The long-awaited, much-anticipated announcement by the International System of Units (SI) to eliminate the ticklish “WWVB” prefix and switch to the shorter “CSS” prefix, has Metcalfe and company executives alike talking in circles,WAITING!
But, wouldn’t it be great if the ticklish “WWVB” could serve as a time reference? Wouldn’t it be great if browsers, mail clients, network time clients, and other applications could…scale…so that they could always know the time?
Want to know the answer to this question? Here’s a clue: it’s not if, but when.
Browser’s Timeout Challenge – Can a Ticking Time Machine Provide Any Actual Benefits?
Time and date are crucial components of any computer network. Sites like GPS and the National Institute for Standards and Time have been able to resolve issues with time for quite some time.
However, what about a website that needs to know the exact time and needs to know in advance? Achieving this requires enterprise class infrastructure. While many organization are cranking out thousands of machines to the millisecond to account for this shift, what benefit does it provide to the organization?
There is no real substitute for a UTC time source. The WWVB signal, broadcast by NIST in 1962, was 15 seconds late. For a calculator, that’s the world’s slowest propagation of a time source.
And, if the NTP servers hosted off the grid are going to be so accurate, shouldn’t the hosts be too?
A great way to mitigate the risk of key confusion is to use pre- shared keys. Typically, anyone who has administrative access can access a dedicated time field key, which is a globally unique identifier for that time.
This means that a change of UTC time is only made to a single machine. By continuously sharing these pre-shared keys between all machines on a network, any machine that has been synchronized will see the correct time.
There are three options for synchronizing a network to UTC:
o Choose a time server that emits a time signal piecemeal. These are expensive, and are only recommended fornicating users.
o Automated time server. The easiest option for network synchronisation is to use an automated time server. These use external timing references either from the Internet or from a physics network (broadcast by national physics laboratories).
o Global NTP time server. In this method, the time server is kept within a secure distance from the other machines on the network. However, this method can be difficult to synchronise as the server may be reused by different machines.
either method will allow you to synchronise all the machines on a network to the same UTC time.
UTC time has been crucial for the modern world. As businesses and processes were standardized during the twentieth century, so UTC time was an obvious standard. Without it, global business transactions like Shares trading would not be able to happen as events would differ each time-zone.
A global timescale known as UTC+10 (vertical time) was developed to ensure machines from different organisations would coincide, no matter what time-zones they were located.
UTC time can be received by network time servers and synchronise all machines on a network to the same time.
UTC is vital in the modern computer networking industry. As computer timing applications go, UTC time is extremely accurate with the latest atomic clock precision and reliability.
UTC time can be used to synchronise a computer network to any time other than UTC. Most computer network time servers and software available today will allow connections to be made to a computer network that is synchronised to UTC time.