment where synchronized time is needed. Problems can arise with shared network files; the reason is because the unsynchronized computers are using the same resource. Network Time Servers: Network Time servers gain precise time from an external time reference and offer (presents) an accurate time source to network time clients. Time server use the Network Time Protocol (NTP), which is a UDP based protection over TCP/IP.

There is a number of options that can be used to get an accurate time. GPS (Global Positioning Systems) offers a highly accurate time; all that is needed is a clear view to the sky. Another alternative would be radio frequency. The main countries that provide radio frequency are England (MSF); Germany (DCF-77) and the US (WWVB).

Other countries are France (TDF); Canada (CHU); Japan (JJY) and Switzerland (HBG) and it is possible to obtain time from mobile phone network. Internet Time Servers: There are a lot of Internet based NTP time server resources offered that can be used for network time synchronization. The Internet Time Server can cause Problem for the Company's Computers.

The time server is located outside the firewall, so a port must be left open to access the time server. This does not just lead to Security implications, but also to problems with the time server accuracy, reliability and provision. Local Dedicated Network Time Server: A local devoted network time server overcome many problems related to Internet based references. The time server is located inside the security firewall and does not need any external access.

Also, a local time server can improve accuracy due to reliable network paths between clients and server. To resume, the network time synchronization is an important factor in Computer network installations. Unlike the internet based network time servers, which are known for they security problems, local dedicated network time servers overcome the security problems by offering secure, accurate and reliable network time synchronization resolution. Copyright (c) 2007 Galleon Systems.

The author; Magdalena Sperber, is a Software Engineer who is involved in the development of Radio and GPS NTP server synchronisation solutions that produce accurate time on computer networks. Click here to find out more Radio and GPS NTP Server solutions.

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