Precise to the millisecond: NTP services in the “Internet of Things”

Precise to the millisecond: NTP services in the “Internet of Things”

The “Internet of Things” is growing at an astounding rate: According to Gartner, by the year 2020 around 25 billion devices will be connected to each other via the internet. No matter whether ICT based traffic controlling, remote controls for surgical robots in hospitals, sensor-actuator systems in factories or intelligent power networks – an increasing number of applications connected with the internet requires precise and synchronized time information to fulfill their tasks successfully. In order to synchronize the time of client devices flexibly via the internet many companies have up to now relied on NTP servers. However, as one of the world’s first service providers Retarus is now offering NTP services with a service level agreement (SLA). But what is NTP exactly? And why should companies use NTP services rather than sticking with their long-established, free-of-charge NTP servers?

Synchronization precise to the millisecond thanks to NTP

The Network Time Protocol (NTP) is a standard for the synchronization of clocks in computer networks using packet-based communication networks. The time information provided in this way corresponds to the UTC (Universal Time Coordinated) or the official time valid in each country. All connected devices draw on the same time information during synchronization and can therefore be aligned exactly to each other during data entry and parallel workloads. In every case, the system time is synchronized with the actual reference time right down to the precise millisecond. This is especially important for critical infrastructures.

NTP services vs. NTP server

In contrast to NTP servers run by the company itself, NTP services offer an extremely high temporal accuracy. According to requirements, they enable the hourly or daily synchronization of connected client devices via the internet with precise physical timekeepers such as atomic clocks. In order to ensure lower latencies, Retarus runs all services in the company’s own multiply redundant data centers located in Europe, Asia and the US. The services also offer authentication and encryption options, can be individually adapted to meet company-specific requirements and are fully scalable at all times to meet the demands of growing client numbers. What is more: Using service level agreements, Retarus provides a binding guarantee that the services will remain available throughout the entire contract period.

NTP services in the Smart Home

The latter is especially crucial for companies which depend on the availability of such services over many years, for example those offering their customers Smart Home applications. No matter whether it‘s lawnmower robots, electronic blinds, lighting or heating controls, intelligent refrigerators or washing machines – all these smart applications rely on dependable time information over long periods of time. Retarus’ NTP services are available to customers without any limitations. SLAs to suit your requirements and a globally redundant infrastructure design ensure the necessary quality, speed and availability of the services throughout the entire contract period. This can be checked at all times via an intuitive monitoring platform.

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