Importance of Time Servers in Critical Time-Dependent Applications and Limitations of Internet Time
In time-critical applications, accurate and reliable time synchronization is paramount. Time servers, such as the Safran SecureSync, play a crucial role in providing precise time references for various systems and applications. This technical brief explores the significance of using dedicated time servers and highlights the limitations of relying on time from the internet, including technical aspects such as precision, determinism, network latency, security, compliance, and the associated firewall risks.
Time synchronization in critical applications requires deterministic time to ensure synchronized operations and coordination across various systems. Dedicated time servers ensure that all devices and subsystems operate on the same time scale, enabling precise event ordering, coordination, and decision-making. Internet time lacks determinism due to unpredictable network delays, routing variations, and server loads, which hinder precise synchronization.
Network Latency and Jitter
Internet-based time synchronization is susceptible to network latency and jitter, adversely affecting the accuracy and consistency of time references. Delays and variable round-trip times introduced by network congestion and routing can lead to unpredictable errors, making it challenging to maintain tight synchronization between systems. Time servers, such as the SecureSync, minimize latency and jitter, providing stable and consistent time references for critical applications.
Security and Reliability
Time servers offer enhanced security and reliability compared to internet time sources. Dedicated time servers are designed with robust security features, including secure protocols, access controls, and tamper-resistant hardware, ensuring the integrity of time references. On the other hand, relying on internet time sources introduces security vulnerabilities, such as man-in-the-middle attacks or spoofed time signals, compromising the reliability and accuracy of time synchronization.
Compliance and Auditing
Certain industries and applications require compliance with regulatory standards and accurate timekeeping for auditing purposes. Dedicated time servers, like the SecureSync, provide traceable and compliant time references, facilitating adherence to industry-specific regulations. Internet time lacks the necessary traceability and compliance guarantees, making it unsuitable for applications that demand regulatory compliance and accurate audit trails.
Firewall Risks and Open Ports
One of the drawbacks of relying on internet time is the need to keep a port open through the firewall to access time servers. Opening a port for incoming time synchronization requests introduces potential security risks, as it provides a potential entry point for unauthorized access or attacks. By using a dedicated time server like the SecureSync, organizations can avoid the need to open additional ports, reducing the attack surface and enhancing overall security posture.
Utilizing a dedicated time server, such as the Safran SecureSync, is crucial in applications where time synchronization is critical. Time servers offer precision, accuracy, determinism, security, and compliance, ensuring reliable and synchronized operations across various systems. In contrast, relying on time from the internet introduces uncertainties, latency, jitter, security vulnerabilities, and the need to open additional ports through firewalls, compromising the accuracy, reliability, and security of time synchronization. By choosing a dedicated time server, organizations can ensure precise and consistent time references, enhance system performance, mitigate security risks, and meet the stringent requirements of critical time-dependent applications.