A few weeks ago I went into the 'relative merits' of relative time synchronization for NetWare servers. One astute reader (thanks, Donna!) points out that NetWare's TIMESYNC.NLM (Version 5.08 or better) has been enhanced to work with Internet-based Network Time Protocol servers - a quick, cheap, efficient way to maintain accurate and synchronized time. Of course, it’s only NetWare 5.x - with pure IP - that can support this.
The enhanced TIMESYNC.NLM replaces the earlier (shipped with NetWare 5.0) NTP.NLM which - being a 1.0 release - had some "idiosyncrasies" (some might call them bugs) of its own. Suffice it to say that it wasn't one of the better implementations of NTP.
The new TIMESYNC.NLM is a complete implementation of the standard NTP as defined in RFC 1305. For those who want to know more about this protocol, let me suggest a visit to the "Time WWW server" - http://www.eecis.udel.edu/~ntp/ - at the University of Delaware. Here you can get a brief, but thorough, introduction to NTP and read through the NTP Frequently Asked Question list. There are also links to public NTP servers as well as other time sites (National Institute of Standards, Naval Observatory, and so on). There's even a bibliography of computer network time synchronization (which to my surprise contains over 100 references!).
Time, relative time, accurate time - but definitely synchronized time - is important for NetWare. Here's a way to learn more than you ever thought you could about this most fascinating - to some - subject.
This story, "Back in time " was originally published by Network World.