Daylight Savings Time and Data Centers

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Daylight Savings Time comes early this year, and in some cases your data center equiment may not know it, which could cause headaches with time-sensitive systems. Starting this year, daylight savings time in the US will begin on the second Sunday in March and end on the first Sunday in November. Previously, daylight savings time began in the US on the first Sunday in April and ended on the last Sunday in October. Except, of course, in Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, which don’t participate in DST.

While it may be an annoyance to have the time off by an hour on your home PC, inconsistencies could have a larger impact in the data center. Everyone remember Y2K? Same concept, only on a much smaller scale. But like Y2K, it makes sense to work ahead to identify systems which might have time/date issues and not wait until the last minute.

“If facility systems were to lose synchronization with the new time standard, there could be a period of one to three weeks, twice a year, where they would be out of sync with the actual time of day,” said Bob Woolley, director of technical quality management for Lee Technologies. “We urge facility, data center and IT managers to inventory their equipment to determine what systems need attention in order to develop a plan of action that will ensure a smooth transition when the time change takes effect on March 11, 2007.”


Lee Technologies, Inc., a mission-critical infrastructure specialist, said that many fire panels, Automatic Transfer Switches (ATS), UPSs and generator control systems will require a firmware update from the manufacturer, while older legacy equipment that is no longer supported will need to be manually adjusted.

See additional coverage of the Daylight Savings Time issue from from Network World, SearchDataCenter and Computerworld. Microsoft also has a support page on the topic.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor-in-chief of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.