NTP Servers and IP Clocks for Your Network

Networked solutions for hospitals, schools, airports, and many other facilities are becoming more commonplace as the benefits of this type of solution become more apparent. Having the ability to locate multiple systems on one platform has consolidated a lot of the work that building managers used to do with regards to maintenance, upkeep, and monitoring. No longer will the building manager travel to each device in the building to check its status or mechanical condition. These devices now come with software that allows the manager to view all devices on a computer or monitoring system—significantly decreasing the amount of work that used to go into the upkeep of a building’s systems.

However, one of the most important things to remember is that each device located on the network, whether it’s a time attendance machine, security camera, or even a printer, has some kind of time keeping device. Cameras must track date and time in the building. Time attendance machines must record the arrival and departure of employees. With all of these devices relying on time to operate, providing each of them with an accurate time source is crucial. This is why the networked IP clock system, paired with an NTP server is the best solution for a facility that predominately uses their network as a platform for most devices.

IP clocks are a networked time solution that provides accurate and matching time displays throughout one’s facility. After their installation, the IP clocks will provide the accurate time displays in the building, all the while having the ability to be monitored and controlled over the network. In addition to the clocks, an NTP server can be installed on the network as well. However, the server’s job is a little different than that of the IP clock. Just like its name, the NTP server “serves” the time to all devices on the network. This means that not only are the IP clocks receiving the accurate time from the server, but each device on the network will receive that time as well, providing consistent time from the clocks on the wall down to the internal time in the security cameras.

The NTP server’s capability does not end there. NTP servers actually have the ability to synchronize networked devices not just on one network, but multiple networks. For instance, a school district is generally made up of several buildings. Sometimes these buildings are located miles apart. However, it’s extremely important for all buildings in the district to be on the same time and schedule, with coordinating bus departures or early dismissals. With the proper configuration of both networks, the NTP server can provide the time to the network of one building, while simultaneously providing time to the network of any other building in the district—making sure that the IP clocks and even the printers in the high school receive the same time as the printers in all the elementary schools.

NTP server capability combined with networked IP clocks allows facilities to enhance the capabilities of their network. Having all devices on the network can be truly beneficial to a building manager as far as monitoring and maintenance. Add on top of that the ability to have all these networked devices displaying the same time and the network becomes even more efficient. With IP clocks and NTP server capability, maximizing the utility of networked devices has never been easier.