VARs: IT Ready for Fall Back

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

While springing forward may have caused a lot of sleepless nights of systems patching, VARs should get an extra hour of sleep when daylight-saving time ends.

While March's "spring forward" may have caught some by surprise, with many VARs and IT staff losing more than just one hour of sleep, when it's time to change the clocks on Nov. 4, everyone will be ready.

Just last year the U.S. Congress decided to extend daylight-saving time, moving the spring and fall switch-over dates and potentially wreaking havoc with IT systems that weren't prepared for the change.

The short timeline to complete fixes left many VARs unprepared last spring and working long hours in the weeks leading up to the change. But now that it's time to fall back, everybody is ready, according to one solution provider.

At Dimension Data and its clients, everyone's Outlook calendars will still show the right appointments at the right times, since patches were applied to the systems long ago, according to Scott Chudy, a senior solutions architect at the Johannesburg, South Africa-based company.

And even VARs and IT staff will get the extra hour of sleep this weekend as most enterprise systems have already been fixed.

"I would say everybody, 95 percent of customers, had systems patched," Chudy said. "The ones that didn't get their systems patched did it consciously because the patch required was on an unimportant system. They decided they would do it later or live with it that way."

Some of those systems may have included consumer electronics such as older DVR devices and satellite radios—devices that are not part of the VAR's responsibility.

However, mobile devices remain a challenge for the daylight-saving time patches because most of the time it is unclear who owns the devices—service providers, IT or the users.

The patches are up on Web sites, ready to be downloaded, Chudy said.

"There are a lot of devices out there that are not patched," he said. "A lot of those require the actual end user to do something. And a lot of end users don't have the time, capacity or ability to patch their BlackBerry or Palm device."

Chudy was surprised to find that his non-corporate-issued Blackberry was supported by Dimension Data's IT staff. Still, he said he did not bother contacting the help desk when he noticed that two of his appointments scheduled for the middle of the day were off by one hour, while other appointments that same day were correct on his BlackBerry.

For those experiencing similar problems, the spell will be broken by the time the workday begins on Nov. 5. The actual time change early Nov. 4 should fix most the problems that have already cropped up.

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com