What a Network Time Server Can Do

In today’s business world, computers have become the standard means of transmitting and managing information of all kinds, and most companies today have their own private data servers and Cloud data storage. Many computers and networks are also linked to satellites such as GPS, and GPS clocks are used to carefully keep track of time whole orbiting the planet. It is not enough for computers to be linked and in operation; they must also, put simply, know what time it is. This is where a network time server may be useful, and network time protocols, or NTP, are also a part of a network time server. Clock servers are often connected to a GPS time clock or a GPS NTP time server, and a large company with many locations may need such information to keep all of its employees and automated systems coordinated. Timing is important for the transmission and logging of data, and a lot of messy and expensive complications may arise if a business’s computer network is not linked to a network time server.

Tracking Time

Time is an abstract concept, but it permeates nearly all aspects of human society. Hours, minutes, days, and more have been devised around the world, and a number of calendars have been used, from the Gregorian and Julian calendars to the Islamic calendar that uses Islam’s founding year as its first year. By the French Revolution, some revolutionaries experimented with a 10-hour clock, and from 1929 to 1931, the Soviet Union even tried to enforce five and six-day weeks. Meanwhile, the world’s smallest measurement of time is the Planck second, or the amount of time needed for light to travel one Planck length. This is time on a truly minuscule scale, seeing as a Planck length is the smallest possible gap between two points without them overlapping. One Planck second is a modest 3.3 x 10 to the -44 power of a second. Such seconds won’t appear on an ordinary clock, but all the same, proper seconds, hours, days, and more are used by today’s computer networks and automated systems to track when something takes place. This is essential for keeping information organized and having accurate logs of past activity.

Using a Network Time Server

A network time server will be connected to GPS satellites which in turn make use of atomic clocks for extremely accurate tracking of time. A number of network time servers have been used since the 1980s to allow computers and their users alike to track time for business purposes, and since 1985, Network Time Protocol (NTP) has been in use. More recently, Precision Time Protocol (PTP) was defined and standardized by the IEEE in 2002. The PTP system allows many computers in a network to synchronize themselves and their automated programs. Without such efforts, the countless computers in a business may be disjointed and send information or execute functions too early or late, and they may have inconsistent logs about past activity. This could get out of control quickly and eventually cause some digital systems to malfunction or produce undesired results. Therefore, a network time server will be used and linked to GPS atomic clocks to keep everything consistent and in order.

A new, start-up business will need many pieces of software and hardware alike put in place and coordinated to keep up with today’s wired world, and this includes the use of a network time server. A new company may hire IT professionals to handle many aspects of setting up the company’s computers, from the data server to a secure and private Internet connection all the way to their network time server. This will allow even a new company to keep everything coordinated properly, and this can prevent unwanted complications as the company grows and expands over time. IT experts may be called in if there is a suspected problem with the time management on their computers or network. Similarly, many of today’s offices make use of WiFi, and WiFi digital clocks will be used by all connected devices. Here again, all devices should have their times standardized to prevent any problems. This may even include devices such as computer tablets or smart phones that employees are using while on the job.

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