A time server is a server computer that reads the actual time from a reference clock and distributes this information to its clients using a computer network. The protocol most widely-used by time servers for distributing and synchronizing time over the Internet is the Network Time Protocol (NTP). The term NTP applies to both the protocol and the client/server programs that run on computers. The programs are compiled by the user as an NTP client, NTP server, or both. In basic terms, the NTP client initiates a time request exchange with the NTP server. As a result of this exchange, the client is able to calculate the link delay and its local offset, and adjust its local clock to match the clock at the server's computer.

On the other hand, if for any reason, the client is unable to contact the NTP server, time synchronization will not occur, resulting in serious failures - for instance, scheduled tasks may not run on time on the client, SSL certificate validity checks may go awry, domain controllers may not be able to authenticate the Windows clients, etc.

To avoid such ill effects, administrators must periodically check whether the NTP server is accessible to clients, check the responsiveness of the server to client requests, and if possible, even determine how different the client’s time is from the server’s time. This way, if a sudden loss of communication occurs between the client and the NTP server or if the time difference between the client and server is abnormally high, administrators can promptly detect the same and rapidly initiate remedial measures. This is where eG Enterprise helps administrators to achieve their duty in a smooth way.