Time servers, often referred to as NTP time servers after the protocol (Network Time Protocol) used to distribute time are an increasingly important part of any computer network. The NTP server receives a timing signal from an accurate source (such as an atomic clock) and then distributes it to all devices on the network.
However, despite the increasing importance of these time synchronisation devices, many network administrators still fail to accurately synchronise their networks and can leave their entire computer system vulnerable.
Here are seven reasons why a NTP time server is a crucial piece of equipment for YOUR network:
• Security: NTP servers use an external source of time and don’t rely on an open firewall port. An unsynchronized server will also be vulnerable to malicious users who can take advantage of time differences.
• Error logging: failing to adequately synchronize a computer network may mean that it is near impossible to trace errors or malicious attack, especially if the times on the log files from different machine do not match.
• Legal Protection: Not being able to prove the time can have legal implications if somebody has committed fraud or other illegal activity against your company.
• Accuracy: NTP Time Servers ensure that all networked computers are synchronized automatically to the exact time throughout your network so everybody in your company can have access to the exact time.
• Global Harmony: A global timescale known as UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) has been developed to ensure that systems across the globe can run the exact same time. By utilising a NTP server not only will every device on you network be synchronised together but your network will be synchronised with every other network on Earth that is hooked up to UTC.
• Control: With a NTP server you have control of the configuration. You can allow automatic changes each spring and autumn for daylight saving time or set your server time to be locked to UTC time only – or indeed, any time zone you choose.
• Automatic update of time. No user intervention required, a NTP time server will account for leap seconds and time zones ensuring trouble free synchronisation.