CiscoLive and a Leap Second

Greetings everyone…

Yes, I’ve been way too busy…sorry for the lack of posts. I am going to try and get back in the swing of things!!

First, a bit of fun news…I’ll be out of town next week, down in San Diego, attending CiscoLive 2015!! And even better, my wife is going with me! I bought her a Social Events Pass…this allows her to attend all of the Keynote speeches, the evening vendor meets, and the closing night concert with Aerosmith at Petco Park (the Padre’s stadium)!! We are both very excited!! I will try to post some notes next week from CiscoLive…if I can find the time.

Next…since we are talking about time….on Tuesday, June 30th, there is going to be a leap second event. (I’m not kidding folks…this is actually very cool stuff!!) Over time, the Earth is gradually slowing down…and to keep the “real” time sync’d with our perception of time (sundown, etc.) they have to add a second to the day. The last time this happened was back in 2012. Is this something you need to worry about? Probably not, but you should be aware of it, and keep an eye on things that might be acting strange (frozen, pegged CPU, etc). Here is Cisco’s take on this years leap second.

Details:  The leap second is going to occur at 23:59:59 UTC on June 30th, 2015. In other words, one second before midnight UTC time. For me, here on the west coast with daylight savings time, it will be 4:59:59 PM in the afternoon (PDT). That final minute will actually last 61 seconds. This will be orchestrated by all of the NTP servers on the Internet…so if all of your network equipment is time sync’d to NTP servers, you should be fine. If you equipment is not time sync’d, well…I guess you don’t really care about all of this anyway. (And you are not being a good network engineer either…get your network time sync’d!!)

Linux and UNIX systems should handle this well…NTP will announce to any system running true NTP that a leap second will occur (there is a leap second flag that gets set). Windows systems do not know how to handle the NTP announcement, so they will just end up a second off. However, within 20 minutes they will be re-sync’d properly. What to watch for? Anything acting strange that relies on exact time…applications that use GPS would be key to watch.

So…you have been warned. Hopefully the addition of a leap second will not trigger Armageddon.

One thought on “CiscoLive and a Leap Second

  1. Shane Killen

    Reminds me of when we flipped over to the year 2000. The way people talked then, the power was going to go out and all heck was going to break loose from there. Lets see what a second will do.

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