The time server blog

Discover articles about the time server and time synchronisation

Comparative analysis of oscillators

Oscillators are essential components for time synchronisation mechanisms. Indeed, they mark the passage of time and ensure the quality of clocks in a system. The more accurate the oscillator, the less the clock will drift over time. However, there is not one type of oscillator suitable for all applications.

The main principles of network time synchronisation

Nowadays, it is rare to find an application involving a single machine. Most of the tasks carried out involve communication between several equipment. When machines need to communicate with each other, it is important that their clocks are synchronised so that they can agree on the order and duration of events.

Time distribution in the energy sector

Time synchronisation is of paramount importance for industrial applications of many sectors. The energy sector is no exception. Using an accurate and reliable time is necessary for greater reliability and security, to anticipate and prevent breakdowns, bill consumption, as well as to test and check the proper operation of protection devices in energy production and management systems.

Implementing a time server for video surveillance purposes

In security, video surveillance is paramount for protecting goods and people. However, it is essential that all video recordings are timestamped in an accurate and synchronised way so that they are reliable and legally admissible. To do so, it is necessary to use time servers.

Redundancy in the NTP protocol

Breakdowns and malfunctions are inevitable for both networks and equipment. This also applies to time synchronisation mechanisms on which rely several services and applications. While it is impossible to make a network completely fault-tolerant, it is possible, with good planning, to make it resistant to a significant number of breakdowns.

Cybersecurity: towards the strengthening of security obligations for companies

A new cybersecurity directive (NIS 2) will come into effect as of 2025. This directive will apply throughout Europe and aims to tighten obligations for businesses, with new requirements for data protection and compliance. A new requirement of the NIS 2 directive is the widening of the scope of application, therefore including several thousand organisations and an estimated 16,000 institutions in Europe. Faced with the rise of cybercriminality, this new application aims at strengthening the protection of information systems, IT networks and data.

Integrating time servers into a Zero Trust Network

The concept of Zero Trust Network first appeared in 2010 and introduces a new way of thinking the security of computer networks. It is opposed to the classical vision which consists in maintaining hackers outside the network, therefore making the inside of a network a poorly secured area. With this oldest vision, once a hacker enters the network, it becomes difficult to follow and prevent this hacker from accessing to all resources.

Best practices and technical vision of NTP

The NTP protocol broadcasts a time information within a network in order to make sure that all clocks on a network are synchronised with an acceptable offset. NTP is one of the first protocols to be introduced and it has met a great success. NTP is easy to implement since it operates on the Internet network and since there are public servers available to retrieve the time.

NTP vs. PTP: Which protocol to choose according to your needs?

It is paramount to make sure that all machines on a computer network are synchronised for software or industrial operations of many economic sectors. There are several ways to time synchronise machines via the network. To do so, time synchronisation protocols are used to synchronise different machines by broadcasting timestamps. These protocols usually broadcast the time of a reference clock such as an atomic clock or a GPS. However, the more extended a network, the more difficult it can be to synchronise machines.

Nowadays, the most widely used protocols are NTP (Network Time Protocol) and PTP (Precision Time Protocol). Each one of these protocols meets specific purposes which are more or less suitable depending on required applications.

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