Network Time System Server
Time stamps are very important for backup systems, and having incorrect time date stamps can bring frustration to the backup administrator’s job. Most large-scale backup servers perform incremental backups, which work off of the date the file/folder was last opened, or modified. If that file/folder has been modified since the last update, then the server will back up that file/folder. If the server has incorrect time stamps, the backup server will encounter unsynchronized backups and not fully perform its tasks. Backup servers are not the only reason network time synching is important; banks, financial facilities, eCommerce, trading and billing systems, and database servers, are among the many requiring critical time stamping.
As mentioned, Network Time Server is a fairly easy application to install and maintain. It requires little skill, and time to install. Although, pushing the client version out to the all of the users’ machines on the network will need to be performed once. Most intranets use what is called SMS (Systems Management Server) to do such large scale network installs. There are other methods for performing such a tasks, but this system also allows smaller sized intranets to install the application from PC-to-PC by sneakernet. Once the client machines are ready, Network Time Server can then keep them and servers in synch.
How is this done?
It’s actually quite simple. Network Time Server links to three major Time Sources, which area also ready for use after installation is completed on the server.
However, you can use another Time Source if preferred; the suggested ones are provided as providing some of the best results for time synch. Another nice feature is being able to have the application choose the fastest available server.
You also have a choice of how often the Network Time Server will run. Also, it can run from behind a firewall. If your proxy/firewall requires authentication, you can enter the username and password through the authentication button.
Network Time Server also has the ability to update particular subnets supplied by the administrator. This can be quite handy for groups you wish to upgrade, versus those you don’t. Network Time Server works across TCP/IP, UDP, or SMB networks. If using UDP protocol, you can force client machines to synchronize accordingly.
Also note that the applications will see the clients’ machines matching the subnet mask entered into the program. So, between the client software installed across the network and the subnet mask, Network Time Server then seeks out and listens to whose-who and makes adjustments accordingly.
You also have the ability to track synchronization throughout your network. When the log settings are enabled, you can track server and client events. The log file, or files, can be set up to use one large log file, or set to create a new file each day.