Network Time Servers: A Glossary Of Terms

Nearly every type of business or organization needs a high-quality network time server. These servers are essential in synchronizing timekeeping across the many different electronic devices and systems a single business uses. To have a better understanding of how network time servers work, know the definitions of these frequently used terms.

  • Drift: The drift, also known as clock drift, is a measurement that determines how fast the skew of a clock varies. Typically, the drift is measured in hertz per second or in a parts-per-million offset from the nominal frequency. If you have a measurable drift, it is likely because of environmental factors like ambient temperatures.
  • Falseticker: A falseticker is a time clock server that statistical filtering has identified as not reliable. The presence of a falseticker doesn’t always imply a problem with the time server itself, but rather with highly variable and asymmetric network delays.
  • GPS: Short for Global Positioning System, you likely use a GPS for navigation purposes. These systems can also provide time service for certain network time servers, as long as they emit a pulse per second.
  • Leap Second: The rotation of the planet varies in irregular ways because of forces like tidal drags. These variables will then create occasional, unpredictable insertions of a standard second in the calendar year.
  • PTP: Short for Precision Time Protocol, PTP has the same function for hosts on a local area network as NTP does for hosts on the general Internet. As local area networks typically have conditions that are much easier to control, PTP is more capable of higher sustained accuracy than NTP.
  • Reference Clock: The reference clock is a system’s primary time source. As long as it has very high precision, this device can be an atomic clock, GPS receiver, or radio receiver.
  • Stratum: The stratum of a server refers to the closeness to a high-quality time server. In a hierarchy of servers, the stratum indicates the place of a particular time server. This hierarchy is measured on a scale that goes from one to 15, with one being the most accurate.

With this new knowledge of what all of these terms mean, you are ready to dive into the world of time servers. Contact TimeMachines today to find the right time server for your needs.

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