Managing Time Coordination With a PTP Server

“Time” is an abstract concept that has captured the human imagination in many ways for centuries. There is plenty of philosophy about time, but today, computers and businesses are more interested in the practical applications of this concept. Today, “time” is a matter of numbers and network coordination to make for accurate records for financial transactions, GPS satellites, and more. Time is a resource to be carefully managed and tracked with a PTP server (precision time protocol), and a clock server can do a lot of good for a business or other network. A network time clock, a GPS time clock, or even WiFi wall clocks have use for a PTP server and similar services. Therefore, managing a PTP server today can do a lot of good for a business or other network. There have been attempts in the past to alter the current model of 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but this model has remained entrenched in business and society today to great effect. One may explore the many ways how a PTP server and other networks coordinate time with great precision and to great effects.

What Time Is

Time is a resource, but not one that can be held in one’s hands or put in a container like water, wood, or even air. Tracking time has been critical ever since the agricultural revolution, when it become important to track the progress of crops and their maintenance. The ancient Egyptians, for example, made use of obelisks as early sundial models, and this, alongside tracking the moon’s phases, made crop management easier. By 14th century Europe, mechanical clocks were first invented, but later, some failed experiments in time were attempted. French revolutionaries attempted to create a 10-hour clock, and from 1929 to 1931, the USSR experimented with five or six-day weeks. Fast forward to the 1980s, and computerized attempts at logging time emerged for the newborn Internet. In 1985, the Network Time Protocol, or NTP, was an early version of a modern PTP server, and the NTP stands as one of the oldest Internet protocols still used today. What do PTP servers accomplish today, with cutting edge software and high expectations placed on them?

Modern Computerized Time

Today, PTP servers can do a lot of work for tracking and logging business transactions, and GPS satellites also need similar time-tracking software. Precision time protocol can synchronize the clocks on all computers, and this was first defined and standardized in 2002 by IEEE. A scale, ranging from one to 15, can be used to define the stratum, or the closeness to a high quality time server. In this scale, a one represents the highest accuracy possible, and a 15, the lowest accuracy. This can be useful for business when online or digital purchases are made by customers, such as online purchases or using credit/debit cards in a store. These logs make it easier to spot identity theft as well, since a concerned card owner may contact their bank and find out when suspicious transactions were made. The timing of millions of purchases can also make for useful marketing information for any company to use.

Even GPS satellites make use of accurate time telling. In fact, the 31 GPS satellites currently orbiting planet Earth are making use of atomic clocks, which are among the most accurate clocks ever invented. In fact, due to the laws of relativity, these GPS satellites have a very slightly distorted view on time due to their relative motion, so their time-tracking software can compensate for this. Albert Einstein’s theories on relative time and space were proven correct when GPS satellites started getting out of sync due to their relative motion to the cars or other items down on Earth. For this reason, GPS satellites must be crafted very carefully, and all wires and software should be checked for problems. Wires must be crimped very carefully so that they do not come loose or feed faulty information during the satellite’s use.

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