More than ever, companies rely on the integrity of their IT infrastructure to do business. That means effective network management to prevent downtime. A critical part of that is accurate time synchronization between all the devices on the network.
Throughout the network, workstations, servers and other devices are constantly recording data with timestamps as files are created, transactions occur and messages are sent. These timestamps can directly affect other operations such as timed back-ups and file synchronization, as well as how and when other time-dependent, automated, processes critical to the running of the business occur.
If the individual clocks of devices across the network aren’t synchronized, then system failures can happen. Not only that, it becomes more difficult to interpret log messages in relation to system performance in order to identify where issues may be occurring and take remedial action to get the system (and the business) up-and-running again.
Maintaining Network Time Integrity
There are numerous reasons for network time synchronization issues. Devices with clocks utilizing low quality components or inferior quartz crystals are a common problem, which is why many networks today source their time from the Internet and distribute it across the network using Network Time Protocol (NTP). However, even this can fail. Moreover, it leaves your business vulnerable to external attack, as it means leaving a hole in your firewall to allow timing information through.
It’s very easy to underestimate the problems that can occur due to network time synchronization issues, but they can be serious when they result in business downtime:
Application downtime – In the event of a network failure, business critical applications can fail, especially those concerned with time-based functions. This can lead to disruption to business activities and loss of revenue.
Trouble-shooting and disaster recovery – Timestamps are an essential trouble-shooting tool for chronicling events leading to an IT issue. For this reason, it’s vital that network time synchronization is completely accurate across all sources of IT data logs. The faster you can get up and running, the faster you can be back in business again.
Service and compliance – In terms of IT QoS (Quality of Service), most companies have SLAs (Service Level Agreements) and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) in place. These, along with government and industry regulatory compliance can be seriously affected when a synchronization issue affects your network.
Keep Doing Business in Real-Time
As you can see, issues with time synchronization can cause significant problems for your business. If you’re not sure just how reliable synchronization is across your network, or how secure your NTP access is, then it’s probably time you took action and invested in a time synchronization server.
For a secure network that always performs at its best, effective trouble-shooting, and to keep your business operating at full capacity, it is essential your network time synchronization is accurate and resilient. And the only way you can guarantee that is with a dedicated time synchronization server behind your firewall. Talk to TimeTools Ltd about a time server solution that meets the unique needs of your organisation, keeping your network effective and your business moving.