A Guide to Network Time Protocol

A Guide to Network Time Protocol

Accurate time standards are vital for people everywhere, as they help us to determine our schedule at each moment throughout the day. We organize our work and free time according to the standardized measurements that we see on clocks. As a result, every sizeable facility, whether commercial or public, should have ways for people to view the correct time. We’ve created a guide to Network Time Protocol so you can understand how to obtain accurate and synchronized time for devices in your building.

What Is Network Time Protocol?

Network Time Protocol, or NTP for short, is a set of rules that devices can use to communicate information on time to one another. Individual devices, including clocks, telephones, and computers, that are a part of the network display time based on the data they receive from a server in the building. This server is able to send them the precise time because it receives it from a reliable reference source, such as an atomic clock (which measures time based on atomic oscillations), another time server, or the internet.

The Definition of Coordinated Universal Time

Coordinated Universal Time, also known as UTC, is inextricably tied to NTP because it is the time standard that people use around the globe. The many different times zones are all relative to it. Experts at the Bureau International des Poids et Measures in France calculate UTC itself by referencing hundreds of atomic clocks all over the world and comparing this with the speed of Earth’s rotation, which determines the length of a day. NTP aims to make all devices in a building conform to UTC, with adjustments for time zone.

The Organization of Network Time Protocol

In a building, the transfer of time data follows a certain path. This is necessary so that every device can make up for the slight delay it takes to receive the time from the server while communicating. First, individual devices, which in NTP are referred to as clients, make requests to the server and create an origin timestamp. The timestamp records when the request was sent. The server takes in the request and makes a receive timestamp at that moment. It then sends time information in response to the request, along with the receive timestamp and a transmit timestamp for when it sent this data. Once the client gets this data from the server, it makes one final record, the destination timestamp. The client will change its internal time according to the server’s if there are any discrepancies.

After reading this guide to Network Time Protocol, you may want to implement the system in your facility with a server and wi-fi NTP digital clocks. If so, give TimeMachines a call today.

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