NTP Server: The World’s Wrist-watch

By: Richard N Williams

Knowing thetime is an essential part of our daily lives. We all need to know what time tostart work, what time to leave and even when to get up in the morning. We havea multitude of different devices for telling us the time; from our mobilephones to our wrist-watches but how accurate are these clocks?

?Of coursefor our day-to-day business it probably doesn’t matter too much if theoffice wall clock is faster than your wrist-watch, I’m sure your boss won’tfire you for being a minute or two late for work.

?However for some time sensitive transactions, perfectaccuracy and synchronization is essential. A minute can make all the differencein industries like the stock exchange, airlines and even Internet auctionsites.

?It certainly wouldn’t be fair if that bid you placed on Ebaywas rejected as an earlier bid done on a computer with a faster clock is recognizedas being the last. And in environments like the stock exchange where millionsof mounds can be won or lost in a second it is even more vital.

?That is why it is essential for the world’s computernetworks to not only use a reliable and accurate time source but also be synchronizedtogether and that is where NTP servers come in.

?NTP (Network Time Protocol) is one of the Internets oldestprotocols. It has been designed and developed to keep computer networks synchronized.

?NTP servers can receive an absolute timing reference, which isa timing reference from an atomic clock, the world’s most accurate time source,either through a specialist radio transmission, the Internet or the GPSnetwork.

?NTP servers use UTC time (Coordinated Universal Time) aworld-wide timescale that allows computers across the globe to synchronise to thesame time (the local computers simply make adjustments for time zones beforedisplaying the time on the computer).

?NTP servers ensure that a computer in Australia can trade witha system in America whilst confident they are both synchronized to the sametime.

?Without NTP serversHealth Fitness Articles, computer networks all over the worldwould find they were unable to conduct time sensitive transactions and would bevulnerable to fraud.

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