Table of Contents
Zend_TimeSync is able to receive internet or network time from a time
server using the NTP or SNTP protocol.
Zend_TimeSync, Zend Framework is able to act independently from
the time settings of the server where it is running.
To be independent from the actual time of the server,
works with the difference of the real time which is sent through NTP or SNTP and the
internal server's time.
So why would someone use
Normally every server within a multi-server farm will have a service running which
synchronizes its own time with a time server. So within a standard environment it should
not be necessary to use
Zend_TimeSync. But it can become handy if
there is no service available and if you don't have the right to install such a service.
Here are some example use cases, for which
Server without time service
If your application is running on a server and this server does not have any
time service running, it may make sense to use
Zend_TimeSync in your application.
Separate database server
If your database is running on a different server and this server is not connected with NTP or SNTP to the application server, you might have problems using storing and using time stamp data.
If your application is running on more than one server and these servers' time bases are not syncronized, you can expect problems within your application when part of the application is coming from one server and another part from another server.
If you want to work with a time service within a batch file or within a
command line application,
Zend_TimeSync may be of use.
Zend_TimeSync may provide a good solution in all of these cases
and can be used if you are unable to run any services on your server.
The Network Time Protocol (NTP) is a protocol for synchronizing multiple systems' clocks over packet-switched, variable-latency data networks. NTP uses UDP port 123 as its transport layer. See the wikipedia article for details about this protocol.
The Simple Network Time Protocol (SNTP) is a protocol synchronizing multiple systems' clocks over packet-switched, variable-latency data networks. SNTP uses UDP port 37 as its transport layer. It is closely related to the Network Time Protocol, but simpler.
Be warned that when you are using
Zend_TimeSync you will have to
think about some details related to the structure of time sync and the internet itself.
Correct usage and best practices will be described here. Read carefully before you begin
You should select the time server that you want to use very carefully according to the following criteria:
The distance from your application server to the time server. If your server is in Europe, it would make little sense to select a time server in Tahiti. Always select a server which is not far away. This reduces the request time and overall network load.
How long it takes to receive the request is also relevant. Try different servers to get the best result. If you are requesting a server which is never accessible, you will always have an unnecessary delay.
Do not always use the same server. All time servers will lock out requests from servers that are flooding the server. If your application requires heavy use of time servers, you should consider one of the pools described later.
So where can you find a time server? Generally you can use any timeserver you can connect to. This can be a time server within your LAN or any public time server you have access to. If you decide to use a public time server, you should consider using a server pool. Server pools are public addresses from which you will get a random, pooled time server by requesting the time. This way you will not have to split your requests. There are public server pools available for many regions which you may use to avoid problems mentioned above.
See pool.ntp.org to find your nearest server pool. For example, if your server is located within Germany you can connect to 0.europe.pool.ntp.org.