Phone messaging clock

Q

Why does the phone-message clock drift? Can't it set itself automatically
using a timeserver? If not, can it be set manually on a daily basis?

Answered on November 01, 2002

A

The current five phonemail systems that UCAR uses are based on technology
that is over 10 years old. The systems' clocks rely on their internal
computer clocks, which are drifting more as they age. Their only connection
is to the telephone system, which does not provide clocking. They do not
have a network connection; therefore, they cannot be updated by using a
network timeserver.

Each system is independent. Some drift more than others; all of them drift
less than five minutes a month. We check the time when we perform
maintenance on the systems. Changing the system time without running
cleanup utilities, which can only be performed with the system down,
results in delayed messages. So we do not feel that changing the system
time on a daily basis is an appropriate solution.

We are in the process of evaluating a new voice messaging system for UCAR
that does utilize the network and allows the syncing of clocks using a
timeserver, as well as offering other features of benefit to UCAR.

-Marla Meehl, Manager, Network Engineering and Telecommunications Section