1. Scheduled System Backups
Maintaining a routine monthly schedule of successful data back ups is critical to every organization. If systems become out of sync, fail to back up correctly, or at all, it can pose as a liability to your organization. Backups are vital for making sure your system and network remains stable and secure from outside attack.
2. Accelerate Your Network
If your organization uses a wide area file system with multiple users contributing to documents, it can be difficult to figure out which version of a document is the most current. A network accelerator is a type of time server that keeps the time synchronized between multiple devices and users so that multiple people can collaborate on a project, even in real time.
3. Network Management
Should something go wrong with your network, the first place to turn to find out what went wrong is the system log. This log is a key piece of troubleshooting and diagnosing problems. However, if these logs are not synchronized, it can take much longer to find the problem and repair system functioning and performance.
4. Intrusion Awareness and Analysis
In the event that someone is able to hack into your network, you will want to know how the network became compromised and what data might have been accessed by the intruder. This is only possible if your router and service logs are accurately time stamped. Usually, hackers will delete these system logs, however, if they do not and your time data is inaccurate, hackers will have more time and opportunities to exploit the network.
5. Regulatory Compliance
Sometimes, regulatory agencies such as HIPAA and GLBA, as well as others, require your data and transactions to be accurately time stamped. This can aid in the transparency of your business operations, and help speed things along in the event of an audit.
What allows time servers to work is known as, network time protocol, or NTP. NTP is an operating protocol for networks that maintain the clock synchronization between multiple systems within a computer or network. This protocol can typically maintain time to within a few milliseconds, even over public internet, and better than a millisecond of accuracy on a LAN. This helps managing everything from scheduling system backups, to analyzing security logs, a network administrator can always depend on the time keeping ability of a NTP server.