We live in a fast paced world where time matters. In some industries even a second can make all the difference. Millions of dollars are exchanged hands in the stock exchange each second and share prices can rise or plummet.
Getting the right price at the right time is essential for trading in such a fast paced money market and perfect network time synchronization is the essential to be able to make that happen.
Ensuring every machine that deals in stocks, shares and bonds has the correct time is vital if people are going to trade in the derivatives market but when traders are sat in different parts of the world how can this possibly be achieved.
Fortunately Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), a global timescale developed after the development of atomic clocks, allows the same time to govern every trader, regardless of where they are in the world.
As UTC is based on atomic clock time and is kept accurate by a constellation of these clocks, it is high reliable and accurate. And industries like the stock exchange use UTC to govern the time on their computer networks.
Computer network time synchronization is achieved in computer networks by using the NTP server (Network Time Protocol). NTP servers receive a source of UTC from an atomic clock reference. This is either from the GPS network or through specialist radio transmissions (it is available through the internet too but is not as reliable).
Once received, the NTP server distributes the highly accurate time throughout the network, continually checking each device and workstation to ensure the clock is as precise as possible.
These network time servers can keep entire networks of hundreds and thousands of machines in perfect synchronization – to within a few milliseconds of UTC!