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Time servers are on Dell's side

Dell went on a shopping spree this week for servers that help synchronize the time of an atomic clock with all of the servers and PCs connected to a network.

The guys over in Round Rock plunked down $995,000 worth of equipment from San Jose, Calif.-based Symmetricom for its TymServe 2100 GPS network time servers. The price tag also included related hardware such as lightning rods for the rooftop to prevent an electrical storm from taking down the system.

So just what does Dell want to do with these servers? Well, they are not for Dell. Apparently, they are for an undisclosed customer that Dell is working with and more than likely it will be a closed network, according to a Symmetricom representative.

Dell declined to expand on the publicly stated contract.

These are pretty powerful systems that can be used by government agencies and corporations that need to keep all of their computers in sync, like a financial intuition or telecommunications provider, the Symmetricom rep said.

According to Symmetricom, the TymServe 2100 syncs with the GPS satellite constellation, IRIG (Inter-Range Instrumentation Group) time code or dialup time services from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) or United States Naval Observatory (USNO) and then distributes the time using the Network Time Protocol.

So whoever the lucky Dell client is, they will have a well-timed network.