SureSync can be used to synchronize files all over the world and across multiple time zones without any issue. This is due to the fact that the time and date stamp on a file is stored in Universal Coordinated Time (UTC), also known as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). The displayed time is then adjusted by the time settings configured on the particular computer in question. SureSync uses the UTC time to ensure that time zone changes are not an issue. For example, if you have a machine that is located in California and a machine that is located in New York then you have a machine running in the Pacific Time Zone and one running in the Eastern Time Zone. SureSync can synchronize these files without any problem because the application looks at the UTC time stamp on the file, not the adjusted time stamp that is shown to the user through the operating systems user interface.
However, the clocks must be synchronized within 2 minutes of each other to ensure accurate results. In our example, assume that it is 8:30AM in California and the server located there is configured as such. That means the clock on the machine in New York in the Eastern Time Zone should have a clock which reads 11:30 AM. These two clocks will compare identically in UTC time. Now assume that the machine in New York is incorrectly configured to 11:15AM. This clock is now 15 minutes off of the actual time and the UTC time stamp on the file is not going to compare equally either.
Making sure that the clocks on the machines throughout your enterprise have equal times will help to ensure proper SureSync operation. SureSync will warn you if the clocks on any of the machines involved in a synchronization are off by more than the acceptable amount.
Windows Time Service
Microsoft has made it easy to keep all of the system clocks in your enterprise synchronized through the use of the Windows Time Service. Please consult the links below for further details on the Windows Time Service and how to configure it for your network(s).
- Microsoft TechNet: Using Windows Server 2003 in a Managed Environment: Windows Time Service
- Microsoft TechNet: Using Windows 2000 with Service Pack 4 in a Managed Environment: Windows Time Service
- Microsoft TechNet: Windows Time Service Technical Reference
- Microsoft TechNet: How Windows Time Service Works
- Microsoft TechNet: Administering the Windows Time Service
- Microsoft TechNet: Windows Time Service Tools and Settings
- WindowsNetworking.com: Configuring the Windows Time Service
There is additional documentation available at Microsoft's TechNet site by searching for the keywords Windows Time Service if you would like additional material on this topic.
Third Party Clock Synchronization Tools
There are many free or shareware clock synchronization tools available which can be used to keep the clocks on your computers synchronized if you decide not to use the Windows Time Service.
Note: These links are provided only as a reference to some of the options that are available to you. Software Pursuits does not endorse any particular clock synchronization product. Additional products can be found using your favorite search engine. It is recommended that you test one or more of these products to determine which one best fits your needs.