Telling the Time in a Global EconomyBenefits of a NTP Server

By: Richard N Williams

The worldis becoming an ever smaller place. Modern technology means that it is just aseasy to make a purchase from the other side of the world as it is buy somethingfrom our local high street.

Everythingfrom hotels and airline tickets to jewellery and clothes can now be bought fromthe other side of the world with just a click of mouse.

However,such global trade is only possible thanks to accurate timing synchronisation madepossible by the use of UTC time and NTP servers.

Just thinknext time you buy an airline ticket on the Internet, you may have bought thelast seat on the plane but what would happen if moments after somebody on a computerwith a slower clock tried to buy the same ticket.

Obviouslythe seat has been sold but not according to a computer which will check its logand could come to the conclusion that according to the clocks the originaltransaction happened afterwards.

This typeof confusion could lead to chaos particularly with time sensitive transaction andtrading such as the stock exchange where millions can be made or lost in amatter of seconds.

Fortunatelythe world can trade in relative security thanks to UTC and NTP servers whichallow the entire world to operate under one accurate time scale.

UTC (UniversalCoordinated Time) was developed after the development of atomic clocks when itwas realised that the previous timescales (GMT) which were based on themovement of the earthBusiness Management Articles, were not very accurate as the Earth slows in itsrotation.

Instead UTCwas developed which allows for adjustments in the Earths rotation by addingleap seconds. UTC deals with timezones by simply adding or subtracting hoursafter the time such as UTC+5 ?or UTC-3.

NTP(Network Time Protocol) was developed to allow computer servers to synchronise allmachines on a network to the same time. NTP servers usually get their timingreference from either a specialist UTC radio transmission or via the GPSnetwork and can synchronise all machines on that network to the same time.

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